Artists are the true definition of the creative type, with their minds, passions, fears, doubts, and hearts sprawled across their canvases. And it’s not that surprising to learn that an artist might add a hidden image or text to a piece that they’re working on – as an expression of themselves, it makes sense that they would want their viewers to question every inch of their work.
There are some pieces of artwork, however, that may seem extremely straightforward on first glance, with many of these considered some of the greatest paintings of all time. But with some hints from the artists themselves, along with a keen eye, it’s possible to spot and decode some of these hidden meanings.
Cafe Terrace at Night
Vincent Van Gogh was never much once for putting secrets into his work – it was about the skill, the scenes, and the subjects. But one piece in particular, Cafe Terrace At Night – which depicts exactly what’s in the title – that may have more to offer than what initially meets the eye.
Here, we see a terrace at night, with a few diners off the right side at a small cafe. And upon closer inspection, one might notice that this group of people resembles one from another famous painting: The Last Supper. Indeed, as hinted in a letter written by the artist himself, he did place the last supper into this painting during a time where he felt that he needed religion in his life.
The Creation of Adam
Michelangelo was a fascinating human being, and much of his work is still regarded as some of the finest ever made. One of his most well-known pieces, The Creation of Adam, shows Adam reaching out and being touched by God in a piece overflowing with detail and colour.
But it’s what God and his promenade are placed in that once noticed can’t be unseen – the shape of a human brain. And many believe that it was put there very purposefully by the artist as an attack against the church for their disdain of the sciences, which were very much still in their infancy at the time.
The Madonna With Saint Giovannino
Domenico Ghirlandaio was a brilliant artist that produced much work during the Italian Renaissance, with perhaps his most famous work being that of The Madonna With Saint Giovannino, which he had completed in the 15th century.
The painting portrays the Madonna with a baby Jesus, and at first it appears as nothing more than a simple depiction of an important moment in the Christian religion.
But looks can be deceiving, at least at first, and it’s easy to find that there’s an object sitting just behind the Madonna, specifically above her left shoulder, which can be found when you start here and look up and to the right.
The object in question appears to be that of a UFO as it looks like an oval ship floating in the sky. No definitive conclusions have ever been made, but upon inspection it’s not hard to imagine that it’s exactly what it looks like.