During the renaissance, pictures were mostly about religion. An ordinary picture expressed itself through two dimensional sphere – one very esthetic and noticed, while the other is very implied – almost invisible. The artists request the viewers to invest enormous effort to understand the whole picture (literally), synchronizing the two dimensions intentionally.
Let us go over a fresca to demonstrate this structure, this time by Giotto De Bondone:
You may be surprised to notice that in this picture there are two images – the exhibited and the “subpainted”. The second image tells us a different story, almost contradicted to the first one. It is as if the painter is taking us into a little game, in which we will be convinced and then criticized. The viewer is fronting a convincible narrative, and when finding the second image is criticized for being convinced. The second narrative is somewhat poetic and surely not sympathic to the convinced viewer.
The full two dimensional picture, is a difficult riddle. A viewer which will find out the answer to the riddle may be ashamed. He will probably rather to ignore what he thinks he found or convince himself there is nothing planted.
I can say about myself that it occurred to me too. It took me quite a while to understand that the two dimensional concept is a planned method. I believe it is not very much of a logical leap to conclude that there were probably schools which taught this technique. I may also suggest that the customers of these pictures were willing to recognize these hidden messages and enjoy new artistic trend. I belive that using the stage of the church to express the criticism, gives this closed-club mocking another side. I think that the artist had a real hope that there will come a time he will reveal the secret dimension.
Hiding ideas in a secret dimension exposed to everyone but noticed by none is not a new technique. Renaissance time artists were masters of such a technique. Another major of it was to defend from draft thieves. For further information, you may read the post of “the mysterious bird”: http://goo.gl/0C01Um
The paintings are flipping nature. Flipping the rocks, the woods, the river waters, even anthropomorphizes it. You may find in the blog some of the many occasions that cracks, crevices and other defects were unreal, serving the picture. One of the most common technique is the “vertical flipping”. By flipping the picture, many new heroes appear.
These “flipped” pictures are usually hardly noticed when straight, but this does not reduce from the importance of this technique in the picture. We may call the hidden dimension the “engine” of the picture. The character’s cloth hide actions against Christianity, a Pagan practice or even curses, making the whole picture a modern satire somehow paradoxical. The artists put the viewer in a conflict when the viewer does not know how to integrate the dimensions properly, making it hard to understand what the painter really believes in.
I believe that the most reasonable conclusion is that the painters were atheist, resisting the common belief and of course anti-Semitic.
The common viewer is sure that the one who ordered these pictures was a religious man, but we are standing in front of a propaganda tool, planned for fighting religion with engines at full.