Were Juan Gerson the Illustrator and Gaspar de Torres the Author of the Voynich Codex?


  • Jules JANICK Purdue University, Department of Horticulture & Landscape Architecture, West Lafayette IN 47907-2010 (US)
  • Arthur O. TUCKER Delaware State University, Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources, 1200 N. Dupont Highway, Dover DE 19901 (US)




Gaspar de Torres; Juan Gerson; herbal; New Spain; Hugh O’Neill; Voynich Codex; Wilfrid Voynich


The bizarre Voynich Codex, discovered in 1912 in Italy by the Polish book dealer Wilfrid Voynich (1864-1930), is written in a coded language with has eluded decipherment despite repeated attempts by world renowned cryptologists. Plant, animal, and mineral identifications as well as iconographic evidence indicate that the Voynich Codex is a 16th century work of New Spain. A typographical ligature based on the initials “JGT” in the first botanical image (folio 1v) suggests that artist was Juan Gerson, Tlacuilo, indigenous painter known for the apocalypse paintings in the monastery Asuncion de Nuestra Senora of Tecamachalco. The name “Gasp. Torres” also embedded in the first botanical image suggests that the author could be Gaspar de Torres, medical doctor, estate lawyer, master of students at the College of Santa Cruz in Tlatelolco from 1568-1572, and Governor of Cuba in 1580. Iconographic similarities between the paintings of Juan Gerson and the Voynich Codex, along with a biography of Gaspar de Torres provide additional support for this conjecture.




How to Cite

JANICK, J., & TUCKER, A. O. (2017). Were Juan Gerson the Illustrator and Gaspar de Torres the Author of the Voynich Codex?. Notulae Botanicae Horti Agrobotanici Cluj-Napoca, 45(2), 343–352. https://doi.org/10.15835/nbha45210693



Research Articles
DOI: 10.15835/nbha45210693