10 Mysteries About Famous Icons That’ll Leave Your Mouth Wide Open
Michelangelo sculpture called David is a perfect example of anatomy but it has one anomaly. The way the Mona Lisa looks today is very different in comparison to its original version. There are many details that are hidden from us until you start looking deeper.
We at Bright Side love both mysteries and art and would like to share with you 10 curious findings.
1. The Mona Lisa once had eyebrows.
We know the Mona Lisa without eyebrows and eyelashes. It even became the most recognizable thing about this painting, aside from the smile. But not very long ago Parisian engineers found out that, originally, the Mona Lisa had both eyebrows and lashes. 240-megapixel scans revealed traces of the Mona Lisa’s left brow that were obliterated by restoration efforts.
2. The Great Sphinx of Giza has a tail.
This stunning piece of art is commonly known for its front with the head and the paws. Actually, a Sphinx is a mythical creature with the head of a human, a falcon, a cat, or a sheep and the body of a lion with the wings of an eagle.
The sculpture by itself measures 73 m (240 ft) long and it has a pretty long tail.
3. Café Terrace at Night, from Vincent van Gogh, has a hidden message.
One of the theories suggests that van Gogh intended this painting to be a uniquely innovative Last Supper. As proof, in the painting, you can see 12 people while dining drenched in a yellow halo.
4. The statue of David has an anomaly with its eyes.
Michelangelo’s David is a masterpiece of human anatomy, but there is one anomaly. The right eye looks straight forward while the left eye appears to be looking out to the left. Michelangelo probably calculated every angle and carved out the eyes counting on the position of the viewer, so the statue would look perfect from different sides.
5. There is a secret apartment at the top of the Eiffel Tower.
The Eiffel Tower also has its own secrets. Gustave Eiffel designed a private apartment for himself at the top of the building. Once Eiffel invited Edison there so his friend could present him with one of his phonographs, a new invention.
Besides the secret room, there is a secret bunker below the tower’s south pillar which then goes underground.
6. Madame X’s straps were painted in a different way.
Painting Madame X is known for a small scandal that happened because of her straps. The way you can see the artwork nowadays wasn’t supposed to be this way. Originally one strap of her gown had fallen down on her right shoulder, suggesting the possibility of further revelation.
The public didn’t like this revealing detail and Sargent painted over the shoulder strap to raise it up so it looks more securely fastened.
7. Number 7 could mean a lot to the creators of the Statue of Liberty.
The Statue of Liberty has 7 spikes on its crown that may represent the 7 seas and 7 continents of the world. Besides that, number 7 is hidden in other details.
There are 16 leaves on the torch. If you add numbers 1 and 6, you will get 7.
Also, there are 25 windows. 2+5=7.
8. There was no ermine in Leonardo Da Vinci’s painting.
This could be funny, but the painting Lady with an Ermine originally didn’t have an ermine. Research showed that Leonardo da Vinci kept changing his mind. Reflective light technology revealed several layers. The artist painted one portrait without the ermine and 2 with different versions of the fur.
9. Ancient Greek sculptures were colored.
We’ve gotten used to associating classical Greek sculptures with white marble. Turns out there is evidence that many statues were painted in colors. With time the colors were weathered off and removed during cleaning. Some small traces remained so it’s possible to identify which colors were used and where.
10. Old Fisherman has a riddle inside.
If you have ever seen the painting by Tivadar Csontváry Kosztka called Old Fisherman, you could sense its mysterious tone. Moreover, you can try to mirror the left and then the right part. You will see totally different faces — an old man and a devil.
Which mysteries of famous artworks do you know about? Which artworks with secrets have you seen with your own eyes?