Templar Mysteries

History tells us that following the dissolution of the Knights Templar in 1312, and the execution of its final grandmaster two years later, the order ceased to exist. Nevertheless, since that time, stories of their continued existence have thrived. Some of these I have touched on in my work.

The topic of Templar survival has been of fascination for authors for at least three centuries. In particular, the last forty years has seen something of a blitz on new research, but sadly during that time, the line between history and fiction has become increasingly blurred. The trend, beginning in the Middle Ages, linking the order with the Holy Grail has proven particularly inspiring, though precisely what the grail was is anyone’s guess. It is often said that there are as many grail theories as there are grails.

In the eyes of many mainstream historians, the possibility of a Templar continuation is seldom given much respect; even its suggestion has sadly become labelled as a form of career suicide in certain circles. In reality, the argument is a positive one, an answer to which is by no means clear-cut. From a fiction point of view the conspiracy theories are fantastic, and researching them and including them in The Templar Agenda and The Larmenius Inheritance has been a pleasure. But proving them is another matter. In the case of those novels, I stretched history to the limit. For the interested reader, it is worth pointing out that evidence to suggest that the Knights Templar continued to exist in one form or another following their dissolution is easy enough to find, even without forged documents like the Larmenius Charter.

This section attempts to provide an accessible overview of just some of the theories!

Could The Templars Have Split?

Should the Templars have successfully fled the Inquisition, it seems unlikely that every member of the order should be able to stay in contact with their fellow brethren. According to specific sources, at their height, the Templar order comprised some 20,000 members, including clergy and lower classes.

Should one lot of Templars have managed to flee with their alleged treasure, or treasures, it seems feasible that those who were not so lucky would resent them.

For that reason, could the various splinter cells have found themselves estranged or even at war?

The Templars in Scotland

One of the most famous examples of a possible Templar continuation is found in Scotland. While focus in recent times has centred on Rosslyn Chapel, many other places have greater claims, particularly further north. Ironically, one of the best is the nearby castle, also owned by the St. Clairs. The castle dates back to around 1330, shortly after the time of the Templar demise, and continued to be used until around 1688. As traditional history confirms, Scotland was itself under excommunication at this time, and some Templar commentators have even suggested that the Templars assisted the Scots in the Battle of Bannockburn. This claim cannot be proven either way.

Of more interest is the known existence of vaults beneath the castle and the chapel. Exactly where and what they contain remains a mystery, probably even to the modern-day descendants. The complex system of underground tunnels and vaults that are known to exist have been said to include everything from tombs of Templars in armour to stairways that lead to nowhere. Of particular fascination, close to both the castle and chapel is a cave, hidden by a waterfall, that can only be entered via a well. Its very existence is incredible, and certainly adds fuel to the suggestion that its creation was deliberate. Who knows, perhaps the family did have something important to hide there.

In truth, many of the legends that have grown up around Rosslyn are a result of the lack of known facts of the location’s history, ignorance of which leads to more questions than answers. The vaults mentioned in The Templar Agenda are fictitious, though they are inspired by many of the tales and the area’s legends, in addition to observations from my visits. The strange tale of Count Poli is a true story. It is mentioned in Jackson’s Tales of Roslin Castle – the book has not been printed since 1837. Writing in 1891 John James Wilson wrote of Jackson in his The Annals of Penicuik that his work ‘showed considerable historical research and a ready gift of weaving together truth and romance in a singularly attractive form’. Perhaps Rota Temporum is hidden somewhere in the Vatican Library – my searches on their website, unsurprisingly, came up with nothing.

Kilwinning Abbey

Over the years, Rosslyn Chapel has received much attention. So much so, other sites of equal interest have gone somewhat under the radar. The ruins of Kilwinning Abbey still feature prominently in the town of the same name in Ayrshire. Allegedly it has connections with the Freemasons – and the various symbols found there does potentially support this. According to certain researchers, the abbey is not without connections to the Templars, including their alleged survival.

These claims, though deserving of future research, remain unproven.

Templars in the New World

Another central strand of my novel, The Templar Agenda, was the premise that the Templars were able to launch a voyage to America prior to that of Columbus. Writing in 2011, I believed that the chances of validating this theory were easier than it was even ten years ago - updating this in 2020, my beliefs remain unchanged. In the past, the suggestion that the Templars, or even the Vikings, had ventured across the Atlantic was also met with scorn by elements of the academic community. Sadly, these experts were oblivious to seeing what was right in front of them.

One of the locations used in The Templar Agenda was the Newport Tower, a unique structure located near nothing in particular in the heart of Newport, Rhode Island. The architecture of the tower is itself open to interpretation, and its original purpose cannot be pinpointed with complete certainty. One of the few documented references to its existence describes it as a stone mill, owned by one Governor Benedict Arnold, ancestor of the famous man of the same name.

On face value, the structure is strange. Its appearance is out of keeping with a traditional windmill. Furthermore, the presence of a fireplace on what was once the second storey, and the tendency for many of its features to fit with astrological alignments, do little to convince that it was built for that purpose. True, the structure is documented as Arnold’s ‘old stone mill’. However, there is no evidence that Arnold ordered its construction.

To accept the structure as a product of colonial Newport contradicts the documented facts. Sailing the area in 1524, explorer Giovanni da Verrazano recorded the structure as a ‘Norman Villa’, thus confirming the tower’s pedigree as no younger than 16th century.

In recent times other evidence has come to light supporting the Templar continuation theory. One impressive piece of research has been conducted and put forward by Scott Wolter regarding a strange stone found in Kensington, Minnesota. Dubbed the Kensington Runestone after its location and inspired by the inclusion of several runes of Norse origin, the find was initially claimed a forgery by the academic community (another one). These claims can now be accepted as inaccurate. For the open-minded, Wolter’s findings provide persuasive proof that a party of Templars and Cistercian monks were present in modern-day Minnesota in 1361.

The Zeno Brothers

Mentioned prominently in The Templar Agenda, both Nicolò Zeno (1326-1402?) and his brother Antonio (1330?-1403?) did exist. The Zeno family were established among the aristocracy of Venice, and controlled the franchise of transportation between Venice and the Holy Land during the Crusades. Both men were esteemed navigators, and their brother Carlo was regarded as something of a hero for his role in the war against Genoa.

In life, the brothers were noted for their talents as seafarers but not on the same scale as Carlo. This changed in 1558 when one of Nicolò’s descendants, also named Nicolò, published a strange account involving his ancestor in life. According to the published account the younger Nicolò, while playing in the family home, stumbled across a strange map, a book and a series of letters written by the brothers in life, including some to Carlo. Sadly, the descendant claims to have destroyed many of them, not realising the consequences of his actions.

Over the centuries, the legend of the Zeno brothers has become one of considerable controversy. If the letters are to be believed the tale described in The Templar Agenda is historically accurate. The accompanying map, giving poorly drawn locations for the islands of Frislanda, Icaria, Estotilanda, Drogeo and many others has convinced some authors that historical voyages were made by the brothers, possibly across the Atlantic over ninety years before Columbus.

Proving the validity of the map and the letters is a historical nightmare. Most scholars condemn them as hoaxes. One of the greatest arguments against their validity are contradictory accounts that suggest both of the brothers were elsewhere at the time they were said to be in Frislanda.

Another problem is identifying the location of the various islands. Frislanda is supposedly somewhere between Scotland and the Faroe Islands, though nothing obviously exists to meet the necessary criteria. For my novel, The Templar Agenda, I chose Fair Isle in Scotland, also suggested by Andrew Sinclair. Icaria I chose as St. Kilda, as its location is close to where Icaria could be, based on the assumption Fair Isle is Frislanda, though Icaria is described as being larger than St. Kilda – Sinclair suggested St. Kilda or Kerry as possible answers; Steve Sora, interestingly, refers to a sunken island in the general area rediscovered by Arlington Mallery. Estotilanda is often identified as Labrador or Nova Scotia, which I have accepted. In contrast, Drogeo I chose to be New England as this fits in with the location of the Newport Tower. Suggestion for Drogeo has been anything from Nova Scotia to Mexico or the Caribbean.


According to the Zeno letters, on reaching Frislanda, the stranded sailors were rescued by a Prince Zichmni. According to most authors, the leading candidate was the historical Henry St. Clair.

Historically, Henry St. Clair was Earl of Orkney and the feudal Baron of Roslin. The earl also owned Rosslyn Castle, something I used in The Templar Agenda. Incidentally, he was also the grandfather of the builder of Rosslyn Chapel. He was a prince of the Orkneys, placed in a similar role by the King of Norway – according to the legend of Zichmni, the prince defeated the King of Norway in battle, St. Clair merely inherited the position.

Most of St. Clair’s life is well documented. None of his biographies to date refer to him as being involved in any voyage across the Atlantic. According to the History of the Orkneys by William Thomson, St. Clair’s posthumous reputation has little to do with his achievements in life. Equally curious is why the Zeno manuscript should refer to a man named St. Clair as Zichmni – the author Andrew Sinclair discusses this in detail, particularly spelling of his name as Zinkler in a document preserved in Copenhagen.

One of the greatest mysteries surrounding St. Clair is confirming his exact date of death. The usual assumption among historians is that he died around 1401 when the English invaded the Orkneys. Intriguingly, his assumed date of death is similar to that of both Zeno brothers though this cannot be verified.

Speculation that Zichmni was the enigmatic Henry St. Clair was first put forward in the 18th century by the historian Johann Reinhold Forster. Since that time, many writers have agreed with his assertions, notably Andrew Sinclair, who identified Henry St. Clair as the only possible candidate. While it is true that the Earl of Orkney fits most of the criteria, there still leaves the question regarding the authenticity of the letters. According to many Templar authors, including Sinclair, Sora and Michael Bradley, St. Clair’s voyage, as Zichmni, was interrelated with the Templar order that may have survived in Scotland. It has been claimed elsewhere that the St. Clairs were related through marriage to the de Payens family through the founder, Hugues de Payens. That said, another biography of the first Templar Grand Master suggests he married an Elizabeth de Chapps rather than a St. Clair. According to other historians, there is no connection between the St. Clairs and the Templars. Some have even stated that members of the St. Clair family testified against the order at the trials.

In the case of my novels, the life of the Zenos, Zichmni and the map is largely based on the 1558 account, though I have made certain things up. The letters suggest the explorers did indeed keep notes of their travels, but any diaries they wrote are lost if they even existed. Regarding the tale’s historicity, I believe the evidence at hand is insufficient to prove the voyage took place. Nonetheless, the evidence does concur with legends associated with the Micmac Indians, indigenous of New England and the Atlantic Provinces. Writing in 1536, Venetian Marco Barbaro, a relative of the Zenos also included reference to the voyage in his Discendenze Patrizie spelling Zichmni as Zicno.

The Templars and Switzerland

Another theme used in both The Templar Agenda and The Larmenius Inheritance is the premise that outlawed Templars escaped into the Alps, eventually assisting in the foundation of Switzerland.

The Switzerland theory forms the backbone of a book by Stephen Dafoe and Alan Butler, entitled The Warriors and the Bankers. As part of their investigation, the authors argue that around the time of the Templar demise, the peasant communities who dwelled in the mountains were assisted by riders in white. The best example occurred in 1315 when the army of Leopold V of Austria was ambushed by mountain folk on the St. Gotthard Pass. Other evidence includes the similarities between the Swiss flag, a white cross on a red background, almost the same as the Templar red cross on a white background.

The possibility that the Templars situated in the south of France used their geographical knowledge of the Alpine region when fleeing the inquisitors is undoubtedly plausible. Perhaps most impressive is their shared expertise of banking. The Swiss banking system has long been famous for its complex nature, its reliability and secrecy. Curiously, many elements of the Templar banking system do overlap, including the Templar use of safe deposit boxes, a prominent feature of Swiss numbered accounts.

To my mind, the greatest surprise was that the duo did not mention any connection with the Swiss Guard. In addition to the Swiss expertise at banking, in the 1400s they became famed for their military prowess. Throughout Europe, mercenary forces had grown in importance as the Hundred Years’ War continued to escalate. Historically, Pope Julius II employed mercenaries from Switzerland in his war against Naples, marking the formation of the Swiss Guards at the Vatican. The possibility that these Catholic mercenaries owe their heritage to the outlawed Templars is a theme I have picked up on in the novel and, as far as I am aware, has not been put forward elsewhere. In my opinion, members of the order did likely seek refuge in Switzerland, their expertise eventually making its mark on the Swiss nation. However, the foundation of the country was already well underway by 1312.

The Knights of Christ

Perhaps the most straightforward of the Templar offshoots. There are two schools of thought on their formation. The first is that the Templars merely changed their name. The second is that the society mainly comprised different personnel, but successfully inherited the Templar properties in Portugal.

Historically, the order was famed for their maritime activities. Prince Henry the Navigator and Vasco da Gama were both Knights of Christ, and both accomplished much during their lives. Christopher Columbus, though not officially a member, did sail to the New World with other members of the order. He was also married to the daughter of one of the former grandmasters, Bartolomeu Perestrelo.

Officially the society was formed in around 1319 and secularised in 1789. When the Portuguese monarchy ended in 1910, the organisation was dissolved, only to be revived in 1917. It presently exists as one of at least three “Ancient Military Orders” recognised by the Portuguese government.

A key location for the order is Tomar in Portugal. The Church of Santa Maria has long been rumoured to contain a hidden passageway that runs to the Convento de Cristo or the nearby castle, but no such tunnel has ever been found. There is also a legend that the church once housed the Templar treasure, but this similarly cannot be validated at present.

The Corte-Real Brothers

Gaspar Corte-Real (1450–1501?) and Miguel Corte-Real (1448–1502?) were both Portuguese seafarers and knights of the Order of Christ. Their father, João Vaz Corte-Real, (died 1496) was also a famed seafarer and the alleged discoverer of Newfoundland in 1471–2 – according to a document held in Lisbon, the land is referred to as Terra Nova do Bacalhau, the New Land of the Codfish.

In 1500, Manuel I of Portugal sent Gaspar Corte-Real on a mission of exploration to the lands of Codfish, apparently in search of a quick passage to Asia. In 1501, he set out on a second voyage, along with Miguel and at least one other caravel, and made land somewhere in the region of Labrador or Newfoundland. As the weather deteriorated, Miguel returned home, and Gaspar remained in charge of the last remaining caravel. After Gaspar failed to return, Miguel set out again in a bid to find his brother.

As of 1502, neither sailor was seen again. Their brother, Vasco Anes Corte-Real, was denied permission to search for his brothers, though a later attempt proved fruitless. According to Brown University academic Edmund B. Delabarre, Miguel Corte-Real made the markings on the Dighton Rock.

Relics and Idols

One of the most bizarre accusations that cropped up in the trials was that the Templars worshipped a strange head, usually a painting or an animal. In recent years evidence has come to light that the Templars owned the Turin Shroud, believed by the order to be the burial shroud of Christ.

The name associated with the object is Baphomet, a meaning for which is still to be explained. In the case of my novels, the so-called demon, sometimes known as Baphomet, is replaced with Asmodeus, the mythical builder of Solomon’s Temple, a figure of biblical pedigree also deeply entrenched in Masonic folklore. Instead of the Baphomet describing a head, I have swayed towards accepting the views of Dr. Hugh Schofield who suggested the word was created through use of an atbash, a device used to substitute letters for numbers, forming a translation of the word Sophia.

The other relic of note in The Templar Agenda is the skull and crossbones. Two alleged sources exist here. One, an old Templar legend, describes the story of an evil Templar who desecrated the grave of his mistress, only for the corpse to give birth nine months later to this strange idol, usually called the Skull of Sidon. Another legend, used in the novel, is that loyal supporters of de Molay on collecting his remains after his execution found only the skull and thighbones. Historically, the Templars did use the skull and crossbones on their ships, and graves, as a sign of man’s mortality.

New World Order

Perhaps the most controversial theme used in The Templar Agenda and The Larmenius Inheritance is the assertion that the Templars not only survived excommunication in the 1300s but also, over the resulting centuries, have used their power and influence in ways that continue to hold sway over the masses.

This is the New World Order theory: the premise that there exists a shadowy group of individuals responsible for the occurrence of many critical events in history, all for the one ultimate purpose: the establishment of a one-world government.

Over the years, many variations of this theory have emerged. Quite famously in the 19th century a controversial text appeared in Europe entitled The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Though now proven as a hoax, the shockwaves it produced were powerful, convincing many of an actual Judo-Masonic conspiracy for world domination. Other secret societies and orders have been linked with New World Orders: notably the Masons, the Illuminati, the Bohemian Grove, the Bilderberg Group, and everything else ranging from aliens to the descendants of Atlantis.

In short, most of the conspiracies that have entered the public consciousness over the last seven decades range from the plausible to the stupid, usually bordering on the excessively paranoid. In the case of my novels, the idea was simple. The influence of the Templars, powered by their military wing and banking capabilities, has allowed a continuous manipulation of world events, enhanced by their ability to cloak themselves under the guise of others. The concept of the New World Order is itself nothing new. Nor, necessarily, is the idea that the Templars are responsible. Throughout my research, I have found finger pointing at the Templars for their role in manipulating events of history to be not uncommon but inconsistent. The idea has no visible foundation or creator. If there is a source, it was probably the same people responsible for the Larmenius Charter, if not earlier still. The legend of the man who shouted out before the people of Paris that Jacques de Molay had been avenged I have been unable to trace.

I do not doubt that there are some exclusive societies in the world capable of keeping extraordinary secrets, the Bohemians and the Pacific-Union seem as capable as any. Less convincing is the idea that the Templar Order continued subsequent to 1312 to form an elitist group with an axe to grind. The agenda in my novel is plausible: their demise was unfair and also one of betrayal. In practice, however, the idea that several thousand people could stay in contact in war-scattered Europe and put this plan into place is extremely doubtful. The best arguments for a new world order exists with the concept that the events and decisions of the people who lead us, and their ideologies, cannot exist without a more complex framework, and ultimately that their effects are leading to the culmination of one significant outcome.

The Shepherds of Arcadia/The Flaying of Marsyas

One of the key themes used in The Larmenius Inheritance was the importance of two paintings by the Italian Baroque artist Guercino. Giovanni Francesco Barbieri (1591–1666), or Guercino, was indeed a famed painter. Among his famous works were the two used in this novel.

The first is The Shepherds of Arcadia, painted by Guercino 1616–22, now on display in the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica in Rome. The painting itself is a memento mori, demonstrating the instance when two shepherds come face to face with death. The picture is also the first known to include the Latin saying Et In Arcadia Ego. As described in the novel, it concerns two shepherds looking at a skull atop a tomb – or, according to others, a cippus. A mouse is also present close to the scalp, in addition to either a bee or a blowfly. A bird of some description, allegedly an owl, sits perched on a branch in the top right.

The painting has connections with the other Guercino painting mentioned in this novel, The Flaying of Marsyas by Apollo, and was completed around the same time. In Greek mythology, Marsyas was a man famed for his wisdom and the central character in two stories: most famously, his challenging, or being challenged, to a flute contest by Apollo and losing. As a result, Apollo gets to treat the loser in the way he desires. In the flaying scene, the two shepherds from the first painting are also present, though the skull and tomb are both absent.

The Shepherds of Arcadia is particularly fascinating. Many reading this will be aware that its main claim to fame is that it shares a title with one by the French painter Nicolas Poussin.

Like Guercino, Poussin was a historical figure, but his memory is clouded in controversy – not to mention inaccuracies. That said, there are also some pretty spectacular known facts. The original painting of The Shepherds of Arcadia is kept at the Musée du Louvre, in Paris, and depicts three shepherds and a woman gathered around a tomb. Almost certainly inspired by Guercino, Poussin was commissioned to paint the shepherds’ painting by an Italian cardinal, Giulio Rospigliosi, who would later be remembered as Pope Clement IX.

Even more incredibly, the King of France, Louis XIV, was unquestionably interested in Poussin. While in Rome, Poussin was apparently visited by a Louis Fouquet, brother of Nicolas Fouquet, the Superintendent of Finances to Louis XIV 1653–61. In a letter, dated 17 April 1656, between Louis and Nicolas Fouquet, Louis went into detail of his meeting with Poussin, stating:

He and I planned certain things, which I shall with ease be able to explain to you shortly – things which will give you, through Monsieur Poussin, advantages which even kings would have great pains to draw from him, and which, according to him, it is possible that nobody else will ever rediscover in the centuries to come. And what is more, these are things so difficult to discover that nothing now on Earth can prove of better fortune nor be their equal.

The meaning of this letter has never successfully been explained, making for some pretty elaborate theories. While much of this is conjecture, one aspect that cannot be doubted is Louis XIV’s own interest in Poussin. The king later confiscated Fouquet’s correspondence, and Louis eventually succeeded in purchasing several of Poussin’s paintings for his private quarters.

Unfortunately, the exact meaning of the phrase Et In Arcadia Ego has also come into question – totally unnecessarily. Though the phrase is indeed subject to ambiguity, Arcadia could mean Heaven or an area in Greece, the painting’s standing as a memento mori in an age when such paintings were famous seems a reasonable conclusion. In his poetic work of 1504, entitled Arcadia, the Italian poet Jacopo Sannazaro had already spoken of Arcadia as a lost world of utopian quality.

Unlike the Guercino painting, the work by Poussin has been the subject of interest because of the position of at least two of the shepherds’ hands. This is particularly interesting and also inspired me in this novel. Matt Anson is drawn to Acadia by the covering of the letter R in the Guercino image on the monument. A similar argument has been put forward regarding the Shugborough monument.

Another intriguing historical enigma is Poussin’s tomb in the Church of San Lorenzo at Lucina, located in Rome. The church is old, allegedly built on ruins linked to an ancient Christian cult. Among its peculiarities is a doorway leading to a throne, once used by the popes in Privy Council meetings. Within this church is a monument to Poussin erected in 1832. Included below his bust is another engraving of the Arcadian shepherds, in addition to a memorial written in Latin.

Parce Piis Lacrimis Vivit Pussinus In Urna
Vivere Qui Deder At Nescius Ipse Mori
Hic Tamen Ipse Silet Si Vis Audire Loquentem
Mirum Est In Tabulis Vivit Et Eloquitur

Or as it reads in English

Hold back your pious tears, Poussin lives in this tomb
He had given his life without knowing how to die,
He keeps quiet in here but if you want to hear him speak
It is surprising how he lives and talks in his paintings.

The monument was paid for by his fellow countryman, the novelist François-René de Chateaubriand. Apart from finding fame as the apparent founder of ‘romanticism’ in French literature, Chateaubriand was also a stout defender of the Catholic faith.

For the conspiracy theorist, there is more than enough material here for one’s head to explode. For those who love their history, connection to the line “without knowing how to die” fits in very nicely with another of history’s enigmatic characters: the Comte de St Germain – that elegant Frenchman who never seemed to grow old and whose legendary identity has linked him with everyone from the Wandering Jew to the Man in the Iron Mask. Intriguingly, this brings me on to another facet of the novel.

The Anson Family

In the English county of Staffordshire is a country estate, Shugborough Hall, that was built by the Anson family in 1656–1720. Among their number, Admiral George Anson (1697–1762) was famous for his naval reforms, heroics in the Seven Years’ War and his successful circumnavigation of the globe. In light of his achievements, no fewer than seven British warships have been named HMS Anson. Mention of him in The Larmenius Inheritance, however, is entirely fictitious. I have, though, used one of Shugborough’s more famous features as inspiration for the grounds of the Scottish estate. In the grounds of Shugborough are eight monuments, added by George Anson’s brother, Thomas, between around 1746 and 1765 and allegedly inspired by George Anson’s round-the-world voyage. In this novel, there were four monuments, all of which were placed in strategically important positions.

Among the monuments at Shugborough is the Shepherd’s Monument: lying in an isolated position, surrounded by hedges, close to the Doric Temple. The monument is a sculpted relief of the Poussin painting, though the image is mirrored. In this novel, I have included a similar monument for the paintings by Guercino.

Shugborough’s Shepherd’s Monument is equally famous for its inscription. That inscription, matching the one I have used in my novel, has never been accurately deciphered, though many have tried – including me. Theories of its meaning are wide-ranging, including everything from a location of the Holy Grail to a love letter from Anson to his wife. According to certain researchers, a code exists – a combination of the words and specific positions of the shepherds’ hands in the monument – and thus marks the words Nova Scotia, matching the Acadia theory. Up to this point, previous investigators have connected this not to New Ross but Oak Island. Precisely what exists down in the mysterious “Money pit” is anyone’s guess. My own belief is that the pit predates the Templars. It is also my view that the Shugborough monument has nothing to do with the Templars or the Holy Grail.

But it does have another great claim to fame. In the novel, I included a four-verse riddle on the back of the Guercino painting. A real quatrain written by Nostradamus inspired this.

Quand l’efcriture D.M. trouvée,
Et cave antique à lampe defcouverte,
Loy, Roy, & Prince Ulpian efprouvée,
Pavillon Royne & Duc fous la couverte

The real history of the Anson family is itself worthy of interest. It is known that the family owned at least one copy of the Poussin painting – in a separate painting, Lady Anson can be seen holding it.

But strangely, Guercino has received very little attention compared to Poussin. Why is this? And how about some of these theories that the title Et In Arcadia Ego is an anagram? If Et In Arcadia Ego is an anagram concerning something of great importance, does it not hold that the Guercino painting contains that same hidden meaning? Does it not also hold that the Guercino painting is the more important of the two as it is older?