The purpose of this site is for commentary on news relating to Holy Grail studies. The Grail takes as many forms as there are people interested in it. As such there are many tangent lines of interest that touch on the differing theories of the Grail. The views in this blog are my own. Please feel free to enter your comments on what is presented.
Key to the Sacred Pattern
08 August 2007
Mirror Image Overlay of Poussin's Shepherds at Arcadia
It would seem that my OCD knows no end. I’ve been e-mailing back and forth the last few days with Derek Bair about his book Discovering Da Vinci’s Daughter. Hopefully, I’ll be able to chat with Derek later this week about how he was the actual discoverer of the Da Vinci mirror images, and not Slavisa Pesci.
In thinking about conducting this interview, my inner muse must have been working overtime. The mirror image of artwork theory set does have its problems as well as the intriguing results many of us have seen. The basic problem with the mirror over lay theory is that of technology. How Da Vinci or anyone else could, create such a complex hidden message on a fresco or canvas without the aid of transparent overlays or Photoshop?
Well I don’t really have a good answer for this. I have a half-baked-untested first come to mind answer. The use of a two-way mirror comes to mind. Given the right lighting conditions, one can get a visual feedback on a two way mirror. Could Da Vinci have set a two way mirror in front of the works in question and created a ghostly overlay image on the back of the mirror? Thus giving him a way to paint the hidden information in, and a way to for an initiate to extract said hidden images?
It sounds far fetched, but like I said it’s a first come to mind answer. The biggest problem with this theory is that I haven’t been able to recreate it and the first known two-way mirror was patented in 1903 by Emil Bloch. By the time I had done some digging on this end of the theory, something else rattled loose in the back of my head.
The litany of “mirror-image, paintings, mirror image, paintings” soon turned into a thought of a very famous Grail mystery related painting that does have a mirror image related to it. I almost smacked myself for not thinking of it before now. I’m sure that given some of the comments this article might foster, I will smack myself for going on this particular limb.
At Shugborough Hall in Staffordshire, England rests a monument depicting Poussin’s Shepherds at Arcadia painting in mirror image. The common theory is that the monument’s image was produced in mirror image because it was copied from an engraving. What if that isn’t the reason at all, and it’s yet another clue to deciphering the paintings secrets? What if the monument alludes to this business of looking at Shepherd’s at Arcadia with the mirror image overlay?
Here’s the original painting(click to enlarge)
Here’s the mirror image overlay using a mirror image overlay with the mirror image’s transparency being reduced by 50%. (click to enlarge)
Here’s what I’m seeing. A heart in the center of the tomb, with possibly wings and a chalice at the top. (click to enlarge)
Is it something or is it nothing? Is it the resolution and wishful thinking that have produced something that looks like a heart at the tomb’s center? I didn't even mention the Green Man I saw peaking out of the trees above the tomb. Or could there be something to mirror image overlay theory? As in all things, I’ll let you be the judge.