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What is the significance of the painting behind David/Walter?

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Regular Parrot

OvomorphMember80 XPDec-27-2016 4:16 PM

I noticed the painting behind David/Walter in the trailer.  It is prominent in its place in the frame.  Ridley never haphazardly places objects in shots.  The painting is not in focus in the frame but it does appear to be:

Piero Della Francesca's "The Nativity": An oil painting from the 1470's that shows the birth of Jesus Christ.  Note the shepherd pointing to the sky!  Another Christmas reference from Ridley!


Today I have been dedicated to post on as many topics as possible until I pass out from drinking too many beers. 

13 Responses to What is the significance of the painting behind David/Walter?


OvomorphMember26 XPDec-27-2016 4:27 PM

Great catch! Similarly, the trailer music, "There was a boy..." I find fascinating. I view this as an Alien horror movie yet Ridley inserts what I consider to be an odd tune. Where will Ridley take us with that music?

Shasta cyclone

FacehuggerMember281 XPDec-27-2016 4:37 PM

Good call!!

i was wondering myself why it's there and what message it holds but could not make it out.

which means it's part of a/the puzzle


FacehuggerMember316 XPDec-27-2016 4:48 PM

The lyrical content provides a haunting reference to David, 'A strange enchanted boy who travelled very far'.

I think Ridley aims to give us a very unique, stylish horror movie, with tons of references and influences that only he would dare to quote in this format. We see in the trailer, he's having fun with slasher tropes and God knows where that shower scene is gonna go, the little bit I saw made my skin crawl in private places.


DeaconMember10244 XPDec-27-2016 5:23 PM

Yes both the choice of song and that painting are not accidental Ridley does not do much accidental apart from Scale lol (which appears to be a flaw again in this movie..)

But things like the painting, this is a clue but one maybe to not take to Literal...

I look at it as showing the Virgin Birth of Child... who is different and Enchanted compared to other Children...  David fits this bill... a created Synthetic born without Procreation (Sex) as Jesus was... only yes Jesus was born from a Womb... but again they wont be going literal here.

This Child (Jesus) and David (AC Plot) is different and superior to other Children, he would go onto to perform miraculous acts (feats a Human could not do) and will grow to Play a massive Role in the Fate of Humanity.

It could hint at David having a Role in a Virgin Birth as far as something to do with Shaw that creates something.... but i feel its actually more to do with the BIRTH/CREATION of David.


R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017


FacehuggerMember118 XPDec-27-2016 7:49 PM

What if someone births a baby engineer/space jockey? After almost or all of them are gone? 

Maybe the black goo has the power to create engineers/space jockeys as well as destroy them.

Doubtful but fun to imagine.


Want some candy?


OvomorphMember17 XPDec-28-2016 12:27 AM

Regular Parrot, Noticing the painting and assuming there's a catch to it being there is one.. Figuring out what painting it actually is a whole other thing! Wow :)

Shasta cyclone

FacehuggerMember281 XPDec-28-2016 5:31 AM

It's "the nativity" like regular parrot found/said. Undeniably but why it's there and what it means is the mystery 


FacehuggerMember152 XPDec-28-2016 9:35 AM


I think it's both. The parallel theme of creation is Gods and Us and Us and Machines.

The Engineers create life which can lead to destruction, we create life that can lead to destruction. The Engineers created us, we created synthetic life.


NeomorphMember1559 XPDec-28-2016 9:43 AM

Creation of life is an important theme in all alien related movies right? The painting must have something to do with that. Eventually it was intentionally put there but it would be interesting to know why.


Interesting post Regular Parrot, thanks.

Mark 19052017

OvomorphMember17 XPDec-29-2016 12:13 PM

Hi, I also picked up on the painting, it's significance? Well, it's not Unknown that trailers contain footage that isn't used in the finish film (Rogue One!) But in saying that if there is a whole biblical thing going on it is easy to draw comparisons. There is the Christmas Day trailer release date, but it's worth remembering the the final film is released in May. I have wondered if there will be another trailer release at Easter! Always plenty of eggs around, usually chocolate and hopefully not with a face hugger inside. 



NeomorphMember1823 XPJan-06-2017 12:36 AM

I believe the painting to belong to weyland as this could be the scene involving weyland and walter. weyland seeing himself as god and david/walter jesus???created by god to change humanilty?the fact that ridley is asking the god question, who are we? and who created us? questions in these movies and this painting is here isn't by chance, it is deliberate but I think its to do with weylands ego seeing himself as a form of god like being since hes has created life without a womb


OvomorphMember88 XPJan-07-2018 4:35 PM

I visited the National Gallery today in London, where 'The Nativity' painting is displayed. I went there specifically to see this one painting. It is very impressive when seen 'in the flesh'.

I was able to get really close to it and see the fine details of this wonderful painting. There are 2 other paintings by Pierro Della Francesca in the same room in the gallery.

Looking at the painting, I noticed there are patches of black on the ground on the left-hand side and also mysterious black patches on the roof of the building.

Could these black patches be a reference to the black goo pathogen?

Also plants are growing in the black areas on the ground and seem to be coloured black, this was interesting, as having seen Alien:Covenant, we know the black pathogen only destroys/eliminates 'the meat', not the plants.

I like to think this painting was chosen because of its links to creation, but also because of the strange black areas which could be a reference to the black pathogen.


FacehuggerMember453 XPJan-08-2018 2:51 PM

David tells us exactly the title of the painting and the artist. What he doesn't tell us is how Weyland managed to snaffle it from the National Art Gallery in Trafalgar Square! Likewise with Michelangelo's statue of David, which is about as priceless a piece of art as you could hope to find. The real significance (along with the fabulously expensive Carlo Bugatti throne chairs) is to demonstrate Weyland's incredible wealth.

If you go to see the painting in person, you might be surprised at just how big it is. It's huge!

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