Even years after they were finished, famous works of art continue to puzzle us. Their strange and unclear details have brought about plenty of speculation. However, through improved technology, we are ever closer to finding out the truth about many of these mysterious pieces.
Enlighten is here to share 10 secret details in famous paintings with you that we thought we already knew all about.
1. The music inside The Last Supper
Da Vinci / Wikimedia Commons
Da Vinci’s work is famous for its hidden meanings and codes. A computer technician from Italy claims to have discovered the hidden hymn within The Last Supper by placing a musical note on top of each loaf of bread. What’s even more astonishing, is that when this tune is played back, it is in perfect musical harmony.
2. The missing whale
Van Anthonissen / Wikimedia Commons
Due to the old age of some paintings, incredible details can sometimes escape the viewer. Scheveningen Sands is one these paintings which, prior to its restoration in 2014, gave the viewer no indication as to why a crowd had gathered on the beach. However, once the painting was cleaned from years of grime, it revealed a washed up whale.
3. Hidden artist self-portrait
Caravaggio / Wikimedia Commons
Hiding self-portraits in their own work is not an uncommon thing for artists to do. Sometimes, however, it can take years before they are even discovered. After further analysis, experts were able to find this rare and unique self-portrait of Caravaggio himself hidden in one of his most famous works. The artist is shown sitting inside a wine carafe, painting on an easel.
4. The Greek myth behind the art
Wood / Wikimedia Commons
Wood’s seemingly idyllic painting of a farmer couple looks normal, until we take a closer look. The woman’s brooch is a picture of the Greek character Persephone, who was kidnapped by the king of the underworld Hades. It’s then no coincidence that the man holds a pitchfork similar to the one Hades is often depicted holding in classical art.
5. Imaginary flowers and plants
Botticelli / Wikimedia Commons
Artists impress us time and time again with how much detail they are able to put into their work. Botticelli’s La Primavera is no different. The painting shows 500 known species of plants drawn with incredible attention to detail. However, there are also species that continue to puzzle experts, that may be hybrids of existing ones or entirely made up.
6. Anatomy in Michelangelo’s work
Michelangelo / Wikimedia Commons
Michelangelo was not only an excellent artist, but he was also a genius of anatomy. His work, The Creation of Adam, has often been the subject of speculation due to God’s cape resembling the shape of a human brain. It’s well-known that Michelangelo was not the greatest of fan of the church of his time, and may have intentionally added such a detail to get his revenge on the church.
7. The 2 faces of The Old Fisherman