The Da Vinci Code: book and movie criticized

This video about Leonardo Da Vinci is called Mona Lisa – Why so Famous?

After earlier criticisms of Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code, now this:

Historian Elaine Graham-Leigh decodes the film of Dan Brown’s best selling novel and uncovers a dangerous right wing agenda

The film of Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code opened the Cannes film festival this week to universal critical panning.

The response to the book was somewhat better, but no one argues that either version is great art. ..

The authors of HBHG [Holy Blood Holy Grail] met one of them, a man called Pierre Plantard, who claimed to be the Grand Master and a descendent of Jesus.

According to HBHG, the Priory’s aim was to put him “on the throne of Europe”, and this gives a clue to its real nature—a small, obscure, French monarchist sect.

However, while the Priory itself may be minor, the conspiracy theories have been used to some effect by the right.

The theories have been around since the 19th century, but they came to particular prominence in France in the Second World War.

The Vichy regime used Cathar emblems in its propaganda, and there was also peculiar activity by the Nazis around the ruined castles most associated with ideas about Cathar mysticism.

The Da Vinci Code takes a profoundly right wing position and gives it a new age gloss, as if it was a genuine opposition to the establishment.

This countercultural tinge has probably helped to make it a bestseller, and leaves readers with the impression that it would be nice if there were something in its arguments.

But real resistance is never made up of mysterious organisations protecting secret knowledge from ordinary people.

Dan Brown’s presentation of fringe monarchist fantasies as the answer to all modern ills is not only a badly-written thriller.

It’s a con.

See also here.

And here.

When The Da Vinci Code was released three years ago, it generated a certain amount of controversy and was protested by right-wing religious groups such as the Catholic League. Angels and Demons has found a more muted response, in part due to a much friendlier attitude toward the Catholic Church than the one found in the earlier work: here.

4 thoughts on “The Da Vinci Code: book and movie criticized

  1. Oct 22, 8:24 AM EDT

    Inventor: Scans reveal Mona Lisa secrets

    Associated Press Writer

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — For centuries, the “Mona Lisa” has beguiled art buffs unable to resist speculating on its origins and meaning. Now a French inventor claims to have some answers, including the fate of the enigmatic subject’s famously missing eyebrows and lashes.

    Parisian engineer Pascal Cotte says his ultra-detailed digital scans of the painting allow him to effectively burrow through layers of paint to “see” into the past of Leonardo Da Vinci’s 16th-century portrait of a Florentine merchant’s wife.

    The world’s most famous painting originally included both brows and lashes, according to Parisian engineer Pascal Cotte, who says his 240-megapixel scans of the painting reveal traces of Mona Lisa’s left brow, obliterated by long-ago restoration efforts.

    “With just one photo you go deeper into the construction of the painting and understand that Leonardo was a genius,” Cotte said at the U.S. debut of an exhibit detailing his findings.

    As a boy growing up in Paris in the 1960s, Cotte said, he spent hours staring at the “Mona Lisa” the first time he saw it at the Louvre. He later used his scientific training in light and optics to develop a camera that would let him examine the object of his obsession.

    Cotte, 49, estimates he has spent 3,000 hours analyzing the data from the scans he made of the painting in the Louvre’s laboratory three years ago.

    Using sensors to detect light from both the visible spectrum and the infrared and ultraviolet ranges invisible to the human eye, Cotte said, his camera allowed him to make these and other findings:

    – Da Vinci changed his mind about the position of two fingers on the subject’s left hand.

    – Her face was originally wider and the smile more expressive than Da Vinci ultimately painted them.

    – She holds a blanket that has all but faded from view today.

    Cotte said his analyses also revealed what he believes are the painting’s colors as they looked on Da Vinci’s easel.

    Age, varnish and restorations performed by later conservators’ hands have resulted in a painting that, in its permanent home behind bulletproof glass at the Louvre, appears saturated with heavy greens, yellows and browns.

    Working with his 22-gigabyte digital photo, made using 13 different color filters rather than the typical three or four found in consumer-grade digital cameras, Cotte created a reproduction of the Mona Lisa with the light blues and brilliant whites he thinks represent the painting in its original form.

    “For the next generation, we guarantee that forever you will have the true color of this painting,” Cotte said.

    Though some art historians have expressed skepticism about Cotte’s findings, he hopes his technique can be used as a guide for future restoration work on not just the “Mona Lisa,” but also on aging art treasures around the world.

    Since scanning the “Mona Lisa,” Cotte has made super-high-resolution photographs of more than 500 paintings, including works by Van Gogh, Brueghel, Courbet and other European masters.

    “To communicate our cultural heritage to our kids, we need to provide the maximum of information,” Cotte said.

    On the Web:

    Mona Lisa Revealed:


  2. Pingback: Mona Lisa’s skeleton research | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Most popular New York art exhibitions | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: Painter Leonardo da Vinci, new film, review | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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