Painting #14: Crystal Aquamarine

BORDER PHRASE: “I am hydrogen, two of one to eight, of oxygen am I, crystal aquamarine.”




HIDDEN HARE: On the girl’s swimsuit.

CLUES & COMMENTS: The meaning of “Two of one to eight” is, of course, water–two atoms of hydrogen, the first element on the Periodic Table (two of one) to the Table’s eighth element, oxygen. The building in the rear is Sudbury Hall in Derbyshire, and Kit painted it from a photograph; he had not been there at the time he painted the scene. A visitor named James adds: “Sudbury Hall was an interesting building to use in a picture in Masquerade. I wonder if Kit Williams was aware that a version of Poisson’s Shepherds of Arcadia was/is kept there. That painting has long been thought of to contain hidden geometry, lines etc that are supposed to provide clues to a hidden treasure (something to do with Christ). Very similar to the paintings in the book and lines from the end of fingers, etc. That painting has caused furor and controversy similar to Masquerade.”

Intrigued? KMAC offers even more background: “The mystery revolves around a priest and a church in Rennes-Le-Chateau France. It is very interesting tale that many believe points to a hidden treasure trove (the priest became suddenly wealthy and decorated the church unconventionally with possible clues such as patron saints of lost treasure, etc.) Many others however believe it points to a bloodline decendency from Christ which has been followed by secret cults over the years and has been hidden by the church. For more information you might enjoy Holy Blood, Holy Grail (very very conspiracy theoryesque) or the town’s website, Also, the video game writer Jane Jensen took the story and threw in a vampire twist to it and made it into one of the last good Sierra computer games, Gabriel Knight 3.” This game is once again available for sale.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Mark Oram July 3, 2016 at 9:41 pm

For years, I missed the ‘hidden’ hare on the girl’s costume altogether! Instead, I convinced myself it was formed from the lush green clump of trees to the left of the Hall (forming his body); with the water splashed up by her right heel forming the hare’s face. Does anyone else see the two water dots in the right position to form his eyes????


Ben July 5, 2017 at 7:28 pm

I always wonder whether this painting inspired the Phish composition “I Am Hydrogen.”


Annie April 6, 2020 at 1:11 pm

I also think there’s a double entendre going on here, again about Henry VIII (eight.) His last two wives were Catherines, and his first one was a Catherine. Crystal Aquamarine – CA – Catherine of Aragon… etc.


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