Fact-Check: Top 15 Mysteries Behind the Famous Artworks of All Time
Modern science and technology help us to find the truth behind the mysteries that seem to never have a solution. Join Knowinsiders to solve the mystery of the most famous works of art in the history of the world.
1.Angel and the devil in the painting of 'Old Fisherman'
|'Old Fisherman' Painting|
In 1902, Hungarian painter - Tivadar Kosztka was well known to the public with his work "Old Fisherman".
The painting depicts an old man with a rather austere face squeezing a stick with two hands, behind the calm sea. However, if you try to take a mirror and put it in the middle of the picture, you will find that the picture contains two faces with completely opposite expressions.
Accordingly, if you place a mirror to reflect the face on the left, the old man's face suddenly becomes gentler with his hands clasped, behind the completely calm sea. On the contrary, if you put the mirror to reflect the face on the right, the old man immediately becomes extremely scary with the face of the devil and the waves rolling behind.
2.Mona Lisa used to have eyebrows
We all know that Mona Lisa - the main character in Leonardo Da Vinci's masterpiece has no eyebrows and eyelashes. This becomes even the most recognizable thing about this painting, aside from Mona Lisa's smile.
|Mona Lisa used to have eyebrows|
But not long ago, researchers discovered that the original Mona Lisa had both eyebrows and eyelashes. Accordingly, the scanned image with a resolution of 240 million pixels shows signs of the presence of eyebrows and eyelids on both sides of the subject's eyes in the original painting. However, these details were accidentally lost during the restoration process of later conservationists.
American expert Joseph E. Borkowski revealed that the woman in the picture must have broken some teeth. Borkowski noticed many wrinkles around the Mona Lisa's mouth through the enlarged images.
3.The statue of David has abnormal eyes
|Michelangelo's statue of David|
Michelangelo's statue of David is a masterpiece of human anatomy, but with one unusual feature. Accordingly, David's right eye looks straight ahead while his left eye looks to the left. Michelangelo probably calculated every angle and carved the eyes based on the viewer's position, so the statue would look perfect from different angles.
4.Colored Ancient Greek Sculptures
|Colored Ancient Greek Sculptures|
Referring to ancient Greek and Roman sculptures, we often think of the characteristically beautiful white statues made from marble.
However, in reality, this is not the original appearance of these works. Researchers have found traces of the original paint color on the sculptures, and revealed the truth about their original appearance. Research says today's monochrome statues were originally painted in bright colors. But over the centuries, the original paint color has been "discolored" by weathering.
However, some small traces of the original paint remained, allowing researchers to determine which colors were used and where.
5.Madame X's belt is drawn in a different way
|Portrait of Madame X|
Lady X or Portrait of Madame X is an oil painting by American artist John Singer Sargent, depicting Virginie Amélie Avegno Gautreau, the wife of a banker. Frenchman, Pierre Gautreau. Lady X shows the contrast between the model's white skin and the dark background with the black dress she is wearing.
However, the painting received mixed reviews as soon as it was presented to the public in France in 1884. In the original version of the painting, John Singer Sargent drew Madame Pierre Gautreau's dress strap slipping off the top. right shoulder. However, this detail was criticized by some and considered too revealing.
Pierre Gautreau himself later asked Sargent to destroy the painting, but because he did not receive a commission, he refused. Finally, to save his career, Sargent repainted the strap, and renamed the painting Madame X.
6.The hidden message inside Vincent van Gogh's 'Café Terrace at Night'
Some believe that Vincent Van Gogh was hiding a message through his painting "Café Terrace at Night". Specifically, there are 12 people in the cafe representing the 12 apostles while the waiter in the middle is shaped like Jesus.
|Café Terrace at Night|
There is also a cross symbol right behind the waiter on the window pane. This scene is reminiscent of Leonardo Da Vinci's painting The Last Supper, which depicts Jesus eating with his disciples before being captured by the Roman authorities and crucified.
7.'Lady with an Ermine' originally did not feature a ferret
|Lady with an Ermine|
Lady with an Ermine is a painting by Leonardo da Vinci, from around 1489-1490. That stunning picture is 40.3 cm wide and 54.8 cm high, oil on walnut board. Unfortunately, the original background has been overlaid probably in the 17th c. The subject of the portrait is identified as Cecilia Gallerani, and was probably painted at a time when she was the mistress of Lodovico Sforza, Duke of Milan and Leonardo was in the service of the Duke.
Later high-tech analysis showed that Leonardo da Vinci had repeatedly changed his mind during the painting process.
Accordingly, after analyzing each layer of the painting Lady with an Ermine using light reflection technology, researchers discovered that Leonardo da Vinci first painted a version "without the ferret", before edit and re-add. The fur of the ferret in this painting has also been edited by da Vinci twice.
Who is this lady?
The woman in the painting is Cecilia Gallerani (c. 1473-1536). She was 16 years old when a portrait was painted.
She was born in Siena, Italy where she received a solid education. She knew Latin, had musical talent and also wrote poetry.
In May 1489, she left home and moved to the Monastero Nuovo, where she met the prince of Milan – Lodovico Sforza.
It did not take a long time as they became lovers.
8.Strange objects in the painting of The Ambassadors
The Ambassadors is a famous painting by German artist Hans Holbein.
This whole picture looks very ordinary until you notice a "strange object" in between the two men in the picture.
If viewed from the right, this strange object appears to be a deformed skull. Some have suggested that the skull is a symbol of the Latin phrase "memento mori", which means "remember that you will die".
"Memento mori" is said to be a motto of the man on the left of the painting - French Ambassador Jean de Dinteville.
9.UFO in 'Madonna with Saint Giovannino'
|Madonna with Saint Giovannino|
The circular blurred object in the famous painting "Madonna with Saint Giovannino" by Domenico Ghirlandaio has been at the center of controversy for many years.
Some even claim that it is an image of an alien spacecraft.
Although it doesn't look like much here, when zoomed in, the object actually has the shape of a UFO.
10.Song in the painting of "The Last Supper"
|The Last Supper|
The song hidden in the painting "The Last Supper" is the clearest demonstration of Da Vinci's hidden "code" creative style.
An Italian musician has discovered that the arrangement of objects on the table and the posture of the hands of Jesus and the apostles are all symbolic signs for musical notes.
11.The character in 'The Lute Player' is ... a man
|The Lute Player|
For a long time, the character in Caravaggio's painting The Lute Player was considered a woman.
It was not until art critics relied on the musical instruments in the painting that they confirmed that the figure in the painting was a man composing music.
12.The Sphinx has a tail
|The Sphinx has a tail|
This artwork is commonly known for its human head and lion body on the front. But in fact, the Sphinx is a mythical creature that originated in the Ancient Kingdom of Egypt. In ancient Egyptian mythology, this character was associated with the sun god Sekhmet. The shape of the Sphinx is usually the body of a lion attached to the head of a human, falcon, hawk or sheep. The use of the heads of other animals attached to the lion's body follows the local divine ministry.
The most famous sculpture is the Great Sphinx - a monolithic limestone statue located on the Giza plateau, on the left bank of the Nile, Egypt. The statue is over 73 m (240 ft) long and has a rather long tail.
13. The mysterious number 7 on the Statue of Liberty
|Number 7 on the Statue of Liberty|
According to studies, the fish detailed on the Statue of Liberty are all associated with the number 7. There are 7 thorns on the crown, representing 7 seas and 7 continents in the world. Besides, the number 7 is hidden in other details.
Specifically, on the torch there are 16 leaf motifs, if you add the number 1 and 6, you will get the number 7. In addition, there are 25 spaces on the crown, the sum of 2 component digits is also 7.
The broken chain at the foot of the Statue of Liberty
Secrets hidden behind world-famous works of art - Photo 2.
Many visitors often think that the symbol of America, the Statue of Liberty has two most notable parts, the torch and the book she carries.
In fact, the symbol of freedom on the statue is also reflected in the broken chain at the bottom of her feet. This chain symbolizes freedom and the fight against slavery in America.
14.The apartment on top of the Eiffel Tower
|Apartment is located on top of the Eiffel Tower|
Gustave Eiffel, the man who designed the symbol of France, also built his own apartment at the top of this tower. He often used this apartment to host his friends. And during a winter break, he received the great inventor Thomas Edison in this apartment.
It is known that this apartment is designed with full amenities, including a kitchen, bathroom, two bedrooms and a living room with a beautiful view. Today the apartment has been used as a museum for visitors.
15.A hidden human brain on 'The Creation of Adam'
|The Creation of Adam|
"The Creation of Adam" is probably the most famous of the nine biblical panels Michelangelo painted on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. But did you know the scene contained a hidden human brain?
It turns out, Michelangelo was an expert in human anatomy. At 17, he had a somewhat grisly job dissecting corpses from the church graveyard. According to neuroanatomy experts Ian Suk and Rafael Tamargo, the painter placed some carefully concealed illustrations of certain body parts onto the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. And if you look at the shroud surrounding God in "The Creation of Adam," you'll find that it creates an anatomical illustration of the human brain.
Suk and Tamargo believe Michelangelo intended for the brain to represent the idea that God was endowing Adam not only with life, but also human knowledge.
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