Melencolia-Secrets of the Magic Square-The 2

Melencolia magic square durer albrecht monkey
The Magic Square “2” pane

Copyright Dr. Elizabeth Garner, Aug 6, 2014, All Rights Reserved

The magic square in Melencolia fascinates everyone and we have already seen this magic square begin to yield its secrets.  Now we will turn to each pane of the magic square and see what secrets might be hidden there:


What you see above is the “2” pane next to the  “3” pane of the magic square, across the top.  It looks like there is nothing remarkable in this pane once again.  And that’s where the genius of the Duerers once again becomes displayed.  Lets take a closer look at what is really in this pane:


Melencolia magic square surer albrecht monkey jews sea nautical sailors mariners
What is really in the “2” pane of the magic square

Much is hidden in this pane as we can see from the many number of arrows that point to the enciphering that is nautical or Jewish  in meaning, in keeping with what else we have found that refers to the sea, sailors, mariners and Jewish themes. Notice how this numeral is constructed in one continuous numeral, in contrast to the “3” pane, which was in two parts. Duerer was an expert in making numbers and letters, he wrote a manual in 1525 on how to do this, so why the difference?

The following are pointed to by the arrows:

1. The yellow arrows point to a nautical cotter pin; the top part of the pin rests against the numeral the open end is at the top, and the middle yellow arrow points to a band that is keeping the cotter pin shut

2. The  red arrow points to a monkey face, a very commonly used slur symbol used by Christians to represent Jews in medieval and Renaissance times. This is a symbol the Jews co-opted from the Christians and used this symbol in protest to the majority anti-semitism

3.  The green arrows point to two more symbols hidden against the left side pane, which is repetitive with the first two numerals across the top.  The lower arrow is pointing, once again, to a sea slug or sea snail, continuing the nautical theme of the print.

4. The blue arrow points to an object attached to the top of the of the numeral 2, which appears to be some sort of marine or sea animal because it has a flipper type tail.

5. The purple arrow is pointing to a jester, sitting on a face; this symbol has been used in other Duerer prints

6. The turquoise arrow is pointing to some animal with two arms sitting in some sort of triangular boat; we’ve seen this depiction in the magic square “9.”

More to come!


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