The Besançon Shroud also proves to us that the contemporaries of the so-called forger of Lirey were quite unaware of the real nature of the impressions which were said to have been fabricated. What indeed could they know of the values of the photographic terms, positive and negative ?
It seems clear that their knowledge sufficed only to produce the grotesque and ridiculous copy which we have evoked from its ashes at Besançon, and which had none of the transcendent qualities of the Holy Shroud of Turin
The Holy Shroud of Besançon may now, we think, be suffered to pass into oblivion. But before quitting the town in which the so-called relic was preserved up to the time of the Revolution, let us see what its historian, Dr. Chifflet, has to say; this time about the Shroud of Turin.
If, as M. Chevalier states, the Shroud of Turin was unknown to Chifflet, we must remember that he had a brother who lived at Turin, and from this fact his engravings may furnish some information, especially as Chifflet speaks of the Shroud with considerable assurance.
It was known to Chifflet that the body which had been laid in the Holy Shroud of Turin had not been washed, and he suggests that the body was covered with blood, confounding here, as many others have done, the colour of oxide of aloes with that of blood. He was aware of the clot of blood visible below the wound in the side, as well as the brown marks on the forearm. He mentions how in the Turin image the hands are shown crossed at the wrists, and he knows the position of the scourge-marks fairly well, showing them as short lines striping the upper part of the breast, the arms and back, much as they are found on the original (see our figure 4).
The conclusions which he draws are not false, although they are incomplete; he has, in short, grasped the fact that the impressions have undergone a reversal from right to left. He has perceived that the simple act of contact did not altogether account for the impressions, and that some other special agent must have been at work for the features to have been reproduced so exactly ; but his suggestion that the Shroud must have been closely folded round the body, so closely as to be almost in the nature of a mould, only complicates the problem.
We quote the passage from his book, page 198.
"In sacrarum Imaginum coloribus, materiam specto et formam : in