What you see in front of you in the red box is the monogram that was painted on the picture of Lot and his Family Fleeing Sodom painted on the back of Dürer’s 1498 Haller Madonna, which he was commissioned to do after the publication of The Apocalypse. As I have indicated in a previous article, the meanings of both the Haller Madonna and Lot Fleeing Sodom can not be fully understood until all the clues and encoded messages in both paintings are fully understood and are decoded as one connected thematic single message.
I have yet to find any researcher who has paid any attention to this incredibly odd Dürer monogram and it speaks volumes about how many Dürer’s were involved in making this oil painting. It is like no other Dürer monogram but it IS definitely a Dürer monogram because of how it is constructed.
Let’s take a look at some of Dürer monograms in his career.
From these examples we can see that Dürer always started with some sort of crossbar on the type of the “A” for Albrecht that extended on both sides. Next, he always used a second crossbar across the “A” on the inside, and never extending beyond the right leg of the “A” and it was usually very close to the top primary crossbar so that the “D” or “d” would fit within the “A.” Sometimes he had to squish his monogram to get a date also onto the tablet, the rock, scroll or whatever he used to include his monogram . The monogram dated 1523 comes from his 1523 woodcut of his own personal coat of arms that he had made for sale.
Dürer began to use his now famous monogram in 1495, as a Meister having returned from Venice after fleeing bubonic plague in Nuremberg in August 1494. Prior to that, he signed drawings usually with a “A” placed next to a small “d.” In the earliest engraving with a monogram, the Virgin with the Dragonfly (or Locust), it’s with a small “d” within a capital “A.” Thus undated drawings that actually have a monogram are considered to have been produced after 1495 and those with mere initials before 1495. While this whole issue of analyzing stylistic differences of Dürer’s monograms may sound like counting the number of angels that dance on the head of pin, it’s actually very critical to attribution of real Dürer’s from fake ones. Nothing stopped the crooks from adding spurious monograms to hopefully jack up the prices for a particular Dürer drawing or print throughout the ages.
Of course, no researcher took into consideration the four prints where the “D” under the “A” was backwards and posited a theory for that while at all times accepting those prints as authentic Dürers.
There is another “group” of Dürer monograms that are known as “tossed monograms, being called “tossed” from various German word translations, basically for sloppiness or slipshod. An example of this would be the small “d” placed on the crossbar of the “A.” At this date most deny that the tossed monograms are valid, but as always, researchers argue back and forth about these tossed monograms for reputations or publication reasons. Most of these researchers believe these tossed monograms belong to Dürer’s apprentices.
So lets’s start looking at the symbols that are in this monogram “conglomeration.” These images have been taken from the biggest enlargement of the picture of Lot and his Family that I could find, then these sections have also been enlarged to the point that pixilation does not occur. We are obviously once again dealing with microencoding.
We will start on the right side of the image.
If you look at where the top yellow arrow is pointing, you will see an eyeball of either a dragon or a horse. The dragon would have been part of Dürer’s coat of arms and if it’s a horse, that would also indicate the Hungarian Dürers, since the Hungarian family raised horses and cattle (which we know from the 1502 print Nemesin). The bottom of the horse or dragon’s mouth ends at the small red box , where there appears to be either a coat of arms or a face or perhaps the open mouth of the animal. You have to give yourself a moment to get your eyes accustomed to this micro encoding, it’s not easy, and it wasn’t for me.
The second yellow arrow is pointing at the head of a figure that hangs below the horse or dragon and whose body appears to drape around as if it was a mermaid or some similar type of figure, which is denoted by the purple circle. Finally, in the green oval, there appears to be a shadow which suggests either a knife or an artists’s cutting tool (a woodblock cutting tool or an engraving burin cutting tool). And on this knife or tool, there appears to be a face or this is part of the tool.
So let’s look at the unannotated monogram again realize where the horse or dragon, etc lies in relationship to the monogram itself to focus on the left side with the “A” and the “d” and something else.
Notice that the top crossbar extends across far on the right as normal but is very short on the left side, barely extending over the left side. The second crossbar is what is extraordinary; it’s the only second crossbar that extends past the right leg of the “A” that exists even though it is shorter than the top crossbar. This is very significant. And then there appears to be even a third crossbar, which has never been found in any other monogram and this crossbar is part of the small “d,” which is not directly under the “A” but is connected to the right leg of the “A.”
This “d” is similar to the “d” that is found int he 1505 Satyr Family sideways on the tree limb on the right side of the print right above the tablet hanging off the tree
You can see this annotated below. The monogram is outlined in the blue box. The top yellow arrow points to the top crossbar of the “A.” The second yellow arrow points to the second crossbar. The extension of the second crossbar is circled in red and the end of it, which is shorter than the top crossbar is indicated by the purple arrow. The third yellow arrow points to the possible third crossbar. The small “d” connected to the right leg of the “A” is outlined in the orange box.
In other words, this monogram is indicating that THREE Dürer’s were involved in making this painting and that these three Dürers are actually represented as Lot and his two daughters. Lot is Albrecht, the small “d” attached to the right leg of the “A” represents Dürer’s co-artist, his sister Margret, and the extension on the second crossbar indicates the third person involved in producing this painting.
More to come about Lot and his family.
BUY THE BOOK! CRIMES IN THE ART: THE SECRET CIPHER OF ALBRECHT DÜRER
Copyright by Dr. Elizabeth Garner, all rights reserved worldwide, September 20, 2013