In the Church and Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan there are two paintings, one a painting allegedly full of secret codes and clandestine messages, the other actually contains secret codes and clandestine messages. The Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci and The Crucifixion by Giovanni Donato da Montorfano iconic as each other, one an iconic painting created by a master artist, the other a painting by a relatively unknown.  The question you have to ask yourself is why?

Why would a lesser artist’s painting be in the same room as The Last Supper? 

To answer that question you have to examine The Crucifixion painting starting with one piece of information that immediately catches the eye.

By looking at the wooden box the first thing that strikes us is the actual number 1495

 Leonardo Da Vinci’s notebooks ARE the key to unlock ALL Da Vinci coded messages. With this in mind we can already deduce that Leonardo either knew Giovanni or instructed Giovanni to include this on the painting.  The 1495 on the box does indeed point to paragraph 1495 in Leonardo Da Vinci’s notebooks which reads thusly:

‘Of the error of those who practice without knowledge;--[3] See first
the 'Ars poetica' of Horace [5].

[Footnote: A 3-5 are written on the margin at the side of the title
line of the text given, entire as No. 19]’

Ars Poetica is a term meaning "The Art of Poetry" or "On the Nature of Poetry" and is a book by the Roman poet Quintus Horatius Flaccus known in the English-speaking world as Horace.

By referring to the chapter which in turn refers to another book does that mean another code exists? The key here are the numbers that Leonardo Da Vinci writes in the margins of the book and why do that if they not important? This is the actual text taken from Ars Poetica.

AP: 1-37 On unity and harmony
If a painter had chosen to set a human head
On a horse’s neck, covered a melding of limbs,
Everywhere, with multi-coloured plumage, so
That what was a lovely woman, at the top,
Ended repulsively in the tail of a black fish:
Asked to a viewing, could you stifle laughter, my friends?
Believe me, a book would be like such a picture,
Dear Pisos, if it’s idle fancies were so conceived
That neither its head nor foot could be related
To a unified form. ‘But painters and poets
Have always shared the right to dare anything.’
I know it: I claim that licence, and grant it in turn:
But not so the wild and tame should ever mate,
Or snakes couple with birds, or lambs with tigers.
Weighty openings and grand declarations often
Have one or two purple patches tacked on, that gleam
Far and wide, when Diana’s grove and her altar,
The winding stream hastening through lovely fields,
19Or the river Rhine, or the rainbow’s being described.

As the text indicates line number 19 reads Or the river Rhine, or the rainbow’s being described’, so what do 3 and 5 indicate? Does it mean words 3 and 5 or does it mean words 3 to 5. To answer this we have to go back to the original text which read: 

‘Of the error of those who practice without knowledge;--[3] See first
the 'Ars poetica' of Horace [5].

 The numbers 3 and 5 are placed strategically around the phrase ‘[3] See first the 'Ars poetica' of Horace [5]’ which suggests the numbers 3 and 5 are set to mean 3 to 5 inclusive which in turn gives us : river Rhine, or

Ideally this would give us a message to understand already, but bear in mind that this is a clandestine message and Da Vinci would have made this more difficult to comprehend by transcribing the letters into an anagram.

It was then that I turned back to the original phrase back in paragraph 1495 in Leonardo Da Vinci’s notebooks to make certain that nothing was left to chance ‘‘Of the error of those who practice without knowledge;--[3]See first the 'Ars poetica' of Horace [5]’.

‘Of the error of those who practice without knowledge’ stuck in my head for a little while before I realized that to gain knowledge we had to remove the error and the letters e, r, r, o and r  appear in the phrase river Rhine, or’.

Once we take the word error from this we were left with riverhin which in turn is an anagram of Henri IV or Henri VI.

But which Henry though? It could be Margaret of Anjou’s husband Henry VI of England, or it could in turn refer to a numerous other people titled Henry. To figure that out would take more investigation of the painting turning up more secrets than I dared hoped for.

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