HIDDEN SIGNS IN THE WORKS OF ART

Published June 9, 2012 by Tony

UNUSUAL MASTERWORKS

MISTERIOUS ARTWORS


It’s well known that Italy was the cradle of art with a lot of works of art around, and for this, more is the chance to find some work that is striking for its originality or going against the political and religious customs of its time.
From this point of view, around there are some particular works that have “something strange”, disquieting, and in light of the recent discovery, who knows how many other works hide something we don’t know yet.

1 – miracle_of_the_false_madonnaThe Basilica of St. Eustorgio in Milan, where it is said to have preserved the bodies of the three Magi, became the headquarters of the Dominican Order in Milan from the thirteenth century. In the part assigned to the Preachers Friars is the “Portinari Chapel“, one of the most famous examples of Renaissance in Milan, decorated with frescoes by Vincenzo Foppa (1427  – 1515). Among these frescoes dated between 1464 and 1468 we find one somewhat mysterious, called “Miracle of the False Madonna” which depicts a Madonna and child “with horns”. It’s not usual to see a horned Madonna! In fact, he was the devil, who appeared to Saint Peter in this disguise trying to tempt him.

2 – giottoIn the famous Basilica of San Francesco in Assisi (Padua), which preserves the mortal remains of the saint and managed by the Order of Franciscan Friars, there are works by Cimabue and Giotto. Giotto (1267 – 1337) was given the task of representing the life of Saint Francesco through various frescoes in the upper Basilica, in the years 1280 to 1290. Only after the restoration that took place recently, on a fresco was found the face of a little demon hidden in a cloud. The weird thing is that the fresco had been there for eight hundred years, watched by millions of people and nobody had ever noticed that little horned head. Up to now the first artist to have “hidden” something between the clouds had been the painter Andrea Mantegna, who in his painting “San Sebastian”, painted in 1460, shows a knight emerging from a cloud, in the sky in the background. Now themantegna primacy would appertain to Giotto, instead. Experts do not yet know why Giotto painted a demon in the portion of the cloud nearest the angel, although in the Middle Ages it was believed that demons also inhabit the sky, hindering the souls ascent. But if we consider that in the sky of the “Last Judgement”, painted by Giotto in the “Scrovegni Chapel” in a small space located just above the Cross supported by angels, there are two faces with a third smaller one turned left, which so far no one had ever noticed,  this means that it is not an isolated case. In Padua, then, it’s a remarkable analogy with the recently discovered in Assisi.

3 – san pietro perugiaThe Abbey of San Pietro in Perugia, built around 996, has on the top west wall, facing the main altar, the world’s largest painting. A painting of 1252 by Antonio Vassillachi (1556 -1629), an artist trained in the school of Tintoretto. This huge painting is called the “Triumph of the Benedictine order“, because representing the celebration of St. Benedict and the Benedictine order, with in the middle depicted the saint celebrated by popes and bishops. But if we look at this painting from a distance, from the high altar, we may notice that all the figures form an eerie skull with fiery eyes, in vassillachiwhich the saint becomes the nasal septum and the stars the eyes of this demon. It’s obvious that this “pattern” was wanted by the artist, probably a hidden message in what was his vision of the church hierarchy; as to say that the church was the victim of a demonic perversion. In fact the “holy Inquisition”, that wasn’t at all “holy”,  was still very active at that time, and therefore those who would have liked to criticize, could only do it in a hidden manner.

4 – Death TrumphThe oratory of the “Disciplini” in Clusone (Bergamo), is a medieval building, located opposite the Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta, built by the lay confraternity of governing as the seat of their monastic order. The building, with its simple structure,  has on the facade a cycle of frescoes of great value, dated 1485 and painted by the painter Giacomo de Borlone Buschisi, divided into various registers that are named:  the TriumphMacavber dance of Death, Meeting among Dead and Alive, The Macabre Dance and The Last Judgment. Somewhat gloomy allegories in which the “Death” seems to triumph, pointing to the man that cannot escape his fate, while power, honor and wealth are of no value. The monks’ warning was: “Memento mori”  (remember that you must die).

5 – boccaccinoThe church of San Sigismondo in Cremona is currently the home of cloistered Dominican nuns and therefore cannot be visited now. Inside, among the various frescoes, there is a Camillo Boccaccino one (1505 – 1546), a fresco representing the scene of the adultery from the Bible with Jesus and the Pharisees. Strange fact, all the figures, including Jesus, seem blind with no pupil. A worrying scene without a known reason, although some believe it is only the outermost layer of the paint came off.

6 – On the works of Leonardo da Vinci have been written several Leonardo,_ultima_cena_(restored)books and we never stop to discover something new about his wonderful works. Certain is that in some works he wanted to send a secret code or hidden message, and only a mind artistically sublime like his,  could do it in a so eccentric way.
Leonardo da Vinci and the “V”.
The “Last Supper”, probably commissioned by Duke Ludovico Sforza in Milan, for the refectory of the convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie, is perhaps, along with “Mona Lisa“, one of the most emblematic work of the Italian Renaissance. It is thought that through this masterpiece, by an artist who was Grand Master of Sion from 1510 to 1519, Leonardo wanted to represent that scene according to the Gnostic Gospels. The apostle to the right of Jesus is not John, but Mary Magdalene as the large space in the form of “V” between the two figures would suggest. This is a well-known symbol for the sacredness of women, sacred feminism, just the shape of a cup, always used to stylize the female sexuality. Besides, if you draw straight lines across the contour of these two figures, you will get a “M”, just the initial of Mary Magdalene. Why does Peter, on Mary’s right,  have Va dagger in his hand? The coffered ceiling draws a number associated with the devil, the 666, why?
Someone else, indulging himself, has overlapped the inverted image together the original and it is amazing to see what comes out. Since this operation can be performed with other works by Leonardo, suggest that it’s not accidental, but a symmetry and perspective play masterfully worked previously by the artist before painting.
To note that even his pupil “Cesare da Sesto“,1955-holy-family-with-st-catherine-cesare-da-sesto inspired by the paintings of the master and trying to absorb his symbolism, in its representation of the “Holy Family”, has shown a detail of the hand of St. Joseph indicating a “V”, unless the saint was suffering from arthritis in the fingers.
Recently, it has been found that in the eyes of the Mona Lisa Leonardo had hidden some symbols that are not visible to naked eye, but with a magnifying glass the letters “LV” are visible, while in the left eye other symbols are not very well defined, and on the arch of the bridge in the background the number 72 is visible, or it could be an L and the number 2. Why?
And this beyond the fact that Mona Lisa that would be a male portrait as Leonardo was gay or bisexual.
Moreover, according to the argument presented by the American experts of neuroanatomy Ian Suk and Rafael Tamargo, in a study published in the journal Neurosurgery, Leonardo would have also sent a message through his passion for drawing anatomy and his meticulous attention to detail in the fresco of the “Last Judgement” present in the Sistine chapel in Rome. In the initial panel of the fresco, that depicts God, could be the hidden design of a human brain. In fact, the throat and neck of God presents anatomical irregularities and, while any thing  is all illuminated on the left and below, the God’s neck is illuminated on the front.

But we also can mention other artists.
The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel (Rome) that Michelangelo Buonarroti painted in 4 years at the beginning of the 16th century, according to the book “Secrets of the Sistine: revealing the codes in Michelangelo’s masterpiece” written by Rabbi Benjamin Bleach, would actually a bridge between the Roman Catholic faith and the Jewish religion, because it conceals Jewish symbols.
The Dream” by Picasso, is a painting full of hidden messages. Scholars believe that the woman is dreaming of sexual activity. Looking at the image  we simply see a picassowoman represented under the forms of traditional cubism, but after a more careful and detailed look, we can notice as this technique has been used to conceal a further meaning. In fact, the upper part of the face is not that a penis. The woman’s fingers, are also not five, but six in each hand, both placed on the reproductive system, as to simulate masturbation. In other cases, such as the Flemish painter Hieronymus Bosch, the author deliberately address to a few adherents of a reality or sect to which he belonged, through his hidden messages.bosh

Whether they are subliminal messages, esoteric signs or iconography, even if unconventional, the fact that in a work of art there may be hidden elements, can be considered normal, because the works have always two sides, one explicit and one implicit, that only some expert people can understand. Most often these are works in which the author was commissioned to paint the “required” by the developer, and maybe it happens that intentionally the author then hide a “personal” message in the work. Independently if it was a forbidden criticism or a coded message.

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