Toronto, Canada - The first hint of hidden transcripts in the old masters came in 2012, while the author was examining Michelangelo’s 'Creation of Adam’ on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. He saw in the gap between those most famous of fingers something that - according to traditional theory - should certainly not have been there. It was the word ‘chiave’, Italian for ‘key’. And it was this that opened the door to an amazing new world.

“I could not believe what I was seeing,” said Mr Cane, who now lives in Canada, “those old paintings we puzzled over in galleries - the Biblical scenes, stories from Greek myths, the portraits of powerful princes and wealthy merchants - every single one is packed with hidden scandal. Even those with no previous interest in art will now find it compelling and addictive, not least because everything we thought we knew about art is being turned upside down.”

Using sophisticated digital enhancement, Mr Cane has exposed deeply camouflaged annotations in hundreds of the most famous paintings, uncovering tales of passion, lust, and murder, tales that include all of the greatest names of the Renaissance, from Leonardo da Vinci to Michelangelo; Christopher Columbus to Dante; Machiavelli to Elizabeth, the Virgin Queen.

The story that is emerging involves a powerful family of merchants and artists who not only specialized in silk, spice, and slaves… they also secretly climbed to positions of great power, and poisoned their enemies to death. And for that they used the lead, mercury and arsenic salts kept in their paint boxes: they were not only expert in the trade of precious commodities, they were also artists of the greatest renown, and assassins of the highest skill.

Mr Cane will be releasing his discoveries next year in a new book, ‘Shadows on the Wall’, and is divulging remarkable new stories almost daily on his blog. While they are factual accounts of what really happened, the tales they tell are wilder than any fiction one might be able to conceive.

“These amazing disclosures show that almost nothing we thought we knew about our artistic heritage is true. Once we get past our initial incredulity, it becomes clear that this is the biggest art story in 500 years,” he said.

The Author

Peter Cane worked for much of his career as a professional writer and art director with his own marketing consultancy, specializing in popular art.

He is an independent scholar, specialized in the evolutionary biology and neurobiology of our response to art, a cutting edge science known as bioaesthetics.

His work is regarded as revolutionary in its approach, and of vital importance in the field of human communication. He’s lectured on bioaesthetics and the role of human sensory triggers in London for a number of years, and his talks have been applauded as far afield as Griffith University in Australia.