Guests at the Last Supper?

This one’s more contemporary than my other posts, even if I am a little slow on the draw. It involves a recent claim by a guy who is variously described as a “computer analyst”, “amateur scholar” and “information technologist” (aka “a librarian”). Whatever he is, he’s called Slavisa Pesci, and he says that Da Vinci has hidden imagery within the painting, though he’s being deliberately coy about exactly what. Why do all that work yourself when there’s a world full of credulous loons to fill in the blanks for you? The story has been widely reported and, like all Da Vinci/Christ related claims, has attracted a lot of attention. Several of the websites set up to host the manipulated images he’s put together exceeded their bandwith which in turn led to further media coverage. His specific claims are:

1. On the extreme left and right of the painting, red-robed figures described as “knights”.

2. Mid-left, a female figure holding a baby, implied (if not stated) to be Jesus’ alleged squeeze and bearer of the holy bloodline, Mary Magdalene.

3. In front of the man himself, a goblet, presumably the grail itself (although perhaps not, as all recent speculative “historians” tell us that there was no actual cup).

Perhaps the most obvious problem here is that Da Vinci’s painting was made ooh, about 1500 years after Christ’s lifetime, and is therefore no more an accurate representation of the Last Supper than say, this. Another hitch with this theory is that the painting is, frankly, knackered. Da Vinci could not possibly have predicted how and to what extent his painting would fade and deteriorate. Possibly this has only made the alleged figures harder to make out, or, more likely in my view, it has allowed them to be imagined. You also have to ask why any 15th Century artist would hide these characters such that they would be undetectable by any known technology. Unless Nostradamus got him a very pre-release copy of Photoshop 0.0 I suppose. Not only has he flipped the image and superimposed it on top of the original, he’s had to make both copies semi-transparent to achieve the desired effect (which is still pretty unconvincing in my humble opinion). This makes “The Da Vinci Code” look like “History Today”. Thankfully, amongst the credulous and spinelessly neutral coverage, there is a goodly amount of scepticism (and naughty cynicism) out there – from expert soundbites and the good folk at howstuffworks.com, to outright parody. Cheeringly, many of the “have your say” sections are full of weary punters calling “BS” on this one. Has Da Vinci-mania finally jumped the shark? Let’s hope so.

Now normally, with these cases of pareidolia, I can at least see where the claimant is coming from, particularly assuming an acute case of Believeritis. But this time, it’s just not happening. It seems to me that you could read pretty much anything into the blurred mess resulting from Pesci’s photo-manipulation, and the things he’s “seen” wouldn’t be at the top of my personal list. The red “figures” look more like cardinals to me, or even these guys. This is why “analysis” like this is completely useless; there is no way to verify or corroborate these subjective claims. Have I strayed so far down the path of rationality and scepticism that I can no longer “see” with woo-tinted spectacles? Or this is actually an elaborate piece of viral marketing for a new wave of Magic Eye products? Who can say. See if you can still channel the spirit of Dan Brown by gazing at the images below until your eyes bleed:

Your recipe for guaranteed media coverage (not to mention potential book sales) is as follows:

last-supper.jpg
1. Take one JPEG of “The Last Supper” by Leonardo, save a second copy.

last-supper-2.jpg

2. Flip the copy horizontally.

last-supper-3.jpg

3. Overlay the copy on the original, and adjust transparency.

last-supper-4.jpg

4. Fire up the ol’ over-active imagination…

last-supper-5.jpg

5. Con. cen. trate…open your mind…let your brain wash over you…

Nope, sorry, still absolutely sod all. Methinks there’s something fishy about this Pesci bloke. Answers on a postcard to BSHistorian.wordpress.com…

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73 Responses to “Guests at the Last Supper?”

  1. Karen Collin Says:

    Hi,

    Here’s an alternative you might enjoy:

    http://altreligion.about.com/libr
    ary/davinci/bl_differentdvc.htm

  2. bshistorian Says:

    Thanks for that Karen – it really is amazing how people can explain away the problems with their pet theories, isn’t it? Of course there’s no evidence! It’s *secret*! And you have to be one of the select to be able to see it.

    Yeesh.

  3. Luke Says:

    This is my little article…

    http://voip-tech.blogspot.com/2007/07/da-pesci-code.html

  4. bshistorian Says:

    Thank you Luke – I do like your other examples!

  5. Lawks-a-lordy, it’s more Da Vinci cobblers! « The BS Historian Says:

    […] technician” (this time also a musician) has combined August’s claim of a hidden image in da Vinci’s Last Supper with the concept of hidden music as claimed at Rosslyn Chapel. In […]

  6. Momo Says:

    Because we all know Leonaro DV had photoshop…

  7. BRITNEY Says:

    that is really smart..good thinking there 😀

  8. dan Says:

    can noone else see two figures of death on the back wall???!

  9. bshistorian Says:

    Nope, it’s just you.

  10. kev Says:

    on jesus’ right hand side is mary magdelene….she is alsp next to peter who is gesturing with his hand that he is cutting her throat and then next to his right is a floating arm with a dagger……………its crazy but mary magdelene is the holy grail who was going to oversee jesus’ church after he was gone!!!!

  11. danny Says:

    no, seriously, bhistorian, they are there, and you can even see the arch of their back coming from the wall, and linking with the ceiling. shadows dont do that.
    now dont get me wrong, i am no comspiracy theorist, i believe this to be fake, but the fact is, they are there, one on the last, one on the right, in the classic black robes, with skeleton faces.

  12. danny Says:

    there is also the outline of a sad looking jesus wearing the crown of thorns on the back wall. trust me it is there, and though i believe this to be fake, it is a fact, along with the two figures of death, they are there. i saw this years ago, in my university.

  13. danny Says:

    ps are you from hartlepool. i am ,just the monkey hangers term got me.

  14. danny Says:

    the figures of death are there, as is an outline of jeus, sad, wearing the crown of thornes, in between the figures if death on the back wall. however, though i believe this whole thing to be fake, what i see still true, weather it was made by sa vinci, or you, a feellow hatlepoodlia the point still stands. what i see is there.

  15. andreww matheson Says:

    i am a professor at a university in hartlepool, and i have seen this many times before. yes, there are two figures of death on the walls at the back, along with a childish drawing of a sad jesus, wearing the crown of thorns.
    whether this is fake or not, the things you pointed out, danny, are there.

  16. andreww matheson Says:

    also, kev, i have too read the da vinci code, and there is much more fact in it than many think.

  17. tecklepie Says:

    kev.
    there is no proof that it is mary magdalen, it could just be the Apostle John.
    just because all the things you are saying were in a FICTIONAL book doesnt mean there are true. and wot floating arm with a dagger????

  18. genesis Says:

    its very interesting…..

  19. Bones Says:

    he may not have had photoshop but he did a lot of his notes backwards so why not his paintings. shiz he IS photoshop

  20. Bones Says:

    also look in the lower right (or left if u flip it) there is a skull with one hand reaching up under the table

  21. bshistorian Says:

    Oh really? Look at this high resolution version and tell me you see the same things.

    http://www.haltadefinizione.com/en/cenacolo/look.asp

    There is no spoon. I mean skull.

  22. Luke (again) Says:

    Please stop “Mr.” Pesci… he’s just a moron.. , I ASSURE you all, by my personal experience with him.

    [Sorry Luke – I had to snip the rest of your criticism of Pesci. I don’t doubt your experience, but whilst insults are fine legally, specific accusations online risk unwanted legal attention. Anyway, thanks for your support – BSH]

  23. Talia Says:

    I agree with a lot of what you’ve said. Anyone can take two images, flip em, slap them on top of eachother and make it seem like there’s alternate things happening.
    AND
    in order for anyone to know this, Leonardo himself, would have had to make two exact replicas and made them somehow transparent to achieve this affect.
    It’s a load of bullocks.
    Good Job

  24. kitty Says:

    The book is really amazing.
    And There is no reason to believe that the novel was quite imaginative.
    The book, i feel, depend on facts, and that too, with proofs.
    Dan Brown has done a great thing. A Great realization.

  25. Luis Says:

    Da Vinci was not present at the last supper so this is just a painting of what it COULD had looked like. It is absurd to say things based on a made up painting.

  26. tricia Says:

    tnxsa u…………………………………………..lke k lst supper mo…………………..

  27. sam. Says:

    it would not be right to jump to comclusions without having adequate facts to base this theory on, i think this has been blown out of proportion.

  28. subrata mohapatra Says:

    It is very amazing, i believe still there are many hidden things in it remaining undiscovered. Da Vinci code is simply not the sufficient.

  29. Michael P. Says:

    Can all Da Vinci’s portrait has a map or a sign that might give a direction
    or map to reveal the greatest secret of all time?

  30. Hawk Says:

    have you noticed the WOMAN sitting on the right-hand side of jesus????
    who could that be i wonder???

  31. lxs Says:

    nonsense! the painting is not clear…how can you proof that?go read bible la…the truth are all inside…

    • bshistorian Says:

      What is a “bible la”? Otherwise, yes, I quite agree. It’s not me making the claim though, old chap.

  32. Maria Says:

    Hi

    I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t concentrate to much on the baby and the man in red robes. What caught my eye is after all the emphasis put on the picture after every copy, behind Jesus there are two figures that appear. They’re clear in the first copy but as the pictures go down it becomes more obvious. Look above and behind Jesus.

  33. fab Says:

    maknuson

  34. pravin kumar Says:

    I THINK THIS IS NOT TRUE .BECAUSE THERE IS NO PROOF FOR THIS .AT CAN BE GOOD IMAGINATION…..

  35. Kennard Says:

    Hey, Jesus has rams horns. Cool!

  36. Just me Says:

    Jesus is real and you cant change that He changed me from a second time felone to a peacful man i was gangbangin for 10 years and now i dont hate know one but love all becouse of what God has done for me now if you all belive in a stupid movie ” Didnt your mom tell you movies were fake all hollywood” all i got to say is repent for the kindom of heaven is at hand

  37. Steph Says:

    Lol! Jesus does have rams horns! And somebody asked about the disembodied hand holding a dagger. It is to the right of the third dude from the left. It is hoovering right above the table. It is just really hard to see in this copy. And this hand can not physically belong to anyone. It is anatomically impossible.

  38. question Says:

    well done im impress of the discovery but if you`ll look directly to the real
    fresco done by da vinci himself there is hint of a clue and its very noticable jesus clothes are red shirt and blue robe right and the one sitting on right side of jesus w/c known to be magdalene the holy grail the holy vessel of jesus bloodline the fussion of two royal blood for as long as i know magdalene is from the house of benjamin and jesus is a descendent of david and solomon has the same color except it is the interval like
    male and female ,yin and yang balance

    and also the mona lisa my colleuges said once shes on ugly chick
    but its in appropriate to call her a female because she`s not
    she`s only a figment of da vinci`s imagination have you not notice
    the diffrence of the right side from the left it resembles significance
    on the back ground the horizon the leftside is larger than the right
    and the name MONA LISA w/c litteraly means something its derrived from the egyptian masculine fertilitygod name AMON and his counterpart is the female egyptian fertility god name ISIS but her ancient pictogram is L`ISA

    Da Vinci is one hell of an artist

  39. Big Phil Says:

    Oh SNAP!, there are two skulls on the back wall! you are right dan!

  40. bergamo 6! Says:

    is mama mary there? I thing she is.But why did she put her head on the other apostles?
    but not why in god?
    I THINK AND my batch think its fake only… we think that the true pictures is mam mary is leaning in god’S shoulder?

    am we are rigth?

  41. niv Says:

    You stated “Has Da Vinci-mania finally jumped the shark? Let’s hope so“.
    That came from a episode of the TV show Happy Days which Ron Howard stared in who also directed The Da Vinci Code. Odd how you used that fraise in your statement.

    • bshistorian Says:

      Not really. It’s a popular phrase used to describe anything that’s overstayed its welcome in popular culture. It’s odd that you would know of the phrase but not this popularity, frankly.

  42. :) Says:

    you guys are dumasses for thinking this but just wait till the day comes of his seound coming and everyone would want to go with him but youll see most of you would not go for mis beliving in him

  43. ken farrell Says:

    Religion is religion no matter how you slice it but fact and pure scripture can tell you the truth and for all of you who actually think that Christ our lord was married and had children, You did not read the scripture and know nothing about jesus at all. THE DA VINCI CODE WAS AND IS A FICTIONAL BOOK WRITTEN BY A FICTIONAL WRITER. THE GOSPEL, Old And new testament is a set of scriptures written by Prophets of god and deciples and the ACTUAL EVIDENCE and SCRIPTURE comes from Papyrus that was written on and validated to be the actual scripture of the apostles whom followed Christ. In what book in any bible does it say jesus married and had children? How can you take, Jesus blessing a prostitute as jesus being married and having had children? Jesus is GOD and god has children. Every one of us. This notion that jesus had a wife and was portrayed as being married in a PAINTING is absolutely absurd. The last supper was painted 1500 YEARS AFTER JESUS’ DEATH. DaVINCI painted according to not only jesus’ time but his own time making the person on his left look a little feminine. So does the charactor to his right looking almost the same, maybe TWO WOMEN THAN HUH? WE KNOW NOTHING ABOUT JESUS’ YOUNGER LIFE BECAUSE WE WERE TO FOCUS ON THE WORD OF CHRIST. It was our job to pass the word. Jesus did not want his disciples distracted with women. The word of god was the most important and when we disguise gods word with fake fiction we fail to do what was asked of us in the first place. The bible says it very clear, Do not add to the words of this book or take away from the words of this book or that will be added or taken away from you. Saying jesus was married and had kids is doing just that because NOWHERE IN THE GOSPEL does it make that claim. Its only a fictional story that makes believers VERY scared when they see how we are trying to destroy god instead of praise him. I believe those who follow this notion of lies only commits sin out of ignorance rather than accidental. Christ is GOD and our FATHER, and the SON and the holy spirit; He didnt need a wife and bloodline to keep it going when ALL teaching was based on faith.

    • aln Says:

      ken farrell

      the bible is just as fictional as the da vinci code. you cannot prove that it isnt all made up…just as i cannot prove that its is fake..so why argue about it…i dont care…u can blindly follow any religion you want..

      VIA CON DIABLO

  44. GEORGE TURKOVIC Says:

    it’s pretty well known too that this stuff was painted in layers -details covered up, inproved, covered over etc –of course there are “hidden images” –are they hidden meanings; take a reality pill

  45. dont worry about it Says:

    i agree..
    good job

  46. marissa maulsby Says:

    i have a weeping last supper since last year. i can forward the photos from last year and this year and today’s photo.
    thanks,
    marissa maulsby
    2825 west thornton avenue
    tampa, florida 33611
    813-8107335

  47. unknown Says:

    ohhhhhhhhhhh………
    computers are so great!

  48. alwin Says:

    did you know that jesus and judas escariots model is one ?

  49. mitch Says:

    someone mentioned why mary magdaleine has her head tilted to the side…well…if the two merged paintings are correct, and she is holding a baby, just take a look at any woman holding a baby, if the babys head is on the left, then the mother will tilt her head to the right if she is gazing at her face, and vice versa…think about it. there are lots of theories, no one will ever know, no one was ever there.

  50. Caz Says:

    I think this image is great it shows the true power of the human mind. kinda reminds me of those funny pictures with squiggly lines and if you concentrated you can see dolphins and things.
    I can see what appear to be skulls on the back wall, but in the orignal image the light area on the back wall (above the window on the left) to me looks like a woman with her hair tied up in a bun on top of her head. but that is just what my mind wants me to see. Personally i am not religious but i find this picture fascinating because of the artist and not the subject.

  51. Martine Says:

    If Mary wasn’t his lover or wife, can you explain the words in the Gospel of Philip that he “kissed her OFTEN”? Sure people kiss in greeting. But kissing often means kissing more then casually. The only person I kiss often is my husband. Sorry, but theres a lot of evidence the story is true. I don’t care how much you may “discredit” some parts of a film. It doesn’t make the story of their marriage untrue. I would say, looking at the figure of “John the baptist” that it looks like a girl. Meaning Leonardo may have thought Mary was Jesus’s wife.

  52. Gergin Says:

    i do believe in God and Jesus but seeing clues like this intrests me. now i think the da vinci code was just a movie, but mabye there really are clues in the paintings he made. he was very brilliant correct? you can’t say what really happened in the time of Jesus, but i believe God will give us the answers if He wants to and thinks we’re ready………and honestly, it’s hard to say that we are

  53. da vinci load Says:

    also…….take a look at the far back wall above the windows….
    2 aliens with elongated heads appear overlooking the supper
    or egyptian goddesses in association with the upside down v shaped
    void represents the great pyramid of egypt

  54. Timothy Becker Says:

    Hello

    I see that imagination can lead to such a hypothesis. This does perplex me though.

  55. Leba Miller Says:

    Just came across this as I was searching for a “last supper” pic to be used for our Passover Seder flyer … another major faux pas that always makes me smile is that there is absolutely, positively no way that there would be dinner rolls on the Passover Seder table. And while the “bread” may not have looked like the matzah we have now, it most certainly would have been flat, ie: unleavened. Sure wish I could find a picture of that somewhere : )

  56. anusha Says:

    its really awesome. da vinci is really a great man and would like 2 see many hidden truths.why cannot people accept sacred feminine? i accept mary and request others becauseyou cannot hide truth 4 a very long time

  57. Shelly Says:

    Yeah…and Jesus looks like a bull…does that mean He was 1/3 God, 1/3 Man and 1/3 Cow? I guess that completes the trinity doesn’t it. These people are nuts! Find a productive hobby.

  58. jesus not real Says:

    can i just say god and jesus are not real the only proof of them being real is a book that could have been written by anyone so hahahaha to all the idiots who believe in him i hope i opened some peoples eyes but with some people they just dont listen

  59. TommyNerd Says:

    Ha, very interresting to say the least, although one thing im surprised is that no one noticed Jesus’s head looks like darth vader.

    Plus, for all you religio-freaks out there spouting all your pious nonsense about judgement and how we’re all gonna go to hell, stop for one moment, just stop and think, why do i believe, where was my god when the americans dropped two atom bombs on the japs, where was my god when a terrible plague tore through Europe, WHERE was my god when the great depression ruined millions of lives, WHERE IS MY GOD AS THOUSANDS STARVE, AS THOUSANDS DIE OF DISEASE ACROSS THE WORLD, WHAT KIND OF FREAKING FORGIVING GOD IS THAT? And really, why does he not destroy all evil? because he cant? no thats immpossible, hes all powerfull, but then that means he wont? then he isnt all good, and if he created everything he created evil, therfore to create evil you must be evil and to stand by as a race is tormented by slavery, war, disease, hunger, hatred, genocide, natural disasters and NUCLEAR WEAPONS, he must be some evil guy. Ofcourse thats if he exists at all

  60. .:Me =):. Says:

    Look guys i think all this hidden stuff is really cool but it’s not fact. The truth is we don’t know what Da Vinci meant by this and you can make up as many theorys as you like but that’s not going to make it true. It’s the same with the bible, i want to beleive it but it’s not fact. I know there are people that would disagree with me and good for you, i wish i could be so sure about something that may or may not be true. No one knows for sure what Da Vinci meant by any of this, but we do know that he was an amazing person who did some pretty amazing things.

    I loved reading the Da Vinci code because it’s great to get you thinking in new ways, but i sugest you don’t read to much into it because you will never get a straight answer about any of this.

    • jd Says:

      It is not entirely true. Da Vinci painted God, for those with a mind to grasp this concept fully, and with eyes that really see

  61. Jack G. Says:

    No feet. You should use the picture where there are feet. And stop making subjective observations.

  62. ROSY Says:

    YOU ARE A REAL IDIOTIC MORON TO HAVE SUCH A USELESS CREATIVITY.GOD WILL PUNISH YOU!

  63. Duane Taylor Says:

    there was 3 copies of the painting made because all 3 copies need to be put together to make it complete. Leonardos assistant had the other 2 copies. The other 2 copies were a tad bit smaller to make the images he needed too. The number 3 comes up in this painting becasue he was leaving clues for someone to figure out. Everyone is in groups of 3’s, there is 3 windows and guess what? there was 3 paintings, one he made on the wall in the church and the other 2 his assistant kept. Why else do you think it took him so long to make? The only way to truely see what he painted is to have the originals that leonardo’s assistant kept. Pesci is a genius and all of you are sleeping. By the time you wake up it could be too late.

  64. Greg Says:

    Finda da Pope inna da pizza!

  65. Dominick Says:

    Does anyone else see a skull with horns on its head rite in the middle of the front of the table??? I do

  66. Claudio Says:

    If u had some knowledge, u will know that ; leonardo was an initiate and so hw knew the science the one u guys will never reach.leonardo knew about the flip image, yes like if predict photoshop, u know when u have knowledge , u are in another dimesion and so lets explain. The painting is depitching the zhodiac: 12 figures divided in 4 groups: the 4 seoson these 4 groups are formed by 3 persons(zodiac characters) every season has 3 months. Jesus in this case is the sun.now for all the ignorants im telling u that one of the many meaningg of the last supper is that jesus the sun” is going to die.its passing out with the advent of autumn-winter and its the sun who is die in the winter isnt it? Look where the baby is is in the hands of the spring when he will born again. There is always the same story i explained very quick and volgar style but i dont care to write i get tired so do yr research before u have opinions coz the ignorance is killing humanity alongside coca cola and mc donald first learn how to eat and then start to listen then u may begin to open yr mouths and sttart to Fone’ ,phone’ , fonetica boooooooooo

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