Researchers now know who she was, and they know that Leonardo da Vinci painted her portrait to commemorate the birth of her second son. But what they don’t know is how he did it, because on close examination, there seem to be no brushstrokes. Could it have been an earlier photograph, as the Shroud of Turin is suspected of being?

Not even the most sophisticated modern analysis available to art historians has revealed the secret of how Leonardo could have painted with brush strokes so fine that they still cannot be detected. Researcher John Taylor was amazed by the lack of brush strokes on the painting, even he examined it with the most sophisticated imaging equipment available.

Leonardo has been implicated as a possible forger of the Shroud of Turin by Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince in their 1994 book, “The Turin Shroud: In Whose Image.” He has been thought by artist David Hockney to be the originator of a method of using a system of lenses to help create the perfect images so familiar from Renaissance paintings, a theory which Hockney elaborates in his 2001 book, “Secret Knowledge: Rediscovering the Lost Techniques of the Old Masters.”

In certain extremely secret traditions, it is taught that Leonardo’s mother, a peasant called Catarina, was actually the secret Queen of the Cathars at the time of Leonardo’s birth, and he was the inheritor of many Cathar secrets, including those of ancient lost sciences.

Mona Lisa has always represented the epitome of Western beauty. A group of scientists is trying to define exactly why some things look beautiful to us and others don’t. They’ve discovered that something that is “easy on the eyes” is also “easy on the mind,” because it’s FAMILIAR. Piotr Winkielman says, “A stimulus becomes attractive if it falls into the average of what you?ve seen and is therefore simple for your brain to process.”

Some of the most beautiful things in the world, like flowers and butterflies, only last a short time and one of the most extraordinary examples of this is crop circles. We’ve captured these beautiful, magical patterns for you in our new crop circle calendar from England. We’re the only place in the US that sells this and they make wonderful gifts. This week, don’t miss Anne Strieber’s talk with Colm Kelleher about something much darker: the possible connection between Mad Cow Disease and Alzheimer’s. But in order to hear this extraordinary interview?and also be able to chat with William Henry on Saturday, Sept. 30?you need to subscribe today.

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