Historically, painters have been considered some of the most intelligent people on Earth. Before modernity, artists and poets were also skilled mathematicians, historians, scientists, and inventors, and just as artists and writers today hide secret messages in their movies, music, and books, artists of yesteryear included their own secret messages in their paintings. These are 5 secret codes hidden in famous paintings! Let’s begin!
5.) The Final Reckoning, The Last Supper
The Last Supper is a painting famous for its possible hidden meanings. The Last Supper was created by Leonardo DaVinci, from which the DaVinci code was named. While a number of theories exist about possible messages, alternative interpretations, and hidden meanings, the most interest and least overexposed is that the painting of Jesus’s last moments with his followers might actually include Da Vinci’s prediction of the end of the world. According to Da Vinci, the world would end because of a flood, similar to that in the Bible. It’s believed that math in the geometric shapes within the Last Supper might point to the time of the end of the world - 4006 A.D.
4.) Painting of John Dee
John Dee was an advisor to Queen Elizabeth I. While he studied math and astronomy, he also an Occultist and magician to the Queen herself, and some even consider him the inspiration for James Bond due to his signature which was 007. One famous painting of John Dee was created by a Victorian painter named Henry Gillard Glindoni displayed a courtroom scene where Dee would is performing a magical ritual in front of Elizabeth and her guests. What you can’t see is the secret circle of skulls hidden within the painting, which was only later revealed once the painting was x-rayed. Creepier even, is the fact that the skulls appear to have an ethereal, fiery or smoky quality to them. We’ll never know why those skulls are there, and why the painter removed them.
3.) Madonna with Saint Giovannino, Aliens
If UFOs are the product of extraterrestrial life, it stands to reason that perhaps, just maybe, they have visited earth longer than we’ve realized - perhaps sightings of UFOs go back hundreds or even thousands of years ago, and it’s only because of differences in language and culture that we don’t realize it. Could it be, perhaps, that UFOs were considered then to be products of the supernatural or spiritual? In this painting, arguments have been made that a UFO can be seen in the background of this painting. Just behind Mary’s head, a UFO can be seen in the background, surrounding by a glowing white, with a bystander covering his eyes from it. Could this painting, credited to an artist named Ghirlandaio, signal some type of association between Christianity and extraterrestrials or UFOs? We may never know.
2.) Et in Arcadia ego
Et in Arcadia ego, or The Arcadian Shepherds, is a painting that depicts shepherds who have come across a tomb, was created by an artist named Poussin. The tomb bears the inscription, “Even in Arcadia, there am I,” and this has led some people to suggest the location of a secret treasure. That treasure might be the body of a knight templar, the body of Jesus Christ himself, the location of the holy grail, or some other historic artifact of religious significance. It may also point the way to treasure. It’s believed that the physical scenery of the location reflects the location of the real life treasure, and a coded message found near the location may have said “Poussin holds the key.”
1.) Sistine Chapel
The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel is likely Michelangelo’s most famous work, a living landmark that you can still go and see today in the Vatican. The painting was commissioned from Michelangelo by the Catholic church, but it actually contains quite a few hidden, coded messages that let us know how Michelangelo really felt about his employers. One of the most famous alleged codes is in the Creation of Adam, which is actually believed to reflect the morphology of the human brain, and other paintings are said to include images of the nervous system. The painting of David and Goliath is said to feature secret Hebrew glyphs. Best of all - one of the paintings includes an image of an angel giving the Pope the finger.
Background Music: Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
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