Text copyright © Aug 7, 2012 Dr. Elizabeth A. Garner, All Rights Reserved
BUY THE BOOK! CRIMES IN THE ART: THE SECRET CIPHER OF ALBRECHT DÜRER
Welcome to the world of “All Things Albrecht Dürer.” My name Is Elizabeth Garner, and I’m an Independent Art Historian.
Through a strange twist of fate, I became passionate about the life and art of Albrecht Dürer in 2006. Never in my wildest dreams would I ever imagine that I would discover mysteries and secrets hidden in Albrecht Dürer’s paintings, woodcuts, engravings, and etching prints that contradict most of information ever published by this genius of the Renaissance.
I intend to blog about the journey that I have been through in finding the secrets Albrecht Dürer encoded in his art and to discuss the implications that this new information has on the interpretation of history as we choose to understand it. Often this will take us to discover aspects of Renaissance life that is rarely investigated and reveal secrets that have been buried in the past, some by accident, and some on purpose. I also wish that this site will become a resource for students who study Albrecht Dürer, and for all those who love art in general. But most of all, I wish that this site will become a haven to reveal the truth about the life and times of Albrecht Dürer so that the true brilliance of this scientist and mathemetician can be appreciated as he intended us to do.
On April 13, 2007, I discovered an extraordinary characteristic of the artist’s practice. While inspecting the 1498 engraving known as The Promenade (The Young Couple Threatened by Death), which you see below:
The 1498 Promenade engraving
I found a mysterious hidden encoded message never discovered before. An enlargement of this hidden code follows:
A Closeup of the Promenade Neckline Code
What you are looking at is the following embedded in the neckline: N “ROSETTE” O R I C A S.
Because Dürer had used the masculine form of the word NORICUS, as a type of signature in 1511 and had placed this word as part of the inscription found on the tablet in his 1504 Adam and Eva print, scholars assume this word means “of Nuremberg.” But this discovery negated that interpretation, for the woman’s headdress already distinctly identified her as a woman of Nuremberg. Hiding the word NORICAS would have been a duplicative effort.No, this was an actual hidden code!
Profound questions about Dürer’s art arose that were never before explored:
- Why hide a coded message, and what was its meaning?
- Were there more hidden encoded messages in other prints or paintings?
- Who were intended to receive and understand the coded message(s), and who were not? Were the buyers aware of these hidden messages when they purchased?
- Was there a pattern to these coded messages?
- Did this explain why Dürer’s strange compositions were successful when they appeared economically unviable?
- With the scrutiny to which Dürer’s prints had been subjected for more than 500 years, why had no one found this before?
I set out to find answers. Those answers will be featured in my future blogs.
I look forward to discussing this and other amazing secrets with all of you!