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Dan Brown clue leads to Lady Lever competition

20 August 2010 by Dawn

A selection of Dan Brown books, CD and Durer leaflets

The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

Readers of Dan Brown, famous for the blockbuster novel and movie, ‘The Da Vinci Code’, will know that his most recent art linked tale, ‘The Lost Symbol’ delves into the hidden world of Masonic secrets and legends.

I was intrigued to hear that secret messages and symbols in Albrecht Dürer’s ‘Melancholia I’ play a key role in the elaborate plot which sees Robert Langdon decipher a number of clues. The intricate engraving is currently on show at the Lady Lever Art Gallery as part of the Dürer & Italy exhibition.

Langdon and his comrade Katherine Solomon examine the composition carefully, making particular note of its ‘magic square’. Using the numbers as the key to a hidden code, they go on to interpret the letters on a Masonic pyramid. I won’t say too much more as I don’t want to spoil the plot. However, a trip to the Lady Lever Art Gallery would be well worth the effort for any Dan Brown fan (not only because of the Dürer & Italy exhibition which runs until Sunday 26 September 2010), but because Lord Leverhulme was himself involved with freemasonry and there are many Masonic items in our collections.

However, if you can’t make it to the gallery and want to have a go at deciphering the clues in the Dürer etching you can take a closer look at it by using our ‘zoomify’ feature.

To celebrate the occasion we have 4 paperback copies of ‘The Lost Symbol’ to give away and one audio CD in an online draw. To enter just answer the following question:

In Dan Brown’s, The Lost Symbol, Langdon examines the ‘magic square’ in Dürer’s Melancholia I. What number do each of the rows, columns, diagonals, quadrants, the centre-squares and four corners each ‘magically’ add up to?

Update: The answer is, of course, 34! The exhibition finishes this coming Sunday 26 September, so it’s the last chance to go and see this amazing artwork at the Lady Lever Art Gallery. Congratulations to competition winners Steven Green, Arthur Adam, Alison Eden and Angie Irwin who all win a copy of the Dan Brown paperback. The CD goes to Joe Leather.

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