In the New York Times, a quick article on a study in the journal Neurosurgery by two Johns Hopkins professors. The abstract argues that Michaelangelo

concealed another neuronanatomic structure in the final panel of this series, the Separation of Light From Darkness, specifically a ventral view of the brainstem. The Separation of Light From Darkness is an important panel in the Sistine Chapel iconography because it depicts the beginning of Creation and is located directly above the altar. We propose that Michelangelo, a deeply religious man and an accomplished anatomist, intended to enhance the meaning of this iconographically critical panel and possibly document his anatomic accomplishments by concealing this sophisticated neuroanatomic rendering within the image of God.

You can read the whole article here, with pictures even.

Now, I enjoy stories of intrigue and conspiracy and codes and Renaissance artists as much as the next girl, although I prefer Umberto Eco to Dan Brown. But since I’m on hiatus, I have no more to say about this new study than I did a couple of years ago in this post – that, and {cough} pareidolia {cough}.


  1. #1 Comrade PhysioProf
    June 23, 2010

    Yeah. This secret code shit is fucking ridic.

  2. #2 Rob Monkey
    June 23, 2010

    Wow, this seemed appropriate when I read it on, but Neurosurgery? Seems a little below their pay grade. I tend to be with you on the whole “finding shitloads of hidden stuff that may not have been intended at all,” it reminds me of how in high school English we learned that EVERY character in a book who had the initials J.C. was a Jesus figure. Every single one.

    Here’s the Cracked article, pretty interesting nonetheless: Easter Eggs in Famous Art

  3. #3 Joe Leasure
    June 27, 2010

    I heared about this recently (npr I think) and remembering your post could happily dsimiss it. And what a great word pareidolia is! I think you could similarly apply it to those scholars who look for ‘complex’ codes in the bible.

  4. #4 Joe Leasure
    June 27, 2010

    I heard….obviously. Caught that type just as I clicked the button.

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