Angels & Demons Artist John Langdon Creates Limited Edition Illuminati Diamond Etching

Famed Ambigram 'Finally As Intended'; Portion to Charity

Dec 16, 2010, 18:31 ET from Sam Heller Fine Art

CHICAGO, Dec. 16, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Artist John Langdon, the real-life model for Robert Langdon - protagonist of Dan Brown's The DaVinci Code, Angels & Demons, and The Lost Symbol - and creator of the six mysterious symbols used in Brown's novel, and the Tom Hanks' film, Angels & Demons, is releasing the first of six signed and numbered, hand-worked etchings, one for each Ambigrammatic image. Langdon and Chicago art dealer Sam Heller have worked since last summer, essentially in secret, until assured of achieving the many artistic and technical goals of a very complex project.


An Ambigram is a word, or cluster of words that - through brilliant distortions of traditional letterforms - when turned upside-down remains completely identical.  Until now, Langdon's symbols for Brown's novel have existed only as low resolution versions; seen in 39 million copies of Brown's novel; CGI effects in the film version; and over 10 thousand tattoos. Ten years ago, Langdon, after creating each complex design, drew precise pencil renderings of one half of each – the designs are absolutely symmetrical –and imported them into a graphics program, where he made copied his drawings; joined both halves, and refined details; some as small as one pixel.

Angels & Demons climactic symbol, The Illuminati Diamond, is the first of the 6 to be released as an etching.  Widely considered the most complex Ambigram ever created, it is the centerpiece of the dramatic conclusion of the story. It represents the ancient classical elements, fused centuries ago, into a beautiful and mysterious Ambigrammatic diamond. In Angels & Demons, Brown describes it as, "A flawless diamond, born of the ancient elements, with such perfection that all those who saw it could only stand in wonder."

The "Diamond" is thought, by many, to be among the most recognized images of the New Millennium. A Google search returns over 40,000 different photographs of the Angels & Demons Ambigrams. Dan Brown has said, "John is an artist and philosopher...and I think, one of our true geniuses." The remaining designs will be released over the next two years, starting with Earth, followed by the elements, Air, Fire and Water; concluding with Illuminati, the "spark" that starts the action in both the novel and the film.

Etching Master Paul Taylor, owner of the renowned Renaissance Press, worked with Langdon and Heller to move the image from the digital world to the real world — remaining faithful to the richness of tone,  mysterious shadows, and enormous detail of Langdon's original creation. Taylor has previously collaborated with Robert Motherwell, Jim Dine, and Robert Mapplethorpe.

Heller says, "We had some nervous moments until finding Paul. But he had the expertise and mastery we needed, and quickly became as dedicated to success as we were."  

Heller, Langdon's exclusive agent and publisher, is opening a large art gallery in Chicago's River North area.  He will prominently feature the full diversity of Langdon's work, including Ambigrams, paintings, works on paper and the rare and valuable experimental and final drawings for "Angels."

The etching is available in two editions of 144 examples – a nod to the famed Fibonacci Number Sequence. Ten-percent of the editions will be donated to charity. The Illuminati Diamond 's image-area is seven-inches square. One edition is printed on archival light cream wove paper, signed and numbered in Arabic numerals. The second edition is on Japanese rice paper, signed and numbered in Roman numerals. The work will be available in several styles of framing, all able to be rotated on the wall, to reveal that the work is identical when turned by 180 degrees.

Pricing is available, on request, by contacting Sam Heller Fine Art at 773-761-0333.

Further information on all of John Langdon's artwork is available at Heller's website -

SOURCE Sam Heller Fine Art