The Real Da Vinci Code

Leonardo Da Vinci held reason-based beliefs, was gifted with unrivaled intelligence and followed many of his peers’ habits, such as using models. The real code hidden in Leonardo Da Vinci’s celebrated and critically polemical painting, The Last Supper, points to his own descendants, just as the three purported tombs of Mary across the world are those of three ladies with the same popular name.

Ladies ready to model for artists were chosen for their willingness from a limited supply. Many of the models used to depict saints and the Virgin Mary were ladies of easy virtue, often artists’ mistresses.

It is in character for a rationalist to impertinently infiltrate his mistress disguised as one of the apostles in the Last Supper to ensure that he could laugh from his grave until the end of time at those of inferior intelligence who sought to fit his irreverence into puny theories to fulfil personal agenda.

The purported Mary Magdalene is a female model impersonating a man just as men in Da Vinci’s Italy impersonated women in the opera.

Burying hints in paintings or in writing was not only an artist’s prerogative but also a practice followed by monks. Prior to the invention of the Gutenberg Press, monks hand-copied Bibles. When they got bored or just felt like tweaking discipline, they inserted deviant images and marginal comments, the best known of which is “Now I’ve written the whole thing: for Christ’s sake give me a drink.”

Da Vinci, too, had his private tongue-in-cheek jokes, one of which, embedded as a challenge in The Last Supper, took five hundred years to incubate before it got the world’s knickers in a twist.

He also had an artist’s imagination, which, on its own, is never a scientific fact. When an artist paints a blond, brown, black or East Asian Jesus, the outstanding fact only ascertains the strength of the artist’s own cultural perception. Nativity crèches in the French Foreign Legion often show baby Jesus with a white képi on his head and here are Légionnaires disguised as the Magi or the other way round!…biw=960

Personal inclination or a vivid imagination could conclude that the Magi in French Foreign Legion uniforms are a clue indicating that the Magi who came to find Jesus were Roman Legion officers seeking to make contact with the family of the greatest revolutionary in human history to make sure he was their revolutionary. An embedded clue for neophytes.

So, a female as one of the Apostles in da Vinci’s The Last Supper could equally well be dismissed as an artist’s imagination, or a last minute, desperate attempt to substitute a model for the inebriated male who’d been stabbed in a tavern the night before.

Anyway, let us not forget that a well-argued construct without factual basis is the argument a lawyer wins just before losing the case. It is also a common occurrence to find women being part of a religious or philosophical group without a sexual or romantic affiliation.

After all, not along ago, Mahatma Gandhi slept with young girls without having doubts cast on his vow of celibacy.

Accordingly, after Jesus’ resurrection, Mary Magdalene married Simon, one of his brothers. He was a wealthy fisherman who owned several boats. After the resurrection of Jesus, his family found itself under pressure from the Romans and the Jews. With Mary Magdalene — Maryam Magdaleenee — expecting a child, Simon felt it would be expeditious to leave.

They sailed for the coast of Gaul, present-day France. On the way, Simon was swept overboard in a storm and Mary Magdalene landed in Marseille, a wealthy widow accompanied by three handmaidens. They were called Maryam’s Rebecca, Maryam’s Esther and Maryam’s Sarah.

Once Mary of Magdalene withdrew into the cave in St Baume, not far from Marseille, her handmaidens were freed of their duties.

Maryam’s Esther became an ambient missionary, ending up in the mountains overlooking Islamabad in present-day Pakistan. Since in her identification Maryam preceded Esther, when she died her tomb was called Maryam’s tomb. After some time, due to a confusion of names, she was thought to be Mary the Mother of Jesus. A settlement grew around it, called Mari or Murree, which became the summer headquarters of the British Indian Army’s Northern Command and is still a popular summer resort.

Maryam’s Sarah married a Greek who traded along the Mediterranean ports. He was older, wealthy and due to retire. They settled in a beautiful house in Ephesus, Turkey. Her tomb, too, is remembered as that of Maryam.

Maryam’s Rebecca reached the court of Gondophares, one of the Magi and the prince of a northern Punjab state in India. He converted to Christianity, they married and had children. Later, her descendants migrated to Europe but retained the name Mary as their maternal ancestor and jumped to the conclusion that they must be descendants of Mary of Magdalene whose husband had to have been Jesus.

By the time their oral family history blossomed to this conclusion, France had become a mainly Christian country and so they formed a secret society to pass on this presumption from generation to generation.

So here’s all the much-ado over the Da Vinci Code.

Da Vinci did not marry.
His legitimate descent has been traced through his siblings and one of his descendants is the acclaimed film director Franco Zeffirelli
However, Da Vinci has left a startling clue.
The answer to the apostle everybody is fighting to proclaim as a pregnant Mary Magdalene is the clue left by Da Vinci to inform us that his line continued through the lady in the picture and a study of concomitant accounts including rivals’ letters confirms this.

Beaujolais Nouveau

Sixty three years ago, France inverted the quality criterion of vintage wine by allowing Beujolais to be sold fresh and un-matured before  December 15th of the harvest year. The humble drink, released from its rustic confines near Lyons, unexpectedly found itself elevated to an international institution. Cash flow increased and small wine growers became millionaires.

This year the third Thursday of November falls on the 21st, when Beaujolais Nouveau may be opened with its ritual fanfare and riotous parties. Affluent Japanese in swimming pools, British and American students in grunge, Brazilian and Indonesian millionaires in their mansions and oil-rich Arabs on their yachts will be raising glasses and pontificating on the residual flavor of this year’s Beaujolais Nouveau.

While some will be nibbling at elegant finger food, others will content themselves with crisps and peanuts. Some will be sick, others invigorated. Some drunken promises will be kept, others broken.

Such has become the power of this wine extracted from the simple Gamay grape. It used to be savored with pieds et paquets — trotters and stuffed tripe — at the market fairs north of Lyon in the Beaujolais region. In 1951, the wine produced in ten villages was allowed to be sold before December 15th under the label Beaujolais Nouveau. Later, 30 other villages were extended this privilege under the label Beaujolais-Village Nouveau.

No other wine in the world can be sold under any of these labels. And in France, no wine other than primeur can be sold before December 15th of the harvest year. Considering the annual consumption of Beaujolais Nouveau, one may rightly wonder where such a large quantity is harvested and by whom!

But harvested it is, by hand,

and consumed it is, with gusto.–qDMOHf4_JGFQ22y_W6oqEOOWjncWWKPwwPRw

Actually, this vin primeur trend now includes fifty-five other French Protected Designations of Origin that may be savored starting from late November. They have less tannin and thus more fruity residual flavor that allows connoisseurs to wax eloquent and expose their cultured selves. They also allow plain and simple folk the pleasure of enjoying a chilled, naturally fruity wine with their favourite home-made canapés.

My favourite primeurs are Côtes du Rhone, Ardêche and Gaillac.

Do try these primeurs with a mild chicken korma accompanied by fluffy white basmati rice — oh yes, and don’t forget the handful of crudités on the side!

A votre santé et bon appétit mes amis!