10 Hidden Signs That Show a New Side of Famous Paintings

4 years ago

Even years after they were finished, famous works of art continue to puzzle us. Their strange and unclear details have brought about plenty of speculation. However, through improved technology, we are ever closer to finding out the truth about many of these mysterious pieces.

Bright Side is here to share 10 secret details in famous paintings with you that we thought we already knew all about.

1. The music inside The Last Supper

Da Vinci’s work is famous for its hidden meanings and codes. A computer technician from Italy claims to have discovered the hidden hymn within The Last Supper by placing a musical note on top of each loaf of bread. What’s even more astonishing, is that when this tune is played back, it is in perfect musical harmony.

2. The missing whale

Due to the old age of some paintings, incredible details can sometimes escape the viewer. Scheveningen Sands is one these paintings which, prior to its restoration in 2014, gave the viewer no indication as to why a crowd had gathered on the beach. However, once the painting was cleaned from years of grime, it revealed a washed up whale.

3. Hidden artist self-portrait

Hiding self-portraits in their own work is not an uncommon thing for artists to do. Sometimes, however, it can take years before they are even discovered. After further analysis, experts were able to find this rare and unique self-portrait of Caravaggio himself hidden in one of his most famous works. The artist is shown sitting inside a wine carafe, painting on an easel.

4. The Greek myth behind the art

Wood’s seemingly idyllic painting of a farmer couple looks normal, until we take a closer look. The woman’s brooch is a picture of the Greek character Persephone, who was kidnapped by the king of the underworld Hades. It’s then no coincidence that the man holds a pitchfork similar to the one Hades is often depicted holding in classical art.

5. Imaginary flowers and plants

Artists impress us time and time again with how much detail they are able to put into their work. Botticelli’s La Primavera is no different. The painting shows 500 known species of plants drawn with incredible attention to detail. However, there are also species that continue to puzzle experts, that may be hybrids of existing ones or entirely made up.

6. Anatomy in Michelangelo’s work

Michelangelo was not only an excellent artist, but he was also a genius of anatomy. His work, The Creation of Adam, has often been the subject of speculation due to God’s cape resembling the shape of a human brain. It’s well-known that Michelangelo was not the greatest of fan of the church of his time, and may have intentionally added such a detail to get his revenge on the church.

7. The 2 faces of The Old Fisherman

Many paintings can trick the viewer’s eye if observed from a certain angle. Csontváry Kosztka’s work of an old fisherman tells the story of not one but 2 different characters once split in 2 and both sides are mirrored. On one hand there seems to be a pious man in prayer and on the other there’s a frightening figure resembling the Devil sailing in a stormy sea.

8. Aliens and hovering objects

The Madonna with Saint Giovannino is without a doubt one of the most mysterious paintings. Not only do experts still debate over who painted the piece, but it also has some suspiciously alien-looking details in it. A hovering object in its background with a man gazing up to it in surprise, has left many wondering whether the painter believed in life beyond Earth.

9. A modern last supper

Van Gogh’s Cafe Terrace at Night looks quite ordinary at first glance, but the thought and detail behind it are ingenious. Upon closer look, Van Gogh actually recreated the scene from The Last Supper, with the waiter in white standing in front of a window resembling a cross and surrounded by people on both sides.

10. A secret cameo by the Devil

During the restoration of Giotto’s frescos in a church in Italy’s Assisi, art restorers made an unexpected discovery: they found a face that looks like the Devil, hidden in the clouds of one of the fresco panels. Experts believe Giotto may have painted the face in there for his own amusement, or even to mock someone he was not in good relations with.

Which are your thoughts about these hidden secrets? Do you think the artists did them on purpose? Share your unusual theories with us in the comments!


I have only heard about The Old Fisherman, but I didn't know if it was true.
Of course they left them on purpose, such genius people never did anything without thinking through.
I'm glad that you told us about these secrets. It was quite interesting :)
You know, these people were not just super talented, they were geniuses!

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