Decoding Western art's buried messages
London (CNN) -- Dan Brown's "The Da Vinci Code" encouraged amateur "symbologists" everywhere to scan their favorite paintings for secret codes -- but the practice has been going on for centuries.
From the inscrutable prehistoric cave drawings inside the Chauvet Caves in Southern France to the abstract paintings of Jackson Pollock, artists have kept the intentions and significance of their work close to their chests.
Famously opaque paintings include Bronzino's 1545 work "An Allegory with Venus and Cupid," which contains allegorical figures even scholars aren't able to decipher.
Still, historians often discover hidden images, symbols and texts in works of art.
CNN World's Treasures selects examples of such discoveries -- some reputable, others outlandish....
comments powered by Disqus
- Richard III Really Ate and Drank Like a King
- Where’s the one place in the world where nobody’s messed with WW II relics?
- Secrets of the Clinton Library
- Beloit College is out with its annual list of what freshman know ... Tiny Tim? Carl Sagan? Forget about it.
- India Bans Indira Gandhi Assassination Film
- A prominent historian of science dies and no one takes notice
- A pro-Hamas Left emerges among historians, complains Jeffrey Herf
- Classicist Mary Beard celebrated by the New Yorker as “The Troll Slayer”
- Ilan Pappé praised in Iran as a "prominent anti-Zionist Israeli historian and intellectual"
- It's hard to be an optimist today, but Juan Cole is