Prologue: The Unknown Artist  |  The Missing Journals  |  The Lost Secret

    Leonardo da Vinci and Jesus of Nazareth; born outside of marriage to a young woman in a patriarchal community. They did not marry. They grew up to be nonconformists who saw beyond their ages and conventions. They lived under the rule of the Roman Empire: Jesus between the conquest of Pompey in 63BCE and the failed Judean revolt of 70CE; Leonardo lived as the Papal States captured the Italian peninsula under the ruthless army of Cesare Borgia, threatening Florence with invasion.

    Leonardo and Jesus had pity for the oppressed people and challenged their leaders’ lip service to piety. Both said they awoke to find everyone around them asleep. One urged those who have ears to hear. He spoke in parables. The other spoke of those who looked but did not see. He painted in symbols.Jesus said we should look beyond appearances to make better judgement (John 7:24); it might be Leonardo’s motto and what you will take from this biography.

    The first biographer of Leonardo described him as “more a philosopher than a Christian.” Today he is known as an unbeliever – but did he believe in nothing? And what did Jesus believe? It is easy to forget that Jesus was a monotheist who lived before Paul “reverse-engineered” Christianity and coined the term. And as we shall see, Leonardo painted a Last Supper that is pre-Christian and anti-Church.

    Christians claim the faith was started by Jesus. But was Christianity initiated at the last supper? We may never know. But Leonardo was said to know more than anyone else. And he did not paint Jesus instructing the disciples or initiating the Eucharist. We “see” it in our mind’s eye, but it is not there.

    In recent years “Da Vinci” has been linked to an unspeakable secret, as yet unspecified and unproven. A torrent of speculation has discredited the subject. But as we shall see, Leonardo did belong to a circle of speculative freethinkers. They accessed books banned in Europe but taken into Florence from the Islamic Middle East by Cosimo de’ Medici. By unravelling the scenes in the Last Supper this book shows that the painter knew more about Jesus than the pastors.

    If Jesus is identified as the founder of a religion and Leonardo is categorised as a non-believer you will never understand the Last Supper.