Pieter Bruegel the Elder – Netherlandish Proverbs/The Blue Cloak
Bruegel’s piece at first seems to depict a grand scene of chaos. Closer inspection however quickly reveals that almost all of the action in the painting literally translates to a Dutch proverb or idiom; many of which exists today and have english translations, such as the gentleman who is ‘Banging his head against a brick wall’. See how many you can find, or check this video for a guided tour of Bruegel’s Netherlandish Proverbs.
Al Hirschfeld and Nina
After the birth of his daughter Nina, famous caricaturist Al Hirschfeld began hiding her name in his portraits and drawings. Often hiding more than one, the actual number of hidden ‘Nina’s’ would be denoted by a numeral placed next to the artists signature. Hirschfeld briefly ceased hiding the name in his drawings, only to receive a mountain of mail insisting, pleading, and even demanding that he continued to indulge in this “harmless insanity”.
Raphael, Pearls, and Myrtle Bushes
It is suspected that Raphael’s engagement to Maria Bibbiena, Cardinal Medici Bibbiena’s niece, was loveless, and more an act necessity due to the Cardinals power and influence. Arguably his real love was Margherita Luti, the daughter of a Baker who posed as a model for a few portraits.Raphael is said to have declared his love and hidden marriage vows in these works by including in them Myrtle bushes (a sign of love and matrimony) and pearls (Margartia being a Latin word for pearl).
Michelangelo – The Creation of Adam
This particular fresco forms part of the Sistine Chapel Ceiling, and it is suspected that it conceals Michelangelo’s fascination with human anatomy. The floating figures of God and his angels form a near perfect cross section of a human brain.
Leonardo da Vinci – The Last Supper
A Committed computer technician and musician claims that da Vinci’s work ‘The Last Supper’ contains a secret musical score. Intentional or not, it is arguable that both the loaves of bread on the table, and the hands of Jesus and his Apostles, each represent a musical note. Check out the possible secret score here.
Toblerone, Bern, and Bears.
Toblerone chocolate was created by Theodor Tobler in Bern, Switzerland. Many of us can recognise the logo of the mountain, which is in fact the Matterhorn of Tobler’s Switzerland, but you might not have noticed the silhouette of a bear within the Matterhorn- we most definitely didn’t. This is a tribute to the city of Bern itself, where the local legend reads that the founder of the town would name it after the first animal he hunted. The bear has also been featured on the city’s coat of arms (which is fucking rad) since about 1220.