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1/28/2012 David Broughton

Leonardo Da Vinci: Deciphering The Hidden

Since the birth of Dan Browns Da Vinci Code in 2006 there has never been such an interest in the works of Leonardo Da Vinci as there is now. Most of the research material on Da Vinci now concentrates on the hidden meanings of the great Florentine master. The question how ever has remained is a there a true Da Vinci code? To understand this question firstly we have to understand the man. On April 15 1452 at "at the third hour of the night"1 Leonardo was born in Vinci. Vinci, a Tuscan town just outside Florence, is about 65km (approximately 40 miles) from the west coast of northern Italy. What is known about Da Vinci's parents is that they were not married. His father Ser Piero was a Florentine notary, while his mother was a slave girl known only as Caterina. Slave commerce during the Late Middle Ages was mainly in the hands of Venetian and Genoese merchants and cartels, who were involved in the slave trade with the Golden Horde. Genoese merchants organized the slave trade from the Crimea to Mamluk Egypt. For years the Khanates of Kazan and Astrakhan routinely made raids on Russian principalities for slaves and to plunder towns. Russian chronicles record about 40 raids of Kazan Khans on the Russian territories in the first half of the 16th century2. In 1521, the combined forces of Crimean Khan Mehmed Giray and his Kazan allies attacked Moscow and captured thousands of slaves3. According to Luigi Capasso, an anthropologist at Chieti University Leonardo da Vinci may have had an Arab heritage. This surprising fact actually ties in rather nicely as it was common in the 15th century for Tuscans to have owned slaves from the Middle East. Alessandro Vezzosi, director of the Museo Ideale Leonardo Da Vinci, backs up this theory too by pointing out "He was left-handed, but began all of his notebooks on the last page, which was customary for Arabs and Jews," So was Caterina an Arab or was she Russian Jew? The verdict is still very much out on that one, however suffice to say that it had very little effect on the greatness of Leonardo Da Vinci. This greatness is still wrapped up in blankets of intrigue and mystery partly in thanks to the illustrious company he was keeping (Sforza/Medici/Borjas/Savoy) in a time when secrets were a form of currency. These secrets, because of the period in history, were often coded into great works of art. Which takes us back to the question in hand. Was there, or has there ever been a True Da Vinci Code (TDVC)? The most talked about painting Da Vinci ever conceived, The Last Supper, is currently on display in the Santa Maria delle Grazie ("Holy Mary of Grace") in Milan, alongside the painting of The Crucifixion by Giovanni Donato da Montorfano, surprising considering Montorfano is not recognized as a major player in the Renaissance. The majority of the research carried out on the secrets of Leonardo Da Vinci has always been on The Last Supper never about The Crucifixion.
1 His birth is recorded in the diary of his paternal grandfather Ser Antonio, as cited by Angela Ottino della Chiesa
in Leonardo da Vinci, p. 83

2 The Full Collection of the Russian Annals, vol.13, SPb, 1904 3 The Tatar Khanate of Crimea - All Empires

Since no major research has been carried out on this painting, it is presumptuous not to discuss this work since it is in the same building as The Last Supper.

Figure 1 - Santa Maria delle Grazie ("Holy Mary of Grace")

Figure 2 - Crucifixion by Giovanni Donato Montorfano

The most striking thing is not the actual depiction of the crucifixion is not actually the painting itself, nor is it the fresco on the third cross, but the small wooden box under Mary Magdalene under the second cross.

Figure 3- Box Under Second Cross (1495)

We can instantly see that the number 1495 takes precedence over the name of Montorfano. But Why? The answer to this question is surprisingly straight forward.1495 corresponds to the 1st, 4th, 9th and 5th letters in his name which gives the follow transcription.

Figure 4 - Numbers to Letters Correlation

I,O,N,S on the first line and M,O,E,P on the second line. Initially it looks like nonsense, but these letters are actually an anagram of SION and POEM. Does this elaborate to a POEM used by the Priory of SION called Le Serpent Rouge? Considering the elusive Priory of Sion is thought to be nothing more than a hoax it is very unlikely, so what else could the SION POEM be? The answer is found by referencing the number 1495 to a work by Leonardo Da Vincis in his notebooks.

1495.4 Of the error of those who practice without knowledge;--[3] See first the 'Ars poetica' of Horace [5]. [Footnote: A 3-5 are written on the margin at the side of the title line of the text given, entire as No. 19] Here we can see that Da Vinci refers to another manuscript called The Ars Poetica of Horace. Ars Poetica a term meaning "The Art of Poetry". Throughout history several examples of this exist with one of them being scribed the Roman poet Quintus Horatius Flaccus (Horace). Horaces version of Ars Poetic is split up into sections just as is Da Vincis notebooks: 1-37 On unity and harmony 38-72 The writers aims 73-118 What the tradition dictates 119-152 Be consistent if you are original 153-188 On characterisation 189-219 On the gods, chorus and music 220-250 On style 251-274 On metre 275-294 Greeks and Romans 295-332 How to be a good poet 333-365 Combine instruction with pleasure 366-407 No mediocrity: recall the tradition! 408-437 Nature plus training: but see through flattery 438-476 Know your faults and keep your wits It is important to remember too that Da Vinci didnt write down nothing he didnt need to, so bearing this in mind the numbers 3,5 and 19 must refer to something. Line 19 from Ars Poetic reads : Or the river Rhine, or the rainbows being described5. Words 3 to 5 of line 19 are: river Rhine or So what does this mean? To understand this we have to remember 1495 from the notebooks which read Of the error of those who practice without knowledge. To get the knowledge Da Vinci knows we must take out the word error from river Rhine or, leaving us with the letters : I, V ,E, H, I ,N ,E and R. Since the words SION and POEM came from the initial 1495 box, it is natural to presume that this is another anagram too. I, V ,E, H, I ,N ,E and R form the phrase HENRI VI. And by adding HENRI VI to SION POEM you end up with the message. HENRI VISION POEM. Not content with making this a one line message, the 1495 box actually contains several coded messages.
4 Leonardo Da Vinci Notebooks 5 The Ars Poetica of Horace

Figure 5 - Second Message

The second line of Montorfanos name contains the phrase ONORUS. There is very little doubt that this probably refers to the Egyptian god Horus. If this is the case then ON must actually mean something also. . Referencing astrology, something Da Vinci was known to be interested in, the world ON is strangely similar to the astrological sign Leo. Before illuminating on the meaning of Leo and its correspondence to Horus it is important to remember that the zodiac circle begins with Virgo and ends with Leo. It is also prevalent to know also that Jesus is represented by Leo and Mary Magdalene is represented by Virgo (not Jesus mother Mary6). In ancient Egypt, Horus is the god of the rising son (perhaps the resurrection of Jesus is a play on words). Killed under the sign of Virgo, and resurrected under the sign of Leo, it is quite frequently argued that the life of Jesus is nothing more than the story of Horus retold. Combining this with the earlier message we get HENRI VISION POEM HORUS.

There is yet a third and final message lying within the 1495 box which most people would overlook.
6 The Cutting of the Orm: The Secret Calendar of the Priory of Sion

Figure 6 - Third Message

Figure 7 - Canis Major

The third message refers to the star system Canis Major. This ties in rather nicely with Horus. The brightest star in the constellation, Sirius, is known in Greek astronomy as Sophis who is identified with Isis. Horus was the son of Osiris and Isis, so the tie to the star system makes perfect sense. What isnt so clear, is what this has to do with the message HENRI VISION POEMS taken from the 1495 code. A cult of Isis was found in Rome in the time of Caligula (A.D. 37-41). This cult, a major rival to Christianity, was successful in part, due to its promise of immortality. It is this
7 The Cult of Isis and Osiris - Did They Influence the New Testament? Ronald Nash

cult that was practiced, in the Cathar "heresy", and in Templar, Masonic, theosophical and magical beliefs. A tie to Templars/Freemasons? What does this have to do with the original message of HENRI VISION POEM? There is only one person who would have probably influenced Da Vinci to such an extent. That person? Dante Alighieri. Dante Alighieri found home in Florence, the same place as Da Vinci, the Medici and Michelangelo. Theoretically speaking if Da Vinci was inspired to create a code that lead to Dante it also means that Da Vinci was aware of Dantes tie to secret organizations, specifically those ones involving the rose cross. According to masonic writers the Order of the Rose Cross is expounded in a major Christian literary work that molded the subsequent spiritual views of the western civilization, The Divine Comedy (ca. 13081321) by Dante Alighieri (taken from Wikipedia). In Dantes works Henry is said to be Henry VII, Holy Roman Emperor, who Dante thought could be the next Charlemagne. Henry is the famous alto Arrigo in Dante's Paradise. Dante also alludes to him numerous times in "Purgatorio" as the savior who will bring imperial rule back to Italy, and end the inappropriate temporal control of the Church. Henry VII's success in Italy was not lasting, however, and after his death the antiimperialist forces regained control. Henry was written to on several occasions. It was known that one of these letters to Henry, contained the key to the legendary 515 code. However no code was mentioned in any of the correspondence. Physically the code had to be something, something more tangible.

The key, was the use of tarot cards, to a hide a simple message that Dante felt an affiliation to. THE POPE IS THE DEVIL. The Pope is Boniface III, who Dante placed him in the Eighth circle of Hell in his Divina Commedia, among the Simonists. Given this use of tarot cards to hide messages perhaps 1,4,9 and 5 also mean something.

Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor was the Holy Roman Emperor at the time Da Vinci was constructing The Last Supper. The Hermit representing illumination probably corresponds to Manuscript Illumination of Maximilian I (often referred to as "The Last Knight"), Holy Roman Emperor, From The Statutes of the Burgundians Order of the Golden Fleece.

Figure 8 - Maximilian I

It should be noted that an illuminated manuscript is a manuscript in which the text is supplemented by the addition of decoration, such as decorated initials, borders (marginalia) and miniature illustrations (taken from Wikipedia).

Since the 5th tarot card, the hierophant, represents the Pope, the final message reads The creation of The Order of The Golden Fleece, was for/by The Pope. Maximilian I, himself was not a member of the Burgundian dynasty, but was from the House of Habsburg, which has ties to the Sinclair family and from there to the Knights Templar. Why this information was coded would only be answered with the deciphering of the rest of painting, particularly the question of Giovanni Donato Montorfano allowing Da Vinci to place codes in his masterpiece.

Figure 9 - Campagnia de Pittori (the red book of Florence artists)

The picture (figure 9) shows clearly two red books circled. The open book on the left means the apprentice. The closed book on the right means the master. The significance of this very important considering the relationship to the position of the two paintings in Santa Maria delle Grazie. Montorfanos painting is on the left. Leonardo Da Vincis on the right. This clearly means that Montorfano is Da Vincis apprentice. With no recorded information of Montorfano being Da Vincis apprentice there is only one conclusion, Montorfano was a clandestine apprentice, one who would be taught all Da Vincis secrets.

The second biggest secret contained within the picture (after the revelation of Da Vinci having a secret apprentice) pertains to the angels surrounding the figure on the cross.

Figure 10 - Message in Angels

The letters J,N,H and O can be clearly seen in the angels surrounding the figure on the cross. Since Da Vinci is a fan of using anagrams for his cryptic messages it can be interpreted to spell the name JOHN. Does this mean that Da Vinci has information relating to the identity of the person on the cross? And is that identity John not Jesus? It seems so. Before turning attention to coded message (SL 72) in the Mona Lisa there is one more message system not touched upon. In the deck of tarot cards the High Priestess, card number 2, she is holding a copy of the Torah. If, as suspected, Da Vinci was following Dantes code system, he would have known this. The most prophetic person in the Torah is Ezekiel, which is something Da Vinci would have been aware of too. Given this perhaps the number 1,4, 9 and 5 could refer to passages in the Book of Ezekiel. Ezekiel 1:4 - I looked, and I saw a windstorm coming out of the northan immense cloud with flashing lightning and surrounded by brilliant light. The center of the fire looked like glowing metal, Ezekiel 9:5 - As I listened, he said to the others, Follow him through the city and kill, without showing pity or compassion.

There is however a surprising, yet tantalizing link between the Freemasons and Ezekiel. According to the prophet Ezekiel, the First Temple as built by King Solomon will someday be rebuilt. The Temple was engineered by a Phoenician King Hiram who sent a mason who was half Hebrew and half Phoenician to execute the principal works of the interior including casting, masonry, arch stone angles and the logistics of raising the arch stones 20 stories in the sky. The masons name was also Hiram. 9Hiram is a character who figures prominently in an allegorical play that is presented during the third degree of Craft Freemasonry. Knowing this, and the correlation between Da Vincis works and the Book of Ezekiel, it is sensible to hypothesize that Da Vinci knew freemasons secrets, which in turns proves he was a freemason himself. What is also interesting about the Crucifixion painting, is that the word John in the angels ties in nicely with freemasonry also, for John the Baptist is the patron saint of the fraternal organisation. Since the discovery of the two red books in the painting, eluding to the fact that Da Vinci was the master and Montorfano was the apprentice, does this mean that perhaps Da Vinci was a master freemason while Montorfano was an apprentice freemason? Although no definite proof is available it is almost certain that Da Vinci was a master freemason. If this is the case then perhaps there is a message contained within the most sacred of all freemason numbers 33. Ezekiel 3:3 - Then he said to me, Son of man, eat this scroll I am giving you and fill your stomach with it. So I ate it, and it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth. There is one more work of art to discuss and proof/disprove Leonardo Da Vincis coded message system.

8 9

Figure 11 - Vitruvian Man

Much research work has been done on the code messages within the Vitruvian Man with the exception of one tiny detail, the hands.

It is plain to see that each one of the hands has been etched differently. Knowing how Da Vinci was for detail in his work he must have done this for a specific reason. Initially there doesnt seem much to see, however it is important to know that Da Vinci often coded his work in mirror image writing.

Now a message system begins to slowly unravel itself. By adding definition lines to the etch a clear image slowly begins to materialize.

Producing a series of letters, the hands have actually formed images of Roman numerals: DII, IX, VII, IIII. In turn these letters correspond to the numbers 502,9,7,4.

By referencing Da Vincis notebooks once again we get the following passage:

502. HOW, IN IMPORTANT WORKS, A MAN SHOULD NOT TRUST ENTIRELY TO HIS MEMORY WITHOUT CONDESCENDING TO DRAW FROM NATURE. Any master who should venture to boast that he could remember all the forms and effects of nature would certainly appear to me to be graced with extreme ignorance, inasmuch as these effects are infinite and our memory is not extensive enough to retain them. Hence, O! painter, beware lest the lust of gain should supplant in you the dignity of art; for the acquisition of glory is a much greater thing than the glory of riches. Hence, for these and other reasons which might be given, first strive in drawing to represent your intention to the eye by expressive forms, and the idea originally formed in your imagination; then go on taking out or putting in, until you have satisfied yourself. Then have living men, draped or nude, as you may have purposed in your work, and take care that in dimensions and size, as determined by perspective, nothing is left in the work which is not in harmony with reason and the effects in nature. And this will be the way to win honour in your art. HOW, IN IMPORTANT 4WORKS, A MAN 7SHOULD NOT 9TRUST ENTIRELY TO HIS MEMORY WITHOUT CONDESCENDING TO DRAW FROM NATURE

As shown words 9,7,4 form the message TRUST SHOULD WORKS, which when reformed backwards illuminates the message WORKS SHOULD TRUST

Continuing on from the 1495 theme there is only one death that would have benefitted Da Vinci, Alfonso II of Naples. Not only is there speculation that he secretly wed Alfonsos widow Isabel, but there is also speculation that the Mona Lisa is also Isabel. Italian researcher Silvano Vinceti, president of the Italian National Committee for Historical, Cultural and Environment Heritage, claims he has found the letter "S" in the woman's left eye, the letter "L" in her right eye, and the number "72" under the arched bridge in the backdrop of Leonardo da Vinci's famous painting. If this is true then what does SL 72 mean? Vinceti said the "S'' might refer to a woman in the Sforza dynasty that ruled Milan. Leonardo spent time there between 1482-1499 and then between 1506-1507, Vinceti said, which might change the date of when the painting was begun. Vinceti said the letter on the painting is drawn in the same way Leonardo did in his writings. The letter "L'' is for Leonardo, he said. Vinceti and his group of historians and researchers are currently studying documents and making cross-references about Leonardo's movements and possible models. He said they expect to come up with a name for the model within weeks. The number "72," Vinceti argues, is found in the Kabbalah, a form of Jewish mysticism, and in Christianity. Even when considered separately, "7'' is full of symbolic associations in both Judaism and Christianity, for example to the creation of the world, and the number "2'' may be a reference to the duality of male and female, said Vinceti. The truth of what SL 72 actually means is more simpler then Silvano Vinceti believes: Ezekiel 7:2 - Son of man, this is what the Sovereign LORD says to the land of Israel: The end! The end has come upon the four corners of the land!. SL actually stands for Sovereign Lord while 72 refers to a passage in The Book of Ezekiel, proving that Da Vinci was actually using The Jewish Prophets work as a coding system himself. So is there anything else on the rest of the painting that contains hidden messages? Let me start by saying that after several years of research there definitely is.


It was only in 2012 that I discovered these dice had a specific meaning to the three people on the crosses, but what the numbers 1,6 and 4 meant actually surprised me. These three numbers are used to represent cards in tarot major arcana.

First Cross

At the foot of the first cross is a woman dressed in blue symbolizing purity; The Virgin Mary; Virgin and Child; The Immaculate Conception, therefore we can deduce that this woman is Mary the mother of Jesus, and therefore the man on this cross is Jesus.

The angel to the left of him is holding a small female child in her hands, probably representing the alleged child of Jesus. It is also interesting to note that above the Magicians head is a symbol representing infinity.

Second Cross

At the foot of the second cross is a scarlet woman symbolizing greediness and lust. It also denotes sin; sins of mankind, original sin; temptation, Judas, Harrowing of Hell, The Fiery Furnace, Slaughter of the Innocents, Apocalypse. This woman is Mary Magdalene. But what does she have to do with John and The Lovers Tarot Card? Firstly it is alleged that perhaps John didnt write one of the gospels, and instead Mary Magdalene herself wrote it. However, significantly it perhaps may mean that John The Baptist and Mary Magdalene were lovers. While this is just speculation it does ask a third question, and that is was the child Mary Magdalene gave birth to really Jesus offspring? If not then that opens up another Pandoras box with a multitude of possibilities. This child, the rose child in my belief is so called because Jesus (or perhaps John depending on your perception of things) is represented by the color white and Mary Magdalene by the color red, mixing these two colors together gives pink, and pink in French is Rose.

Third Cross

At the foot of the third and last cross is this particularly poignant figure of a woman dress in the regalia of a nun. In 1495 when this picture was painted Maximilian I was Holy Roman Emperor.

The woman on the extreme right is carrying a closed red book, which from earlier discovers is set to mean a master, the crown on top however adds extra meaning to it, probably conferring the title royal master. The cross in her hand is a Patriarchal cross was given to Saint Stephen by the pope as the symbol of the apostolic Kingdom of Hungary. The King of Hungary at the time was Vladislaus II of Bohemia and Hungary(also known as Ladislaus Jagiellon). The wife of the King was Beatrice of Aragon aunt of Isabella of Aragon. If the woman in the picture is indeed Beatrice of Argon then perhaps the pregnant women is Isabella of Aragon and the man on the cross is either Gian Galeazzo Sforza, her first husband or her father-in-law Ludovico Sforza, the man who commissioned The Last Supper. If this is the case, then the child she is carrying belongs to someone else for her husband died on 21 October 1494 and that leaves only one person. Leonardo Da Vinci himself. Furthermore the two symbols in right hand, a heart and a white honeysuckle, are both used to represent word love, both proving an illicit liaison between Da Vinci and Isabella of Aragon. Before summing up I want to briefly look at one more thing in this undervalued painting.

Circled in the painting above are two buildings. Although Im not entirely 100% on the actual building itself it is my belief that they are in fact the Santa Maria delle Grazie (Milan). Covered by two Dominican Monks, each building has in front of it a honeysuckle flower used to represent love. It is known that the first marriage of Gian Galeazzo Sforza and Isabella of Aragon was conducted at the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, therefore we can probably deduce the her

second, clandestine marriage, to Da Vinci was conducted at the same place, and thats why there are two buildings with honeysuckle in front of them. Conclusion In conclusion it is safe to state that Leonardo Da Vinci had a secret apprentice, Giovanni Donato da Montorfano. After all why are the majority of secret symbols in The Crucifixion, not The Last Supper? It is also safe to assume that Da Vinci married Isabella of Aragon who is believed to be the model for the Mona Lisa (perhaps he called Isabel, Lisa). As for the secrets themselves, Da Vincis notebooks, The Vitruvian Man, Canis Major, John, Mary Magdalene, Tarot Cards, it is prevalent to say that Da Vinci indeed was a master, a master of clandestine knowledge.