|About the Book|
In recent years, with books like Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, it has become fashionable to reinterpret the chronicles of Renaissance art in a popularise fashion. Public attention is focused on this best seller fiction, which is stirring up bothMoreIn recent years, with books like Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, it has become fashionable to reinterpret the chronicles of Renaissance art in a popularise fashion. Public attention is focused on this best seller fiction, which is stirring up both interest and controversy. At the very least there is a renewed interest in 15th century Italian artists and their practice.In 2006 I was teaching an undergraduate course titled Vision, Perception and Science at what was then the Emily Carr Institute for Art and Design (now Emily Carr University). Vision, Perception and Science was a foundations course, which meant that all Emily art students were required to take the course.At one of the classes one of the more outspoken students stood up during the lecture and publicly asked me what I thought about the film the da Vinci Code. My course Vision, Perception and Science began with da Vinci and his representational art and the question was both pertinent and important. I responded to the polite question by stating “ that the film “ … is based on scholarship and the scholarship is about 85% correct.”This brought surprise from some of the students who had a limited understanding of the artwork of many of the Renaissance artists and the remarkable mathematical, geometric and philosophical mysteries hidden within some of their art.What ensued was a wonderful discussion that went on for well over an hour which ended when I promised that I would present a lecture on the hidden messages inside Masaccio’s painting the Trinity.Over the space of three weeks of lectures, as I prepared my talk, I dropped hints as to what will be presented.My understanding of Renaissance art and the interest I had in the mathematics of the Renaissance meant that I could see much more in the works of the Renaissance artists than most other scholars. It is sort of a right brain-left brain thing that is a reflection of my mother’s predisposition towards art and my father’s predisposition towards his engineering.As promised I presented a one-time only special lecture In Search of Masaccio three weeks later to a standing room only audience that was attended by an overflow of students and some curious instructors. The lecture hall was filled to capacity and had some overflow out into the hall. While I talked you could hear a pin drop. Out of this came a short paper presented in 2006.My 2006 paper In Search of Masaccio has been well received. I was hoping that someone would take my observations and write the next chapter in this mysterious story, but after a sojourn of nearly a decade it is left to me to press on.More recently, in returning to once again study Masaccio’s Trinity, I happen to note some additional and intriguing indicators that mathematics, geometry and philosophic symbolism was a measure of Masaccio’s intent in his remarkable painting.There are indications that the mystery surrounding Masaccio mysterious disappearance may relate to the hidden messages within his Trinity. My belief is that Masaccio ran afoul of the Dominicans in whose church his fresco presided.I conclude this short book with a polite request to the Vatican. If Masaccio ran afoul of the Dominicans perhaps there is some written document or docket within the Vatican archives that could lay to rest this Renaissance mystery.Dante the great Italian poet wrote in his Divine Comedy of Heaven, Hell and that other place – Purgatory.Is it possible that Masaccio’s soul is perhaps lingering in that other place. After nearly six long centuries of purgatory, I ask the Vatican is it not time to set Masaccio’s soul to rest?