Once again I am indebted to a good friend for bringing another interesting painting to my attention, one that has fascinated UFO enthusiasts who went looking for historical evidence. So here we have a 1350 fresco from the Visoki Decani Monestary in Kosovo, Serbia, artist unknown, with two details highlighted below:
“Aha!” say UFO fans: spaceships at the Crucifixion. Let’s start by getting something out of the way that I discussed fully in a previous article: this was painted 13 centuries after the event, so it cannot be taken as evidence of what happened on that day without us being completely irrational. So let’s dismiss it as evidence of UFOs actually being at the Crucifixion immediately, because that would be a foolish line of reasoning.
What remains is to look at the intentions of the artist. Was he trying to portray spaceships in his painting? Might the artist have seen UFOs being piloted in this way, and incorporated that into his art?
The first problem with that idea is that they aren’t the same as each other. If these are space shuttles, why wouldn’t they look the same? Why would one of the pilots be facing the back of his ship, and flying it backward? Is he showing off? So we’ve got a problem there straight away.
Now look closely at the “ship” on the right. Does something look familiar, in that shape? Yes, it’s a crescent moon. What we have here is in fact a representation of the sun and the moon. Have a look at the following quote, from the Gospel of Luke:
It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, while the sun’s light failed; and the curtain of the temple was torn in two.
So the artist here is representing that aspect of the Crucifixion by showing the sun and the moon both present in the sky at the same time. Why do they have people inside them? Well, you’ve heard of the man in the moon? That’s very much a Renaissance art thing. Here’s one from 1463 that shows the moon with a face:
And here’s a German woodcut from 1493 showing the sun and the moon with faces. If you do a search online you will find endless similar examples:
Now the interesting thing about the Crucifixion example is that it shows whole humans (not alien blobs or Cybermen, note) inside the sun and the moon, and I haven’t found any other example of that in Renaissance art. Use the comments section if you know of any. But either way, I don’t think we can reasonably take much from that other than an artist trying to do something a bit different and avoid producing an entirely derivative piece of art. Then again, looking at other areas of the painting, such as Jesus’ feet standing comfortably on a platform, might just lead us to another conclusion. Whoever this anonymous painter was, maybe he just wasn’t a very good artist. RP
Further reading: The UFO Baptism