Interview with Jean Luc Angrand by Cindy  Dupuis (student journalist)

Interview with Jean Luc Angrand by Cindy Dupuis (student journalist)

Cindy Dupuis : Hello Jean Luc Angrand, you are a historian and bestselling author, an expert in Italian Renaissance paintings. You received an Academic Prize in 2006 for a colonial history book from the Overseas Science Academy in Paris.

Thank you for accepting our invitation today. Since 2023, your work on the hidden codes in Italian Renaissance painting has been much discussed. To start with, can you tell us more about these codes?

Jean Luc Angrand (JLA): Hello Cyndi, and thank you for having me. The hidden codes in Renaissance paintings aren't just isolated signs or symbols. They're the result of a blend of ideologies, religious beliefs, occult sciences, and sometimes even political messages. Renaissance artists were often at the forefront of their era's thinking and used their works to subtly communicate complex ideas.

CD: Fascinating. But how did you manage to decipher these codes that have baffled so many researchers for so long?

JLA: Well, it was a long process. I combined traditional analysis techniques with modern digital tools, like high-resolution imaging and 3D modeling. This allowed me to study these works from different angles and in great detail. Furthermore, I collaborated with experts from various fields, such as linguistics, theology, and alchemy, to understand each symbol or sign's cultural and historical context.

CD: Can you give us an example of a code you've discovered?

JLA: Certainly, Cyndi. Take, for instance, Leonardo da Vinci's "Saint Anne." At first glance, it appears to depict Jesus playing with a lamb in the company of his mother and grandmother. But on closer inspection, using specific imaging techniques, I identified recurring postures in da Vinci's works that seem to correspond to the alchemical myth of Leda and the Swan. This might suggest that da Vinci was using alchemical symbolism to convey hidden messages or heretical ideas of his time.

CD: That's absolutely fascinating. Did you encounter any particular challenges during your research?

JLA: Yes, many challenges. Beyond the works' complexity, there were preservation challenges. Some paintings had been damaged over time, others had been restored, which can hide or alter some original details. Additionally, there's always the risk of subjective interpretation, so I had to be extremely careful and systematic in my approach.

CD: What will happen to the millions of books that are no longer up to date?

JLA: Well, publishers will have to have them rewritten. And it's not just that, the Renaissance art history courses in universities also need to be completely revised.

CD: How do you explain that your colleagues couldn't decode these paintings?

JLA: Several have done so partially over the centuries, especially in the 20th century. They've managed to perceive and describe the simplest form of these codes, which we call attributes. There are many iconographic dictionaries that perfectly describe the symbolic significance of various objects found in paintings. My contribution goes beyond just compiling symbolic objects; I uncover one or several narratives in a painting that uses icons like words in a sentence. A true grammar.

CD: A grammar where the words would be objects, icons; so are you talking about one or several narratives?

JLA: Exactly, and these narratives tell stories related to Judeo-Christian faith, and they try to combine it with the spirituality of alchemists and ancient mythology in most cases. Leonardo da Vinci is a unique case; he truly is a heretic with a complicated relationship with Judeo-Christianity.

CD: How is his relationship with Judeo-Christianity complicated?

JLA: He is quite simply a heretic who seems to assert that the messiah isn't Jesus but Saint John the Baptist. And even more so with the Mona Lisa, he seems to have definitively left monotheism to embrace what we now call transhumanism. His form of transhumanism asserts that the perfect humanity would be hermaphroditic, a fusion of both sexes, and its destiny would be to sit on God's throne through science.

CD: That's quite something; it's ambitious and dangerous. If I understand correctly, the creature we call Mona Lisa would be a hermaphrodite sitting on God's throne? This theory is the subject of one of your books.

JLA: Yes, that's right, and that's why I titled my book "ULTIMATE BLASPHEMY - LEONARDO DA VINCI."

CD: Is it available in the USA?

JLA: Yes, in digital format on my bookstore and on Amazon KDP.

CD: What's next for you, now that you've revealed these mysteries?

JLA: My work doesn't stop here. I want to deepen my research, study other artworks from the same period, and perhaps uncover other hidden codes. I'm working on a thesis about the four mythologies of Sandro Botticelli that I'd like to present in an open-minded university. I'm also working on documentary film synopses based on my discoveries. There's still so much to explore in Renaissance art!

CD: Well, we're eagerly awaiting your next breakthroughs and your thesis. Thank you, Mr. Angrand, for sharing your knowledge with us today.

JLA: It was a pleasure, Cindy. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share my work.

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