CRYPTIC, adjective: having a meaning that is mysterious or obscure.


These are a selection of Ashley's Art History Projects.

CRYPTIC ART explores encoded symbols and secret messages in famous artworks. Using state of the art technology and classic detection methods each episode reveals the hidden history of mankind.


Scroll down for an EPISODE EXAMPLE

Episode 2:



Episode Backstory: 

  • The Ghent Altarpiece is one of the most famous artworks in history.
  • Hitler believed this large oil painting, consisting of twelve oak panels (the entire painting is 14ft. x 11.5 ft., weighing over two tons) completed by Jan van Eyck in 1432, was actually a secret coded map that would guide him to the hidden Arma Christi, or relics of Christ’s Passion.
  • The SS Paranormal Division, Special Unit H would need all the panels in order to break the code and locate the objects. Hitler and Himmler ordered them to decode the painting and locate the Holy Grail and the Crucifixion Relics.

GHENT ALTARPIECE. Jan van Eyck in 1432.



  1. Ashley travels to Saint Bavo Cathedral in Ghent, Belgium where he examines the Ghent Altarpiece with a medieval art specialist. He learns of the SS Paranormal Research Division - Special Unit H.

  2. Then he travels to Paris, France to meet an expert in Mystic Catholic symbolism where he learns why this is, the most stolen, and arguably the most influential artwork ever created, and why Hitler obsessed over it. He also learns of the possible whereabouts of the relics of Christ's relics.

  3. Ashley then travels to Austria to explore the Altaussee salt mines, where Hitler hid the Ghent Altarpiece and 60 billion dollars of gold bullion during the war.

  4. This quest ends in Berlin, Germany where an architectural designer tells Ashley of a secret Nazi plan to build a super museum, in which Hitler intended to make the Ghent Altarpiece a centrepiece.