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Ghost Ship

The mysterious pointing Finger

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Ghost Ship

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In many of Leonardo da Vinci's paintings there can be seen a figure pointing their finger upwards. Many have made allusions towards the paintings meanings in regards to the paintings pointed finger but no one knows for certain what it means. I will give some explanations some have given but what do you think. I have included some other artists paintings as well besides Leonardo's works.

I give here the works of Leonardo that show the pointed finger.[/i]

Leonardo da Vinci

St John the Baptist

1513-16

Musee du Louvre, Paris

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An allusion to the mystery, the finger pointed towards heaven denotes the coming of Christ, announced by the Baptist. This iconographic element was frequently employed by Leonardo: it occurs in the London cartoon where St Anne indicates the heavenly will; and it returns in the drawing of the Angel of the Annunciation, furnished on the verso with three words taken from Pliny relating to the ability of Apelles to paint the invisible.

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Leonardo da Vinci

St John in the Wilderness (Bacchus)

1510-15

Musee du Louvre, Paris

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Ascribed by some to Leonardo, this painting in the Louvre was transferred to canvas in the 19th century. Others attribute it to Cesare da Sesto, to Bernazzano, to Francesco Melzi, or, more loosely, to a Lombard painter.

Taking into account the deterioration, which makes it hard to judge, the naturalistic background lacks the descriptive and symbolic density of Leonardo's landscapes.

As with the analogous gesture of the St John, the pointing index finger suggests that the subject may be identified as the Baptist.

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Last Supper (copy)

16th century

Da Vinci Museum, Tongerlo

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Note: In this painting the finger is pointing at St.John for mysterious reasons. It has been said that this works seems to hint that a messiah will come but fail and then another will come after him. Just one of many explanations. You can see the Virgin Mary's hand hover over the Christ childs head.

LEONARDO DA VINCI: "VIRGIN OF THE ROCKS"

Circa 1483-86; oil on panel (transferred to canvas); 198 x 123 cm (78 x 48 in). Musee du Louvre, Paris

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The Virgin Mary has her right arm around the shoulders of infant St John the Baptist, who kneels in prayer. Her left hand, slightly open, hovers above the head of the seated Christ child. A kneeling angel points at St John with his right hand, while his left supports Christ. The figures occupy a large part of the composition; they are placed against a dark background of jagged rocks rising to an arch, through which a misty landscape may be glimpsed.

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Virgin and child with Saint.Anne and Saint.John

There is a subtle interplay between the gazes of the four figures, with St Anne smiling at her daughter Mary, while Mary's eyes are fixed on her son, as are St John's. There is little in the way of clear delineation between the four bodies; the heads of the two women, in particular, look like growths on the same body. St Anne's enigmatic gesture of pointing her index finger towards the heavens recurs in two of Leonardo's last paintings, his St John the Baptist and his Bacchus, and is regarded as the quintessential Leonardesque gesture.

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Here are some other works by other artists that show the pointing finger as well.

Here is a painting by Raphael that shows the pointing finger as well

Raphael, The School of Athens, 1508-09,

Stanza della Segnatura, Vatican, Rome.

The Vincian pose reappears in the figure of Plato pointing to the space beyond the heavens.

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Andrea del Sarto, Bacchus,

middle of second decade of 16th century, Worcester.

Del Sarto, too, combined sacred and profane iconography

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OhZone

That's interesting, I had not realized that this is a common theme.

I don't think it has anything to do with "heavan" in the common definition, but more to do with outer space; other planets, galaxies etc. Most of these artists were members of secret societies, and while the paintings are allegedly of relgious figures of the popular literature, their paintings were symbolic of something deeper, and likely with multiple meanings. A study of astro-theology would probably give some insight.

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Ghost Ship

Thanks for your reply. I will look into astro-theology.

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Stormcrow

I've seen topics around discussing this before--one even suggested the fingers point in the direction of Atlantis. :lol:

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ValkyrieVoice

That's interesting. Thank you for sharing. I learned something tonight.

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Ghost Ship

Thanks.

They're pointing at something. The virgin and child especially. I believe it to be a reference towards something supernatural in the firmament.

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OhZone

It is not lilkely anything supernatural. There is no "supernatural", only things that cannot be explained.(Which is the theme of theis site.)

No, I don't think they would be pointing to Atlantis. This could not have been that important to them.

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MichandMe

When Leonardo paints something note that when the finger points up and a cross is present, Christ has been crucified. This is true unless Christ himself holds the cross because his fate is crucifixion on the cross. Also, whenever the hand points sideways it indicates Christ is alive as if to say; "He's right over there." Otherwise, the finger is directing you, the viewer of the painting, to something important, as in Uriel's famous craggy finger pointing to St. John the Baptist. All those fingers pointing up without holding the cross indicate that's where this one is from -Heaven

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BiffSplitkins

My main guess would be they used the pointing finger sign way back then because this one had not been invented yet. :D

Dio_EvilEye.jpg

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