Famous pieces of art are more than just beautiful paintings. Even though they are instantly recognizable, many of them contain secret meaning, unsolved riddles and even hidden images between the layers of oil and varnish.
1 – Salvador Dali, Figure At Window
Created in 1925, when Dali was just 21 years old. Before his wife, Gala came into artist’s life, Dali’s sister Ana Maria served as a main source of inspiration for the artist. The siblings had a lot of disagreements between them and as time passed, their relationship worsened. In 1949 Ana Maria wrote a book about her brother “Salvador Dali through the eyes of his sister”. Artist was very upset about it and few years later, in 1954, he painted the ’Young Virgin Autosodomized by her Own Chastity,’ which is believed to be a revenge for the book Ana Maria wrote.
2 – Two Faced Danae
Back in the 60-x, an X-ray of the famous picture revealed a huge secret. While the original version of the painting has the face of Rembrandt’s wife Saskia, after her death in 1642 the artist changed the face into the face of Geertje Dircx, who was artist’s lover. Ancient goddess Danae was known for having relationship with Zeus, and maybe in this way Rembrandt mirrored his own affair in one of his paintings.
3 – Vincent van Gogh’s Yellow Bedroom
Van Gogh used to rent a small studio in Arles, the south of France where he was hiding from critics and artists. He started to work on his “Bedroom in Arles” and chose the color palette to symbolize comfort and security. However specialists believe there was another reason the artist chose such an unusual color scheme.While painting this piece, he was taking digitalis that helped him fight his epilepsy. This drug makes it very difficult to perceive colour. That’s why the surroundings appear to be yellow and green.
4 – Mona Lisa
The artwork is known for its perfection and mystery. According to Joseph E. Borkowski, an American art specialist who was also a dentist part time, the original woman didn’t have many teeth. He even managed to find some scars around Mona Lisa’s mouth by zooming in the work.
“[The Mona Lisa] wears an expression common to people who have lost their front teeth. A close-up of the lip area shows a scar that is not unlike that left by the application of blunt force.”
5 – Pavel Fedotov,’’Major’s Betrothal’
The masterpiece caused a hilarious reaction of the audience once it was presented to the public. Fedotov added many small details and ironic elements that only people of that era would understand. For example, the bride put on the evening dress during the day time, while the major didn’t follow the etiquette of bringing some flowers to the bride and her mother.
6 – Ferdinand Victor Eugène Delacroix, ’Liberty Leading the People’
According to art specialists, Delacroix was inspired to paint Freedom by the revolutionary laundress Anna -Charlotte, who ran into barricades after her brother’s death and killed nine guards. Why artist depicted her with a nude chest? According to Delacoix, open chest is a symbol of courage and dedication, as well as the triumph of democracy.
7 – Kazimir Malevich, ’Black Square’
The mystery of the Black Square has been viral for years. But it turns out, that the square is actually neither black nor square, as none of the sides are parallel to each other nor the frame edges. The black color which we see is actually the result of mixture of many different colors, while none of them was black. Specialists believe that the work was crafted this way in order to create a dynamic, mobile form rather than negligence of the artist.
8 – Old Fisherman
Created by Hungarian artist Csontváry Kosztka Tivadar in 1902. While from the first sight it seems quite usual, artist managed to imply something special though this work which remained unnoticed until his death. But after, only few people thought of putting a mirror in the middle of the painting, and as a whole it is meant to symbolize that every person has God (the right shoulder of the fisherman), and the Devil (the left shoulder of the fisherman) within themselves.
9 – Gustav Klimt, ’Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I’
Kimt depicted the wife of the Austrian sugar magnate Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer in his famous painting. At that time all Vienna was discussing the affair between artist and the muse, Adele. The offended husband wanted to take a revenge, but did it in a quite strange way. He ordered Adele’s portrait and made Klimt create hundreds of sketches in hope that artist will get tired of the woman. And he did achieve his goal. The painting was finished in four years and by that time lovers had long grown cold to each other. However the wife never knew that her husband was aware of the affair.
10 – Paul Gauguin, ’Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?’
The world famous picture has to be read from right to left, like the kabbalistic texts, which artist was very interested in. It is an allegory of a man’s spiritual and physical life.
Artist was working on this painting while his stay in Tahiti, where he escaped from civilization. But this escape brought nothing else to artist but severe depression. He even tried to commit a suicide, but failed. However in 1898 he finally felt the forgotten thirst for life and entered a new, successful stage in his career.