Friday, 2 October 2015

The Shroud Of Christ By Paul Vignon D.Sc (Fr) Part 18.

It is a sepia drawing on linen, and we may remark, that in order to reproduce the Shroud as
faithfully as possible, copies were usually made in this medium, to the exclusion of oil-colour or distemper. We know that the original Shroud of Lirey (Turin) is of a fine light fabric. The impressions, therefore, look as if stained on the cloth itself, and such an effect could only have been rendered by water-colour or sepia drawing. This particular copy is simply conceived, but is in marked contrast with others of a less sincere spirit. If the eyes and mouth are shown in positive, the nose has the appearance of being in negative, while the two cheek bones are indicated by the strangely shaped patches which are given also by the painter C in figure 4, and which were one of the striking characteristics of the Shroud of Besançon

The sepia colouring of Pierre Dargent was used in all subsequent copies. At Besançon all the small religious pictures, painted or embroidered, are of a brown colour like sepia. We have seen many such, both in the homes of inhabitants and at the hospital of Besançon. The common stencil-plates, which reproduced holy pictures cheaply on paper were all brown in colour. Monsieur l'Abbe de Beausejour, vicaire general de Tarcheveche, showed us many of them.

To avoid confusion we must refer once more to the Notes Iconographiques published by Monsieur Jules Gauthier in 1883, concerning the Shroud of Besançon At the date of publication the attention of M. Gauthier had not been drawn to certain peculiarities in the reproductions of the Shroud of which he was making a study. He did not perhaps suspect that these peculiarities were capable of disclosing a secret. Being ignorant of the true value of the Holy Shroud of Turin, as indeed every one was until 1898, he did not realize that the Shroud of Besançon was In truth a copy thereof, and he confined his investigations to the archaeological side of the question. For this reason he attached excessive importance to the copy which he reproduces in Plate in of his work, and from which he wrongly traces the origin of all the different religious representations of the same sort, which are so numerous in that part of France. Probably he thought this copy more intelligible than the others. It is by jean de Loisy, engraved in 1630, and is, an the contrary, one of the least faithful. No trace of negative representation is to be found in the features. Even the nose, which, in Chifflet's engraving, and in the painting at the Besançon library, is clearly negative, being represented in positive by de Loisy. The rendering of the body, however, corresponds with that shown in our Plate v.

Other artists of the Loisy family seemed to have made a speciality of the Besançon Shroud; one of them, Pierre, was more faithful in his work. On his Plate 1., M. Gauthier gives a reproduction of this artist's work, executed in 1660. The head is here a rough negative.

To sum up : The Holy Shroud of Besançon is neither more nor less than an inferior copy of the Holy Shroud of Lirey (Turin), which must have been made between the years 1349 and 375- Although it has no artistic merit, it is most valuable to us, being the first definite material evidence relating to the original of Turin. Lt proves that the image of Christ on the original Shroud was in negative long before the fire of 1532. In fact, a very short time after this painting had been executed (as alleged by its enemies) by an artist in the pay of the Charny family, it possessed unmistakably the essential characteristics which mark it today, characteristics which we assert destroy the theory of its having been fraudulently produced by mechanical means, pictorial or otherwise.