MELENCOLIA SECRETS-What is a BOAT doing in the Magic Square?- Part 14

Copyright Dr. Elizabeth Garner and Gary Hind, July 29, 2014, All Rights Reserved

The Magic Square in Melencolia has captured everyone’s imagination for centuries.  Originally the Duerer’s created the 9 in the Magic Square “backwards” and we know this because one surviving copy of this first state print is preserved in the British Museum. You can see this backwards 9 in this collage on the left hand side:

Durer Albrecht 9 Magic Square Melencolia british museum
The backwards “9” in the Magic Square

Originally it was thought that Albrecht was merely fixing a huge mistake he had made in the copperplate by engraving this 9 backwards.  But in fact he purposefully made the backwards 9 wrong so he could “fix” it and encode messages no one would discover until now. You can find more about the Magic Square and it’s purpose at What’s the Real Secret of the Magic Square


Below is an enlargement of what is actually on the square that the 9 occupies in Melencolia:

Durer Albrecht boat ships Nuremberg Renaissance magic square
The boat in the magic square

Amazingly, there is much encoding in this tiny portion of the 9 pane in the Magic Square. Today we will explore what the portion of this pane outlined in the blue box, with the red and yellow arrows pointing to significant encoding.


The red arrow points to another boat, the fourth, found in this print on the right side of the print (which indicates the past).  The yellow arrow points to a face that is sitting in this boat with a jewish star on it’s head, indicating that this child in this boat is Jewish.  The boat, like most of the others, is pointed towards the left side of the print (the future).

WHAT DO THESE FOUR BOATS MEAN?  AND WHY DID ALBRECHT (and we can tell that Albrecht did this encoding, more on that in another article) PLACE THIS BOAT UNDER THE 9 OF THE MAGIC SQUARE?

More to come.


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