Who Was John the Baptist? • Cousin of The Virgin Mary • Approximately 3 years older than Jesus • Announced to the world of the presence of God’s son, the Messiah • Spent years in the desert to learn self-dicipline • Baptized penitents in the Jordan River • Resigned ministry after baptism of Jesus • Beheaded for speaking out against King Herod Antipas
John the Baptist in Art • Wears a garment made entirely of hair or fur • Carries a staff and scroll with the words “Ecce Agnus Dei” or “Behold the Lamb of God” • The Carob Tree • Lambs • The “John Gesture” • The Serpent of Wisdom
The “John Gesture” • Commonly accepted to reference God, Heaven or Spirituality • A more acceptable definition would be: “I foretell the coming of the one from above.”
The “John Gesture” Leonardo da Vinci John the Baptist The Louvre, Paris
Leonardo da Vinci Man? Woman?
Adoration of the Magi By Leonardo da Vinci • The Carob Tree • ‘Clawing’ at Jesus and Mary • No Gold (kingship) being offered • Eye Gaze? • Leonardo
Van Eyck’s Adoration of the Lamb of God • Ghent Altarpiece- no depiction of Jesus at all. • Center of worship is a lamb • One central panel devoted to John the Baptist • John’s index finger is touching a templar cross • Other characters appear to be worshipping the Johns. • Panel named “Knights of Christ,” another name for the Knights Templar. • “Serpent of Wisdom” is present
Fun Fact • Two panels of Van Eyck’s altarpiece were stolen in 1932 including the John the Baptist Panel. • Hitler wanted the panel to decorate his headquarters. • Investigator sent out to find the panel: Began investigation June 24th (feastday of John the Baptist) even though the search party was assembled more than a month before this date.
Leonardo da Vinci Virgin and Child with St Anne and the Infant St John National Gallery, London Fun Fact: In 1987, a man carrying a sawed-off shotgun walked into the gallery and took aim at the center of the 486 year old picture
Leonardo da Vinci Virgin of the Rocks The Louvre, Paris • According to Brown: • This is Madonna of the Rocks on display in London- WRONG! • John Blessing Jesus, “Jesus submitting to his authority”-WRONG! • Uriel is slicing John’s invisible head-WRONG! • Nuns were disgusted with this original painting and forced Leonardo to paint a second, “watered-down” version-WRONG!
The Truth: • To the right is Madonna of the Rocks on display in London featuring none of the descriptions Brown mentioned- he mixed them up! • Uriel is pointing to John using the “John Gesture.” In the second version, this is confirmed because John is shown with the identifying staff. • The original, Virgin of the Rocks, actually stood as the centerpiece in the San Francesco in Milan church for at least 9 years before being replaced by a replica due to a monetary dispute. VS. Virgin of the Rocks, Paris Madonna of the Rocks, London
The Black Sun & The Nazi’s • The black sun is symbolic of the ‘Vril’ society, a secret philosophy established thousands of years ago, which influenced the Nazi’s. • Group originated from the Book of Vril written by Johannes Taufer, German for “John the Baptist” • Hitler had a known obsession with John the Baptist and the black sun became his “symbol” • Jean Cocteau had no known affiliation with the Nazi’s
The Following Are More Fun Facts Jean Cocteau painted himself in his mural just like Leonardo did in Adoration of the Magi
The chapel underwent some “minor improvements” and this piece was covered up
How is John Related to Secret Societies? • Known artists affiliated with the Priory of Sion (Leonardo, Cocteau), Knights Templar (Van Eyck) , Order of the Golden Fleece (Van Eyck ), and the Nazi’s had an obsession with John. • The lamb itself was the official seal of the Knights Templar in Southern France • Society symbols/seals present in paintings centered around John the Baptist • John’s finger touching a Templar Cross in the Ghent altarpiece
Representations of John the Baptist in The Da Vinci Code, Templar Revelation and Holy Blood, Holy Grail • John may have replaced Jesus on the cross as shown in Cocteau’s mural. • Leonardo reveres John over Jesus evident by his paintings. • Leonardo ‘fudges’ the identities of Jesus and John in all pictures containing the two. • Clues in paintings with John the Baptist, including several Renaissance artists, lead to the truth about his life that only secret societies possess. • All three mix up paintings names, histories, and locations
What does John REALLY Represent? • Florence replaced Alexandria as “the center of knowledge” during the Renaissance. • “Secret” or “forgotten” knowledge exploded in the 15th century and John the Baptist was a symbol of this knowledge (because he received word of the coming of the Messiah). • Florence was ‘dedicated’ to John. • Paintings depicting The Baptist flourished for this reason. • Secret Societies took interest in John and idolized him. • Many secret societies in this period were composed of artists and scientists who wanted to protect their inventions, speculations, and ideas…not the location of the holy grail, evidence of a hidden bloodline. • It is a possibility that Leonardo was involved with secret societies or “secret knowledge” as The Da Vinci Code suggests, but his rationale for joining such a group was most likely due to the absence of copyright laws.
So What Are All of These ‘Codes’ Then? • We don’t know and probably will never know. It is left to your imagination. • We can’t prove anything and shouldn’t dismiss anything. • Don’t believe anything you read, but read before you draw conclusions.
Final Fun Facts: • Amerigo Vespucci, the Florentine who discovered “America” happened to be a very close friend of da Vinci (who helped finance the voyage) and was also tied to the Knights Templar. He and da Vinci entrusted the mission to their friend Christophe Colombe. • Leonardo made the first ‘blueprints’ for the bicycle, helicopter, the parachute, submarines and more in his journals written completely in a ‘mirror image.’