You Won’t Believe The Mysteries These Paintings Hide Behind Them

By THP Team


You Won’t Believe The Mysteries These Paintings Hide Behind Them

There’s something about mystery and secret messages that gets us each and every time. Writers have been doing it for centuries but painters top ‘em all. For example- The Girl with a Pearl Earring. Turns out, there never was a pearl earring in the first place.

The realm of art is eternal and so is decoding hidden messages behind each canvas. The History Pictures brings to you five paintings that carry with them a little some thing to thrill the art geek within you.

1. Young Woman Powdering Herself by Georges Seurat camouflages in it the painter’s self portrait

A French post-Impressionist painter, Seurat was known for his painting techiniques called chromoluminarism and pointillism. He was known to manage two of the most paradoxical qualities a painter can have. An extreme sense of delicate sensibility on one hand and a sharp, precise mathematical mind on the other. Seurat was a reserved man and kept his personal life to himself. So it was very obvious for people to not know that the woman in this painting depicts the painter’s mistress namely, Madeleine Knobloch. Seurat probably painted this out of love because the flower vase you see in the painting camouflages the painter’s self-portrait. Initially, Seurat drew himself in the window, looking at his girl with love and admiration. It was only after his death that the fact came out.  Another important painting that Seurat gave to the world was “ A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte which altered the direction of modern art by introducing Ne-impressionism in the world of art.

2. Salvador Dali or Sadistic Dali?

Dali is known to the world as one of the most eccentric artists to have ever walked the earth. Figure at a Window was painted by Dali when he was 21. The painting depicts his sister, Anna Maria. She would pose for his paintings till Dali met the muse and love of his life, Gala. But the relationship of the brother and sister started to corrode over the years. Things worsened when Dali in one pf his paintings wrote- “Sometimes I spit at the portrait of my mother and it gives me satisfaction.”

Years passed by but Anna Maria could not forgive Dali for this eccentric and rather loud insult of their mother and in 1949 she published a book Salvador Dali, Seen Through the Eyes of His Sister. The book contained neither admiration nor praise and it made Dali furious. So, in 1954, he did a painting called Young Virgin Auto-Sodomized by the Horns of Her Own Chastity that resembles Figure at a Window. It is said that this painting was Dali’s revenge on his sister for her book.

3. Who is the Woman at a Window by an unknown artist

The canvas Woman at a Window that belongs to an unknown painter, is stored in the National Gallery of London. The painting was sent for restoration in 1978 and interestingly during the procedure, experts found out that there was one more layer under the primer coat. The woman depicted isn’t a brunette but a blonde and she has different eyes and clothing. The painting was probably corrected to match the values of 19th century. Owing to some other details like her ample bust, sideward glance, etc, it is indicated that the girl in the first portrait is a courtesan. Such paintings were common during the medieval age when two different ideas of pre and post Renaissance took over the reigns of art and literature in the world.

On the left, is a photo of the canvas during restoration where the primer coat can be seen. On the right side, is the canvas after the restoration.

4. Raffaello Santi was quite a friend.

School of Athens by Raffaello Santi is one of the most famous Renaissance masterpieces that hides within it a lot of surprises. Images of great thinkers and scientists have been embodied by the painter and not just that, Raphael pays homage to his friends as well. For example, he copied the appearance of Heraclitus, an ancient Greek philosopher, from Michelangelo Buonarroti (1), the philosopher Plato resembles Leonardo da Vinci (2), while the facial features of Raphael himself can be seen in the image of Apelles — an ancient Greek painter. Do you hear his friends screaming- our friend v/s yours!

5. The Girl with a Pearl Earring or not?

One of the greatest painters the Dutch gave to the world, Johannes Vermeer was a painter that portrayed the domestic interior scenes of the middle class on his canvas. He was never acknowledged as a great painter in his life time. It was 300 years later that Gustav Waagen finally gave him the credit that was due for 3 decades. He is now considered as one of the greatest painters of the Dutch Golden Age. After a recent study of the most famous painting by Johannes Vermeer, it turns out that there was no pearl earring whatsoever. The depicted pearl is too big to be natural and is probably an artificial pearl made of Venetian glass, tin or mother-of-pearl. If looked carefully, you wont find no loop that connects the ear and the earring or so to say, the decorative piece. We don’t know and might never know what Vermeer intended in the first place. Hence, the question remains.


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