Background

Take your pick between extraordinary examples of how artists hid a second, and darker meaning in thier works of art; or startling family trees showing relationships never before imagined; timelines of people using several famous aliases who were until now thought to have been different people; or revealing likenesses of the characters in the book, painted by artists of the time.  

Click on any of the four sections - or go to the drop-down menu above - and discover what history missed!

Timelines

Occasionally a portrait may offer more than one name for its subject. For example, there are a portraits of the Genoese mercenary Andrea Doria that bear a second name, and sometimes a third and a fourth, all three of them English. For someone brought up on conventional history, the names simply do not go together.  Yet if one traces every known appearance and action of each of these four names, and plots their timelines, one finds not conflict, but dovetailing. As one alias vanishes, another appears. It seems that 'Andrea Doria' adopted the name of a dead child, having been sent to Italy by a nervous aunt - his previous name having being King Edward V.  ​​Click on the picture and visit the Gallery of Timelines,  and you will find a wealth of lives that dovetail to perfection, a conflation that also explains much that was hitherto inexplicable.

Family Trees

While likenesses offer a great sense of fascination and satisfaction, there is more hidden in a portrait than just the name of the person. Just beneath the eye, one can often find the phrase 'Figlio de...' and then the name of the father. Then, written around the chin, is the name of the mother, and that means one can consruct entire family trees. Likenesses are wondrous, but it is more in the family relationships that one begins to understand the dynamic of history, why certain people hung out with certain others, why some lives seemed to be charmed and others doomed.  Clicking on the picture above will take you to the Gallery of Family Trees, and the innumerable surprises that lie there in wait!

Hidden Secrets

Maybe the first thing we should put to rest is the issue of whether artists really hid things in their paintings. Can it be true they actually disguised faces in clouds, letters in clothing, people's heads in landscapes? Well, of that there is no doubt whatsoever, as this selection of details from the Great Masters illustrates. And there is no doubt also that they did it to hide a second meaning in their masterpieces, an allegory of their own passionate life.  Some did it blatantly, some with more subtlety, but they did it. Take a look for yourself! ​​Click on the picture above to visit our Gallery of Not So Hidden Secrets!

Likenesses

Having found  a character of the same name in ten of fifteen different paintings, it is an awesome experience to pull them all together. After half a millenium, someone long gone from this world comes back to life, showing you by their dress, their mood, their customary expressions and where the wrinkles have formed, what sort of person they really were. Perhaps even greater though, is the delight in knowing this became possible only by tracking down those elusive names that many deny even exist.  Click on the picture above - or in the drop-down menu above,  and visit the Gallery of Likenesses! See what no one else has seen in half a millenium!