The painting was discovered after a worker at the Kunsthalle Bremen museum, in northern Germany, removed a known piece by the Norwegian painter from its frame. The previously unknown work, entitled The Girl and the Four Male Heads", lay underneath. It was taken to the Munch Museum in Oslo and examined by Munch scholars there, who believe it was probably painted in 1898 or 1899.
The painting, which depicts a young woman seated on a chair, with the faces of four men looming in the background, differs slightly from the artist's style at the time. But a museum officials said they had concluded the the work was genuine.