Following the example of the "drowned
man" and the famous "kite"
were discovered, at the start of the 20th century, embedded in the robe
that covers the Virgin in the work: The
Virgin and Child with St. Anne, I
assert that I have found
other hidden "compositions" in his more famous works. Just
Leonardo advises young painters (.....) I
have found "compositions" of men and monstrous things such as
devils (.....). And where did I find them? Where L. advises that they
can be concealed, they are found "in the limbs of animals and
countries, or rather rocks (mountains), plants and so forth". Consequently,
I maintain that here we are, in truth, dealing with facts concerning
Leonardo unpublished up to now. The
following is only one sample of my discoveries, a small part of my work,
which is comprised of some thirty pages of text pages and eighty files
of images, which include unpublished graphic, proofs and comparisons.
But, why have these hidden images not been discovered up to now?
Repeatedly, in the "Treatise on Painting" L. states that a
painter should introduce into his works all his scientific knowledge.
Leonardo in the last years went deeply into the study of optical
effects. How did he use these "scientific knowledge" in his
paintings? And in which ones?. Obviously, in those paintings executed at
the time he was undertaking these studies. For example in S. Anne and in
The Gioconda, (these were among the paintings that the artist in his latter years kept and carried
with him to France where he died). And how has L. used this scientific
knowledge, in the field of the optical effects, in the two previously
I have read a number of critiques of "The Gioconda". This work is defined as three dimensional, because of their two different plans of observation of the point of horizon, of the mountains that are painted azure to accentuate the distance. Also, it is a fact that in The Gioconda two columns, placed on either side of the painting that at first accentuated the three-dimensional effect, were eliminated. But, this was not enough. Many of the hidden images in Leonardo’s paintings remain hidden because he used authentic optical effects to hide them. In Leonardo’s work, in the famous "sfumato", it is easy to see other images, others human features, precisely because the contours of the figures are not sharply outlined. It is the observing eye that must fill out the shapes.
And how is it that I am able to recognize the incidental portrait among those intentionally concealed images? As the stain made by a sponge on a wall, saturated with different colors, splattered by the Botticella (that is, presumably the Botticelli). It is easy to see among the "rocks" (that is, the mountains) of the Leonardo’s landscapes "what one wants to find in them", in others words, accidental images. However, these images, "do not bring you to anything particular". However, by carefully looking over Leonardo’s purposefully hidden portraits, one can see that they all have distinctive features. These also have other characteristics in common. For example, in all of these portraits, the right eye is clearly defined, while the left eye is not evident, or is in profile. And therefore, in any case, only an eye is visible.
In all my research, I have used the PC, in order to check conclusions using scientific methodology. Also, all the facilities available in up-to-date graphics software's, have made it possible to arrive al those things I previously had to discover through observing reproductions of Leonardo’s paintings, or the originals in the Louvre. In some images, I have manipulated the contrasts, the lighting, or shadings of gray in order to “clean” the images of that murky “veil” created by the passing of the years. Or on the other hand, in these images, I have made areas stand out that are not supposed to be closely observed. This has all been done to facilitate one’s perception of these hidden images.
(The text and illustrations published at this site in reference to the graphic elaborations of St. Anne's work are exclusive property of the author. They may be used prior authorization of the author).