The Secrets of Leonardo da Vinci


Recently, a lot of books and articles have suggested that Leonardo da Vinci has been the leader of a secret society and has hidden obscure codes and messages in his works. Is it true?

Besides his role as a painter, scientist and inventor, was Leonardo da Vinci the keeper of a great secret, transmitted over the ages?

Ciphers and encryption

It is certain that Leonardo da Vinci was not alien to the use of codes and encryption. He wrote his notes in reverse, using mirror writing. So far, it is not clear why Leonardo did so.

It has been suggested that he would have feared that some of his inventions, with military applications, would be too destructive if he fell into the wrong hands. Therefore, they would have protected their notes by using this reverse-writing method.

Other scholars point out that this type of encryption is quite easy to decipher. Just keep the paper in front of the mirror so you can read it.

If Leonardo da Vinci used this method for security reasons, he probably wished to hide his writings only by the less educated.

Other historians have suggested that he used this reverse writing method because it seemed easier. Leonardo da Vinci was lefty, and writing was easier for him than for a right-hander, they speculate.

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The figure of Leonardo da Vinci continues to fascinate

Recently, it was suggested that Leonardo da Vinci would have invented a device called "criptex". A cryptex is a tube that has a series of rings on which the letters of the alphabet are engraved.

When the rings are rotated so that some letters form the cryptex password, one of the ends can be removed. Thus, the content (usually a papyrus wrapped on a glass of vinegar) can be pulled out.

If someone tried to reach the content by breaking the device, the bottle would break and the vinegar would dissolve the papyrus before it was read.

No matter how ingenious this device is, and even if Leonardo da Vinci seems to have invented it, cryptex is a fictitious device.

It was created by writer Dan Brown and attributed Leonardo in the novel The Da Vinci Code. There is no evidence that da Vinci would have designed or built such a device.

The Secrets of Leonardo da Vinci

Recently, a lot of books and articles have suggested that Leonardo da Vinci has been the leader of a secret society and has hidden obscure codes and messages in his works. Is it true?

Besides his role as a painter, scientist and inventor, was Leonardo da Vinci the keeper of a great secret, transmitted over the ages?

Ciphers and encryption

It is certain that Leonardo da Vinci was not alien to the use of codes and encryption. He wrote his notes in reverse, using mirror writing. So far, it is not clear why Leonardo did so.

It has been suggested that he would have feared that some of his inventions, with military applications, would be too destructive if he fell into the wrong hands. Therefore, they would have protected their notes by using this reverse-writing method.

Other scholars point out that this type of encryption is quite easy to decipher. Just keep the paper in front of the mirror so you can read it.

If Leonardo da Vinci used this method for security reasons, he probably wished to hide his writings only by the less educated.

Other historians have suggested that he used this reverse writing method because it seemed easier. Leonardo da Vinci was lefty, and writing was easier for him than for a right-hander, they speculate.

The figure of Leonardo da Vinci continues to fascinate

Recently, it was suggested that Leonardo da Vinci would have invented a device called "criptex". A cryptex is a tube that has a series of rings on which the letters of the alphabet are engraved.

When the rings are rotated so that some letters form the cryptex password, one of the ends can be removed. Thus, the content (usually a papyrus wrapped on a glass of vinegar) can be pulled out.

If someone tried to reach the content by breaking the device, the bottle would break and the vinegar would dissolve the papyrus before it was read.

No matter how ingenious this device is, and even if Leonardo da Vinci seems to have invented it, cryptex is a fictitious device.

It was created by writer Dan Brown and attributed Leonardo in the novel The Da Vinci Code. There is no evidence that da Vinci would have designed or built such a device.

The Mystery of Mone Lisa

Many are convinced that Leonardo painted symbols or secret messages in his works. People have analyzed his most famous painting, Mona Lisa, and have discovered various techniques and meanings hidden in the painting.

Da Vinci used his best arts tricks to create this painting. Many say the smile of the character in the picture haunts them.

Viewers often say that Mone Lisa's smile seems to change, although the paint with which she is painted is obviously still.

Professor Margaret Livingstone, from Harvard University, has an explanation for this unusual effect.

She says that Leonardo da Vinci painted the corners of her mouth so that they emerge from the focus area.

Thus, the corners of the mouth are better seen with the peripheral look than if we look straight at them. That's why some people say the portrait looks smile even when I do not look directly at it.

Another explanation

Another theory is proposed by Christopher Tyler and Leonid Kontsevich, from the San Francisco Oval Research Institute.

What two say the smile seems to change because of the varying level of random noise produced by the visual system.

If you close your eyes in a dark room, you will notice that not everything is black. The cells in your eyes generate a low level of background noise (small lights and dark dots).

Your brain usually filters these things, but Tyler and Kontsevich say that when you look at Mona Lisa, these little points can change the shape of the smile.

As evidence in support of their theory, the two put multiple sets of black dots over an image of Mone Lisa and showed it to the public.

Some sets made the expression look smile, others made it look sad. Tyler and Kontsevich claim that the inherent noise in the human visual system has the same effect.

When someone looks at the picture, the noise of his visual system adds some elements of the image and changes it. That's why the smile seems to change.

Self-portrait of the artist?

But why does Mona Lisa actually smile? Doctor Lillian Schwartz, from Bell Laboratories, came up with an idea that seems unlikely, but it's interesting.

She thinks the portrait smiles because the painter has played a show for the spectators. She claims that the painting does not portray a nice young woman, but is - in fact - a self-portrait of the artist.

Schwartz used a computer to align Mone Lisa's features with those of Leonardo da Vinci. The features fit perfectly.

However, other experts say this could be due to the fact that both portraits were painted by the same artist, using the same techniques.

The leader of a secret group?

It is supposed that Leonardo da Vinci was the leader of a secret group called the Priorion of Zion.

According to the da Vinci Code, the Priority's mission was to keep the secret of Mary Magdalene and her marriage to Jesus alive.

Although the da Vinci Code is a work of fiction, it is based on the theories of a controversial non-fiction book, titled Holy Blood, Holy Grail.

The volume was written by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln in the early 1980s.

Holy Grail, Holy Grail speaks of the evidence that Leonardo da Vinci was a member of the Zion Priory. Evidence is several documents deposited at the National Library of Paris.

The Priorion of Zion, a hoax

There is some evidence that there was a monastic order with this name in 1116 BC, but there is no evidence that this order would have anything to do with the 20th-century Zion Priory.

Documents in the National Library that support the theory of the existence of the Zion Priory are real. But they seem to be part of a scam set by a man named Pierre Plantard in the 1950s.

Plantard and a group of friends who had anti-Semitic and extreme right inclinations set up the Zion Priory.

By manufacturing and planting documents, including false genealogies, Plantard seems to have wanted to prove that he was a descendant of the Merovingians and heir to the throne of France.

The document that portrayed Leonardo (alongside other enlightened minds such as Boticelli and Isaac Newton) as a great master of the Priority was also a fake.

The fact that Leonardo da Vinci was not, in fact, the great master of a secret society should not diminish his admiration for him.

His works have inspired millions of people over the centuries and contain elements that experts are still trying to explain.

In addition, his experiments and inventions prove he is an advanced thinker, whose explorations have gone much farther than his contemporaries.

The secret of Leonardo da Vinci is that he was a genius that few people in his century knew to value him.

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