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The Zodiac in Leonardo Da Vinci's Last Supper 
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Post Re: The Zodiac in Leonardo Da Vinci's Last Supper
I know it's OT but I always understood Stahrwe to mean "what If I were blind?" Not that he was saying he is literally blind. The rest of his posts regarding how one would post if blind is just more smoke and mirrors.

About the last supper. How would Leonardo have known this was going to be one of the worlds greatest paintings?

I used to be very knowledgeable about the symbols for the signs of the zodiac and I think the interpretation is reaching a little. Also why would Leonardo (who could after all have painted this anyway he wanted) not have had it read from left to right? I mean if it was his intention to hide the symbols of the zodiac in his painting. If you so desired could you find them in that order?

Didn't Dan Brown claim that was Mary Magdelene at Jesus' right?



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Wed Feb 09, 2011 3:32 pm
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Post Re: The Zodiac in Leonardo Da Vinci's Last Supper
Robert Tulip wrote:
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Hi Rob

I had a good look at the image and I think the physical geometry of the star maps fits very well indeed with the postures and arm positions of the figures in the painting. Particularly close matches are evident for Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Scorpio (what a beauty!!), Aquarius and Pisces....


What a beauty indeed. I will let you last imaginings speak for themselves.


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Post Re: The Zodiac in Leonardo Da Vinci's Last Supper
stahrwe wrote:
Robert Tulip wrote:
Here is an email from a friend

Quote:
Hi Rob

I had a good look at the image and I think the physical geometry of the star maps fits very well indeed with the postures and arm positions of the figures in the painting. Particularly close matches are evident for Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Scorpio (what a beauty!!), Aquarius and Pisces....


What a beauty indeed. I will let you last imaginings speak for themselves.


This is why I have turned Stahrwe off. There is no point to this post except to insult another BT member. This is Troll behavior folks. Why do we put up with it?


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Post Re: The Zodiac in Leonardo Da Vinci's Last Supper
geo wrote:
I'm probably being dense, but I just don't see the zodiac patterns in the Da Vinci painting. I don't doubt that the number 12 had some cosmic significance at one time, I just don't see them in the painting. If, indeed, Da Vinci modelled the twelve apostles on the twelve constellations of the zodiac, he was rather covert about it. I suppose that's the point: the true meaning of Christianity had to be kept hidden from the Romans? I'm skeptical about this premise, as you know, Robert, and to me you have to work pretty hard to see the zodiac in the painting. Am I the only one?

For me, it's just the difficulty believing that such an advanced thinker as Leonardo wanted to mess around with astrology. Who knows, maybe his notebooks or whatever reveal such an interest. It would be somewhat of a disappointment for me to learn this about this pioneer of science.



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Post Re: The Zodiac in Leonardo Da Vinci's Last Supper
What a fun thread. So much passion with such vehemence. With that, I’m probably inviting a slew of little red dots on my forehead, but in looking closely at the magnified images with star overlays, finding a solid correlation is a stretch. I can easily expect Da Vinci could hide something in his paintings, even inserting symbolic imagery backwards, since (if my recollection is correct) he took notes that way. As far as I can tell, I really don’t see that here.


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Post Re: The Zodiac in Leonardo Da Vinci's Last Supper
I don't really see a good connection in this instance either.

The star patterns do roughly match in some instances but in others it is clear that some manipulations were necessary to make them fit. One image apears to have been fore-shortened, and in others the star patterns are in different scales and in some instances the star patterns have overlap between figures.

It is easy to put a star pattern on an image and find a plausible fit.

It would be easy to create an image of this type in which all the figures matched the star patterns to a much greater degree, and in which each figure had its own star configuration and that would not require the overly creative repositioning of sizing of the star maps. If i were the artist designing this layout, any attempted overlay of star patterns would have synced up perfectly.

i think this might be a case of looking too hard for evidence.


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Post Re: The Zodiac in Leonardo Da Vinci's Last Supper
The plot thickens. From Wikipedia, we learn that Leonardo habitually used mirror writing, from right to left. Indeed, the famous Vitruvian Man used this backwards script. Wikipedia provides the following intriguing commentary on the Vitruvian Man, which I suggest applies equally to The Last Supper:
Quote:
This image exemplifies the blend of art and science during the Renaissance and provides the perfect example of Leonardo's keen interest in proportion. In addition, this picture represents a cornerstone of Leonardo's attempts to relate man to nature. Encyclopaedia Britannica online states, "Leonardo envisaged the great picture chart of the human body he had produced through his anatomical drawings and Vitruvian Man as a cosmografia del minor mondo (cosmography of the microcosm). He believed the workings of the human body to be an analogy for the workings of the universe."
According to Leonardo's preview in the accompanying text, written in mirror writing, it was made as a study of the proportions of the (male) human body as described in Vitruvius:

In his Notebooks, Leonardo comments
Quote:
The earth is not in the centre of the Sun’s orbit nor at the centre of the universe, but in the centre of its companion elements, and united with them.
What these 'companion elements' might be is unclear, but one possibility may be that he means the earth is at the centre of its seasons, marked by the annual passage of the stars.

Further to the exact correspondence between the signs of the zodiac and the twelve apostles in The Last Supper, we should note that this claim involves no astrology whatsoever. It simply uses the stars that the sun passes through in its annual journey as the template. These stars, viewed in the night sky from Italy, appear in the south in the order shown in the Last Supper. The following diagrams, using SkyGazer astronomy software, show the path of the sun as a yellow line through the twelve signs of the zodiac. I have flipped and stretched each constellation to match the templates of The Last Supper. With the tradition that associates Jesus Christ with the sun, for example in Charles Wesley's Christmas Carol Hark the Herald Angels Sing "hail the sun of righteousness", we see that this old allegory of Christ as the sun is secretly embedded as a natural cosmography, making The Last Supper comparable in this respect to Leonardo's Vitruvian Man.
Attachment:
Signs of the Zodiac as Template for The Last Supper.gif
Signs of the Zodiac as Template for The Last Supper.gif [ 49.1 KiB | Viewed 3175 times ]



Last edited by Robert Tulip on Thu Feb 10, 2011 5:56 am, edited 1 time in total.



Thu Feb 10, 2011 5:54 am
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Post Re: The Zodiac in Leonardo Da Vinci's Last Supper
Dwill said:
"For me, it's just the difficulty believing that such an advanced thinker as Leonardo wanted to mess around with astrology. Who knows, maybe his notebooks or whatever reveal such an interest. It would be somewhat of a disappointment for me to learn this about this pioneer of science."

I don't think an interest in astrology would have been so far fetched. On t.v. the other day I heard that Isaac Newton was interested in alchemy and did experiments.

George why would the "symbolism" of the signs of the zodiac in the hands/arms of Da Vinci's painting reveal the "true" origin of Christianity? Also wouldn't it at that time have been Italians rather than Romans?

My husband owns Leonardo's notebooks and I just asked him if he remembered anything about astrology in them and he does not, but doesn't mean its not there, just that he doesn't remember.



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Post Re: The Zodiac in Leonardo Da Vinci's Last Supper
The person sitting to Jesus's right, definitely looks like a female. St. John, called in the Bible, the disciple whom Jesus loved.

Da Vinci did not paint anything randomly. The disembodied hand with knife pointing towards Saint Andrew....Looks like Saint Andrew is saying, 'No Cheese for me thankyou. I am absolutely stuffed'.

But I bet that's not what Da Vinci was depicting. Personally, I don't want anything to do with these Secret Societies - I have no time for them.

No, to Freemasonry. No, to Judaism, when it is being exclusive. No, to Catholics only patronising Catholics. I don't like divisiveness.....it weakens us.

Please excuse me, my socialism is showing again! :blush:


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Post Re: The Zodiac in Leonardo Da Vinci's Last Supper
lady of shallot wrote:
Dwill said:
"For me, it's just the difficulty believing that such an advanced thinker as Leonardo wanted to mess around with astrology. Who knows, maybe his notebooks or whatever reveal such an interest. It would be somewhat of a disappointment for me to learn this about this pioneer of science."

I don't think an interest in astrology would have been so far fetched. On t.v. the other day I heard that Isaac Newton was interested in alchemy and did experiments.

George why would the "symbolism" of the signs of the zodiac in the hands/arms of Da Vinci's painting reveal the "true" origin of Christianity? Also wouldn't it at that time have been Italians rather than Romans?

My husband owns Leonardo's notebooks and I just asked him if he remembered anything about astrology in them and he does not, but doesn't mean its not there, just that he doesn't remember.


I don't know why Leonardo Da Vinci would want to put astrological hints into his painting. i can imagine that folks who are into this stuff would want Leonardo to play a role to lend credence as well as conspiratorial appeal to their theories of astrotheism (definition below). The basic idea behind the theory, which I'm sure I am oversimplifying, is that the story of Christ is a metaphor for the workings of the cosmos and earth's position in the zodiac—all of which well predates Christianity. At some point in time—not Leonardo's, obviously—those early teachings of cosmic positions had to be kept hidden from Roman authorities who were pushing a dumber more literal version of Christianity. I hope Robert will point to his original explanation which is somewhere here on BT. Though I am very skeptical of astrotheology generally, it is all certainly very interesting, even refreshing in comparison to the absurd beliefs of conventional religion, and I always enjoy reading Robert's musings on the subject. I think this zodiac reworking of The Last Supper is fantastic and bogus at the same time! I always suspect Robert of testing some of these ideas out here to see how a skeptical audience will react. (He may very well be the Grand Architect for a new vision of Christianity.) He has said that for Christianity to remain relevant, it needs to embrace its astrological roots. He has also said that this new vision of Christianity embraces a scientific understanding of the world as opposed to Fundamental Christianity which often rejects it. Robert also argues that astrology itself has been considerably dumbed down over the years. it's much more than the horoscope you read in the newspaper. So the idea that Leonardo might have understood and embraced the astrotheological underpinnings of Christianity is not the same as Leonardo being into the dumbed down horoscope fortune-telling that most of us are familiar with today. How am I doing, Robert?

Wikipedia: Astrotheology is the study of the astrological origins of religion; how gods, goddesses, and demons are personifications of astrological phenomena such as lunar elipses, planetary alignments, and apparent interactions of planetary bodies with stars. Christianity, Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Mithraism, and the ancient Egyptian religions are examples of faiths claimed to be derived from observations of the bodies on the celestial sphere. Examples of deities said to be created as astrological allegories include Ra, Horus, Osiris, Mithras, Zoroaster, Helios, Apollo, Lugh, Quetzalcoatl and Jesus Christ.


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Post Re: The Zodiac in Leonardo Da Vinci's Last Supper
Friends on another board have pointed out to me that the fellow with the dagger is Saint Peter, not Judas. Judas is Mr Moneybags = Sagittarius. Apologies.

I made this mistake because I read the order of the apostles and thought it was the order of the heads, as corresponds with the signs, but conventionally they are given in the order of the bodies. The head of the Scorpio figure is to the right of Sagittarius, while the body is to the left. The knife is not disembodied, but is held secretly by Peter. Perhaps getting ready to secretly put the knife to the wisdom of Christ in order to establish the Roman Church?

In a main etymology, "Iscariot" is considered to be a transformation by metathesis of the Latin sicarius, or "dagger-man". I thought the betrayal with a kiss was a neat metaphor for the sting of the scorpion, but then of course Peter denied Christ three times before the cock crew, and used that sword he is carrying in this picture to slice off the ear of a friend of the high priest of Jerusalem in the garden of Gesthemane. This painting has some high drama!

Geo is right that we do not need to read any magical superstition into this analogy. It provides a purely scientific cosmic analogy for Christ and the twelve disciples as the sun and twelve months of the year. I explain above with the link to da Vinci's Notebooks that even in 1500 he held to an accurate heliocentric cosmology, while recognising that from our perspective the earth is the center of the universe. Leonardo also wrote that "Each man is always in the middle of the surface of the earth and under the zenith of his own hemisphere, and over the centre of the earth."



Last edited by Robert Tulip on Thu Feb 10, 2011 3:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Post Re: The Zodiac in Leonardo Da Vinci's Last Supper
My husband and I were talking about this at lunch. He is familiar with Leonardo's works (well aren't we all, but he is an artist) and he said that Leonardo cautioned about always having the limbs in articulated positions, that is of course not static like hanging straight down. This would lead to angles and they could thus be interpreted as the signs of the zodiac and I'm sure many more other images. Rather like ink blots don't you think?

George in a rather vague and not too intelligent a way I am sort of familiar with Robert's interest in astrotheology. To the extent that I understand it, I do not see it as a fruitful study; for me anyway. I don't think we need to twist and contort and subvert and change anything in order for Christianity to survive. I would happily see all religious belief systems abandoned.

Penelope he can't be saying "no cheese" thank you at least for an American viewer. We don't have cheese after our meals. . . he would have to be saying "no ice cream thank you!" (only kidding!)



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Post Re: The Zodiac in Leonardo Da Vinci's Last Supper
Hate to be the party pooper if no one else has pointed this out but... the OP's image isn't da Vinci's Last Supper.

Sorry.



Fri Feb 11, 2011 12:35 pm
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Post Re: The Zodiac in Leonardo Da Vinci's Last Supper
Quote:
Squelch wrote:

Hate to be the party pooper if no one else has pointed this out but... the OP's image isn't da Vinci's Last Supper.


Well, we all know the shape that the diners make in this painting.

The one at the beginning of this thread looks a bit garish, I agree. But I did look at various images of the work on Google. Is this what you mean?

I know it is quite a small mural on the wall, and that it has faded and flaked and been painted over, over the years. Is this what you mean?

We don't mind being pooped!


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Post Re: The Zodiac in Leonardo Da Vinci's Last Supper
Penelope wrote:
Quote:
Squelch wrote:

Hate to be the party pooper if no one else has pointed this out but... the OP's image isn't da Vinci's Last Supper.


Well, we all know the shape that the diners make in this painting.

The one at the beginning of this thread looks a bit garish, I agree. But I did look at various images of the work on Google. Is this what you mean?

I know it is quite a small mural on the wall, and that it has faded and flaked and been painted over, over the years. Is this what you mean?

We don't mind being pooped!


Well, it's just not da Vinci's work, it's a pretty poor reproduction. If we're dicsussing what da Vinci put in his work we should be looking at it, no?

Sorry, I know I'm a noob here and this isn't my apple cart to upset.



Last edited by Squelch on Fri Feb 11, 2011 12:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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