A fourteenth century fresco of the Madonna and Child depict on the top right side the image of a UFO hovering in the distance. A blow up of this fresco reveals tremendous details about this UFO including port holes.
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This painting has also been attributed to Jacopo del Sellaio and to Sebastiano Mainardi; but it’s not the speculation over the work’s creator that draws the crowds, rather, it’s the claims by alien theorists that it clearly depicts an extra-terrestrial object. For hovering in the background, just above the left shoulder of the Madonna, is an oval shaped object and beneath this stands a man who appears to be looking up at the strange shape in the sky, while at his feet his dog appears to be barking at it.

A multitude of bright beams of light are emitted from the suspected UFO that appears to be a substantial construction and it’s this that convinces some people that the shape is a flying saucer or could it be the biblical Noah’s Ark?

Attributed to the school of Sebastiano Mainardi and on display at Sommariva Perno, shows the same scene of a shepherd who, with a hand to his forehead and a dog at his side, looks towards the apparition of the red-dressed Angel. And in the center, above the Madonna’s head, there is the same light-rayed cloud.

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Two other suggestions that alien theorists have used is that the Madonna has deliberately positioned herself so that she can shield the children in her lap and that her halo, which looks vaporous, is possibly being diminished by the object in the sky.

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In truth, many artists inserted symbols into their artworks, random pieces of iconography to please the pious and potential purchasers of their artworks. The object painted here by Ghirlandaio could simply be his interpretation of an angelic presence or a depiction of a brilliant star, for on the left of the painting there’s a depiction of the Nativity star. Or, it may, who knows, be an ancient and now forgotten piece of Christian iconography.

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In the Nativity by Lorenzo Monaco (1409), we find the same cloud over the Madonna, while the Angel comes out of a similar cloud to make his announcement to the shepherds.

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In the Renaissance sacred art, there were represented not only scenes taken from the four canonical Gospels. Artists, often,took their inspirations from more recent devotional texts, containing characters and situations with more popular and narrative streaks

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Compiled by Diego Cuoghi
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The announcement to the shepherds as appears in the Nativity of Vincenzo Foppa (Detroit Institute of Arts)

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Two shepherds, as in the tondo of Palazzo Vecchio, are looking to the angel coming out from the cloud. We can see this scene represented in much the same way of the Madonna with Child of Palazzo Vecchio (above) in many other paintings of the Nativity or the Adoration of the Child:

Many of the paintings in The Middle Ages and Renaissance periods of Western civilisations  created some of the most iconic and defining works of art and in question are religious in nature, which was very common for the era. In many of these paintings flying saucers, UFOs, laser beams, and men in aircraft seem to be depicted flying overhead observing religious events such as the birth of Jesus, or his crucifixion.

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People who believe these objects could depict UFOs seen in the Middle Ages, say the people of the day may have mistook the appearance of alien aircraft as religious events. This may explain the incorporation of these objects into religiously significant scenes. Others say the depicted objects are simply spiritual in origin and have nothing to do with flying saucers.

Why is it that Madonna always looks glum?

These paintings also call attention to other paintings representing similar characters and settings, only with clearly defined angels and religious figures. Such paintings include the 15th century painting “Adoration of the Christ Child” by Vincenzo Foppa. The painting is very similar to “The Madonna With Saint Giovannino,” including a figure in the background staring at the sky. The object he is looking up at in this case, however, isn’t a flying saucer, but a winged angel emanating light.

Many paintings by Piero Della Francesca, including this, “The Baptism of Christ” (1450), contain lenticular shaped clouds that many believe to be UFOs.

Many paintings by Piero Della Francesca, including this, “The Baptism of Christ” (1450), contain lenticular shaped clouds that many believe to be UFOs.

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Fra Angelico, c. 1425
Fra Angelico, c. 1425

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11ball-ufoThese two tapestries were created in the 14th century. Both depict the life of Mary. Hat shaped objects can be clearly seen in both tapestries. The one on the right was created in 1330. The one on the left is entitled “The Magnificat”. Both are located at the French basillica Notre-Dame in Beaune, Burgandy.

This image on the right comes from the french book “Le Livre Des Bonnes Moeurs” by Jacques Legrand. You can find this book in Chantilly Condé’s Museum ref 1338 ,297 part 15 B 8. Some people say that the sphere is a balloon.   However, gallons were not in France in 1338.

Below is my video which highlights a few of these masterful artworks.
Enjoy.

Sources

http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/ufoart/esp_ovnis_arte_9.htm

http://web.archive.org/web/20021218161308/http:/digilander.libero.it/mysterica/Ufocrivelli.htm

http://sprezzatura.it/Arte/Arte_UFO_5_eng.htm

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