Friday, 3 July 2015

The Shroud Report - Could The Shroud be an Artwork?

Shroud University 

Scourge marks on the Shroud of Turin. 
The source material for the following is based on the work of renown artist and Shroud expert, Isabel Piczek.  The full text of her article with pictures can be found at

The Faint Image

One of the common counter-arguments used against those who claim it is an art work is that the Shroud cannot be a painting because its image disintegrates into what is almost invisibility at close range and into a fairly well defined image from a distance.  The unknown artist would have needed a 15-foot long brush to paint the Shroud in order to see what he was painting.

In addition, the perspective required to create the image is also daunting.  It would necessitate a human model to be lying down with knees and shoulders partially drawn up to create the effect of foreshortening.  The artist would need to be standing above the model on a step-ladder to see the correct perspective.  Add this to the fact that the image doesn't really show up if you are too close to the cloth creates an artistic scenario that is remote at best.

However, there is even a stronger argument which relates to the historical milieu of that period of time. Every historical epoch creates a magic ring, an intense milieu, with an event horizon that cannot be crossed. Within this milieu there is harmony, equilibrium. Everything from its politics, economic system, beliefs, aspirations, art and style, clothing, manners and the last button on their coat fits into this enduring magic, almost like a spell, which creates a milieu, an era.

You cannot implant 20th century ideas and mentality into the milieu of another age, exclaiming that they had all the materials around them and could have developed the technology to achieve photography, a knowledge of chemistry and scientific logic. Could all these things be developed at the same time and co-exist?

Why did the medieval monks have to write their codexe's painstakingly with brush? All the forces of nature existed around them as today and all the materials were laying right there to make the computer. Why didn't they?

The Carbon Dust Transfer Technique

One of the modern attempts to explain the Shroud image is as follows: First an initial drawing in negative has to be made on paper, using various powdered pigments, such as charcoal or oxides, using also some binders. According to the research, it is the same no matter what kind of binders are used (in reality, different binders always produce different results with every binder known to the professional arts). The image then is transferred to the cloth with a wooden burnishing instrument and finally set with heat.

"It was so simple" - said one of the two researchers. "I went home and with a few things lying about the house, I duplicated the process" - The Shroud-like image that is. What one finds in an American 20th century home... would anyone be able to find this in a  medieval home?

The focal point of any Shroud research has to be the realization, that the positive image of the Turin Shroud is an entirely personal and lifelike portrait of a real man, not a composite, nor abstract or symbolic "image". The success of the described method incorporated in the Carbon Dust Transfer technique wholly depends on an initial drawing created by the use of carbon dust or iron oxide.

The initial drawing for the Dust Transfer Image, in order to have the qualities of the Shroud, would have had to introduce a degree of draftsmanship we cannot produce even today.

In the Middle Ages that kind of draftsmanship was non-existent. The initial drawing would have had to include an anatomical and medical knowledge, which was only barely touched upon even in the High Renaissance.

And a knowledge of Roman crucifixion methods in the first century Judea we only learned about in the late 20th century from recent excavations.

The first ever portrait painting after the fall of the Roman Empire was that of Enrico Scrovegni in Padua at the Arena Chapel in 1304. Even though it was done by the great Giotto, it is at astronomical distance in quality from the Shroud.

The development of portrait painting in its own right had to wait till the coming of the renaissance masters a century and a half after the Lirey exhibition of the Shroud. But a true realism in portrait painting was achieved only by the painters of the French Academy from the last half of the 17th to the end of the 19th century. It is at the same time that pastel painting also was developed. It is entirely unimaginable that a 14' cloth with pastel-like substance on it, would not dust off, smudge or that it could be evenly set by steam.

The Middle Ages did not have fine ground pigments we have today, only handground pigments. The handground, coarse dry pigments of the Middle Ages would not lend themselves to achieve an image with the superb qualities of the Shroud Image, especially when transferred to a coarse, unprepared linen with a herringbone weave, such as the Shroud. The image would greatly deteriorate and distort with the fine details absolutely lost. Besides, the Shroud image does not have the visual qualities of a secondary, depression image, but resembles more a direct projection of a real man.

Original Article  -