Mysteries Hidden in Famous Paintings


If we quickly glance at a piece of art without questioning or really focussing on what we are seeing, we may not see the whole picture. The longer you look, the more you will discover. There are many paintings with hidden images that you may already know. Maybe you have noticed art with hidden images and discrepancies and didn’t think anything of them. Whether you have or you haven’t, today you will. If you are interested in learning about 10 different paintings with hidden mysteries buried within them, you have come to the right place. Keep learning to see what your eyes may have been missing this whole time.

The Sistine Madonna – Raphael

hidden images in paintings

The first mysterious artwork piece we are going to talk about today is Raphael’s “The Sistine Madonna. This piece was created in the year 1512. This piece was commissioned by Pope Julius II for the church of San Sisto. If you look at this painting from afar you will see Madonna and others in a sea of clouds. The closer you look, you will notice that the clouds are composed of the faces of angels. It is quite the beautiful detail.

The Creation of Adam – Michelangelo

art with hidden images

Also created in the year 1512, we have “The Creation Of Adam” by the famous artist Michelangelo. Hidden things in famous paintings are exciting. In this painting, if you look carefully, you will notice that to the right of the people captured are resting inside a human brain.

The Arnolfini Portrait – Jan van Eyck

In 1434 Jan van Eyck painted “The Arnolfini Portrait”. This oil painting captures Giovanni di Nicolao and his wife. If you look closely in the mirror resting on the wall you will find more hidden images in famous paintings. In the mirror, Jan van Eyck painted themselves to be included in the portrait.

The Old Guitarist – Pablo Picasso

hidden images in famous paintings

“The Old Guitarist” was painted by Pablo Picasso in 1903 – 1904. At first glance you will see an elderly man cradling his guitar. However, if you zoom in you will be able to see a woman’s face behind the guitarist’s head. It seems as if Picasso painted over an existing painting and with time, the paint is beginning to fade, revealing one of the many hidden images in paintings.

The Fresco – Giotto di Bondone

In the 13th century, Giotto di Bondone created The Fresco which can be found in the Basilica of St Francis in Assisi. This work of art seems innocent at first glance, however when you look into the clouds you will be able to see the Devil’s face.

The Music Lesson – Johannes Vermeer

From 1662 to 1665, Johannes Vermeer created their piece entitled “The Music Lesson”. At first glance this piece may seem to be an innocent piano lesson. However, when you focus on what is happening, you may feel some tension in the relationship between the student and the teacher. One example being that when you look in the mirror you can see the student staring at her instructor rather than the piano.

Madonna with Saint Giovannino – Domenico Ghirlandaio

If you are looking for hidden messages in paintings, “Madonna With Saint Giovannino” by Domenico Ghirlandaio has just that. When you look into the background landscape of this painting you will see a man staring up into the sky at what seems to be a UFO. This is the ultimate mystery because no one knows how or why this UFO made its way into this work of art.

The Garden of Earthly Delights – Hieronymus Bosch

Hieronymus Bosch’s “The Garden Of Earthly Delights” was created over 12 years, from 1503 to 1515. This is another place where we can discover hidden things in paintings.

The Birth of Venus – Botticelli

hidden things in paintings

In 1485 – 1486, Sandro Botticelli created their piece “The Birth Of Venus”. In this painting you will see the woman, Venus, standing within a scallop shell in the ocean. The secret message here is thought to be that the scallop shell represents the female organs therefore alluding to an overall message of fertility.

Patch of Grass – van Gogh

Van Gogh created his “Patch Of Grass” in 1887. Van Gogh was notorious for painting over old works of art. Because of this, I have come to believe that Van Gogh may have some of the most mysterious paintings as we never know what is hiding underneath.

Keep Searching for the Mysteries

There are mysteries in many paintings and works of art. Not just in paintings, but drawings with hidden messages exist as well. If you give yourself the time to really look, perhaps you will find some new hidden messages of your own.

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