Find 700 years later: On the ancient Italian fresco, the hidden face of Satan was found
The Basilica of St. Francis in Italy has long attracted tourists and pilgrims from all over the world. The church was built shortly after the death of Francis of Assisi and his canonization – it is considered the cradle of the Franciscan order. However, now this masterpiece of architecture has become famous for the whole world by its sensational discovery. During the restoration of one of the basilicas dedicated to the death of the saint, experts saw the face of Satan on it.
Located in central Italy, the Basilica of St. Francis is a popular attraction not only in the town of Assisi, but also in the entire Italian region of Umbria. It exists here since the middle of the XIII century. The white temple with beautiful galleries and a bell tower is made in the Gothic style under the influence of Italian architecture. Particularly impressive are the famous frescoes by the great master Giotto di Bondone and his students, dedicated to the life of St. Francis.
During the earthquake of 1997, the temple, which for many centuries was a place of pilgrimage for Christians, was seriously damaged, and it took years to carry out thorough repair and restoration work. And recently, on one of the frescoes, decorated with the initials of Giotto, the restorers found a creepy find. This is a picture of more than 700 years ago and dedicated to the death of St. Francis.
Having subjected the fresco to a serious analysis, the restorers were confused: in the celestial clouds depicted on it, a face was found in which it was clearly guessed … Satan. The grinning face of a man with small horns, placed on a Christian fresco right under the images of the heavenly Angels, could hardly mean someone else. Since this eerie profile is hidden in the curls of clouds, for those who look at the fresco from below, it remains invisible, but upon close, detailed examination, the disgusting face “manifests.” It can be seen on the right side of the clouds in the middle of the fresco.
“This is a gruff portrait with a hooked nose, sunken eyes and two horns,” she explained in her article published in the journal St.Francis art history. “We can’t say what meaning the artist would give to the hidden image we still have to install. In the Middle Ages, it was believed that demons live in the sky and that they could impede the Ascension of human souls to Heaven – perhaps otgadku need to look in this direction. ”
It is known that some medieval artists used hidden signs in their works. However, it was believed that the first such “encrypted” in the clouds images appeared in Europe in the 1460s. One of the hidden “ciphers” is considered, for example, a rider on a white horse, “hidden” in the clouds behind the column in the painting by Saint Andreas Mantegna “Saint Sebastian” (1480-1455). However, the fresco of the temple in Umbria makes it possible to draw sensational conclusions: this technique began to be used at least 200 years earlier!
By the way, the practice of placing hidden figures or symbols in paintings was not uncommon in the Renaissance, especially in the works of religious art. Pictures of this era can often have several meanings that become clear only after careful study and contemplation.
The artist and architect Giotto di Bondone is considered one of the fathers of the Italian Renaissance. During his creative career, he painted frescoes (paintings made on wet plaster) in several different churches and cathedrals in Italy. This painter is best known for his portraits of St. Francis.
For art Giotto is characterized by strong styling and the use of very bright colors. He also became famous for the fact that, drawing from life, he tried to move away from the principle of two-dimensionality and worked to fill his paintings and people depicted with depth, movement, emotions. But the fact that this painter practiced the use of this kind of hidden characters, became known for the first time.
B continuation of the theme: 10 world-famous paintings, which are hidden secret symbols and messages.