An article, Ten objects that sum up Gary Vikan’s life, by Mary Carole McCauley in The Baltimore Sun reports that he is working on a book about the Shroud of Turin.
Vikan is best known in shroud circles for an article published in Biblical Archaeology Review in the November/December 1998 issue reprinted on shroud.com. (See the article here and read the comments on the same page).
From the Sun:
You can get a pretty good idea of someone’s journey through life by looking at the objects with which he surrounds himself.
For Gary Vikan, who stepped down this spring as the director of the Walters Art Museum, those objects include a pair of tickets to Woodstock, a piece of the gate guarding Graceland, a collection of Russian icons and a miniature replica of the Shroud of Turin.
[ . . . ]
He’s just completed his next big project: a book on the Shroud of Turin, in which he attempts to prove that the linen burial cloth that many believe once wrapped the body of Jesus actually was made in the Middle Ages, around 1350.
"I’ve been working with a scientist who found out how the image on the Shroud was made," Vikan says. "And I think I know when and why. It was made to deceive, at a time in the Middle Ages when relics meant pilgrimages, and pilgrimages meant money."
Vikan said the manuscript could be published as soon as this fall.
Which one of the scientists? And which one of all the many ways it was made?
Any clues to what Daniel Milberg is trying to tell us? Any interpretations? Is that a Nordic cross? Which one?
Click on the image to see a larger version on the artist’s blog. He has some other interesting stuff to look at.
You’re so good at picking up references to the Shroud that I was thrilled to find this before you published it yourself, in the latest copy of Skeptical Inquirer – a letter from an artist called Robert A. Richert, of RichertArt.com.
I am a professional artist who has studied human anatomy and painted several portraits. I do not believe that the face of Jesus on the Shroud of Turin is an anatomically accurate depiction of a real person. Several years ago, I met and spoke with Joe Nickelll. Joe is an artist and sceptical investigator who has studied the Shroud of Turin extensively, wrote a book on the subject and appeared on numerous television programmes.
I told Joe that to me the image of Jesus’s head on the cloth resembles a common medieval to early Renaissance stylised depiction of a person. Jesus’s face appears too large for the surrounding size of the head, and his eyes are located too high. In addition to making faces too large, amateur artists tend to place the eyes about 2/3 to 3/4 up from the base of the chin to the top of the head. Human eyes are actually located close to the middle of the head. Check this out for yourself the next time you look in the mirror! These common amateur and medieval artists’ characterizations are based upon idealistic perceptions, not upon an attempt toward anatomical accuracy or realism.
Also, a popular artistic stylisation in the Middle Ages to early Renaissance was the exaggeration of long, thin, European noses. Observe the similarity of mediaeval paintings to that of the face on the shroud: long thin noses, disproportionately large faces compared to head size, and eyes placed high on their heads. These similarities clearly show that the face of Jesus on the shroud more closely resembles the stylised and anatomically inaccurate faces of mediaeval paintings than that of a real person.
My observations are consistent with the hypothesis that the Shroud of Turin is the work of a medieval artist.
There is no link. This is from the latest issue that is not yet online.
With: Christopher Walken, Christian Slater, Anthony Anderson, Jesse Bradford, Moon Bloodgood, Nicky Whelan, Q’Orianka Kilcher, Navid Negahban, Devon Gearhart, Jordan Prentice, Derek Richardson, Juvenile, Tione Johnson.
The novelty of "The Power of Few" is that it was created through an interactive process, with an online community pitching in on casting, editing and other aspects. . . .
Did you know? I didn’t.
. , . This might seem an open invitation to the "too many cooks" school of artistic failure, and indeed, the results amount to an arbitrary whatsit — part "Crash"-type multiple-viewpoint melodrama, part exquisite-corpse lark, and all over-the-top. As a curio, it may find supporters down the line, but as an immediate commercial prospect, Leone Marucci’s debut feature (which has been opening in U.S. markets since Feb. 15) looks to quickly exit theaters for download.
Chaptered segments track various character paths that will come together violently at a New Orleans intersection — or won’t, thanks to the intervention of a little girl named Few (Tione Johnson). There’s a teen (Devon Gearhart) who takes drastic measures to get his neglected baby brother the medicine he needs; a thrill-seeking scooter delivery girl (Q’orianka Kilcher) who whisks away a hapless dude (Jesse Bradford) as he’s about to get whacked by gangbangers (Anthony Anderson and Juvenile); two secret-agent types (Christian Slater, Nicki Whelan) on the trail of a possible terrorist; and, for comic relief, a couple of rascally homeless guys played by Christopher Walken and Jordan Prentice.
Oh, and also: The Shroud of Turin has been stolen from the Vatican, which is announced via a Larry King cameo. There may be an international conspiracy afoot to clone Jesus. This stuff is meant seriously, insofar as one can tell — though that’s often hard to discern in a movie that reels from sentimental moralizing to cheap genre thrills, in-da-’hood cliches and attempted absurdist riffs, all done with energetic abandon but scant intelligence. . . .
“Who is the painter?” John Klotz wondered upon looking at Impression for a Sunday? The artist is actually a software program called Dynamic Auto Painter developed by Román Cortēs and Roman Voska. You begin with any photograph of a person, an animal, a still life or a landscape. I chose a rather commonplace image of the shroud face from Shroud Scope. You then select a style along with materials such as oils, chalk, watercolor and so forth. I chose oil painting with a Van Gogh brush style and a brownish palette. The software does the rest by interpreting visual elements of the image it was fed and then recreating the image in the desired style. Pour a cup of coffee and sit back and watch. It is fascinating to watch. Yesterday’s picture took about ten minutes. This pencil sketch below – which is truly amazing if you view it from different angles on a laptop or LCD monitor – took about five minutes.
From a history of art perspective, it is ludicrous to think that the image on the Turin Shroud is manmade. There is nothing like it in late Greco-Roman, Syrian, Latin-Christian or Byzantine art. There is nothing like it in Barbarian or Euro-pagan art. There is nothing like it in Asiatic, North African or Iberian Peninsula Islamic art. There is nothing like it in Carolingian, Ottonian, Romanesque or Gothic art. Four criteria apply here. They are style, technology, knowledge of human anatomy and material. To suggest that the Turin Shroud is a non-evolutionary unique exception without precedent or imitation to any one of these criteria is hard to believe. Considering all four makes it impossible.
Maybe Colin is right. Maybe I should be calling it the Lirey Badge to avoid confusion. Colin writes:
Yes, with a few seemingly mild admonitions that cleverly distort the truth Porter, with a few toxic words can summon up his pro-authenticity anti-sceptic troops. The latter finish off what Porter begins, like yesterday when my thinking on the Lirey Badge, or what Porter still unhelpfully insists on calling the “Cluny Medal”
I checked in with Google and found that page counts using . . .
- Cluny Medal is 490
- Lirey Badge is 1040
From the blog, Peg Pondering Again
Yesterday a friend posted some photos of the bronze statue of our Lord that was cast from 3D images of the Shroud of Turin, on his Facebook page from his trip to Israel.
Had to share his and a few I found online.
I noticed that one of your posting about 3D anaglyphs for the Shroud, namely [I certainly have real reservations about Petrus Soons’ 3D work. Any comments now? . . .] states:
No! The [Petrus Soons] anaglyph may not be very scientific, at all. And that is a major concern because the impression one gets from the website [Petrus Soons' Website] and probably most places this image is displayed is that it is scientific. It may be, but if so, how so. I am not at all convinced that the data found in the Shroud’s image supports the anaglyph on the website. I’m not convinced that adjustments that were made to the images (there seem to be many) are scientifically warranted.
This is probably true for the transformations that were done at Petrus Soons’ Website since no complete explanation is given about what was done to generate the 3D anaglyphs.
But the Shroud Scope has a 3D anaglyph image of the Shroud that was generated in a very simple way based on a simple mathematical transformation (i.e., no artistic effect). This is described, using a freely available software package, at [Enrie 3D Anaglyph Version . . . ]
See the Shroud Scope 3D anaglyph at [Shroud Scope Anaglyph . . .] (as usual, you can zoom in and out and pan like a Google map)
My conclusion is that the Shroud image does contain simple 3D data that can be directly used to generate 3D anaglyph photographs with no artistic intervention. Of course, the 3D data applies to the corpse, not the other artifacts, like bloodstains, water stains, burned marks, and so on.
I stand by what I wrote in that doubly-indented paragraph above and I am delighted to see a legitimate anaglyph.
Marisa Martin writes in WND Cowboy Michelangelo visits the Vatican:
If you ever find yourself in Santa Fe mesmerized by an energetic bronze of Geronimo so charged it seems about to molt or mutate on the spot, it is probably one of the masterful creations of Gib Singleton.
Singleton’s bronzes are lodged, hosted and collected across the globe. His dominant themes of western and biblical subjects manage to never contradict or eclipse each other, but are oddly supportive and symbiotic in spirit. This diversity of subjects is reflected by his collectors. Singleton is defined as the only artist to be simultaneously represented in permanent collections of the Cowboy Hall of Fame, the Vatican, the U.S. Olympic Committee Museum and the State of Israel (a bequest from the collection of Golda Meir).
A quintessentially American artist, Singleton is fascinated by characters like Sitting Bull and Doc Holliday and the clash between Indians, settlers and the U.S. military. Sympathy for Native Americans is evident with expression and gesture but never descends into cloying kitchniess, regardless of the extremity.
Down a bit:
It takes courage and professional confidence to keep cowboy hats and chaps on your statues when culture seems dictated by big coastal cities. Regional disdain and cultural pressure hasn’t affected Singleton, and although not a household name everywhere yet, he is highly esteemed in his craft and in many collecting circles. Those include a “Bowed Crucifix” design carried by Pope John Paul II on his crosier and a piece made for the Shroud of Turin [pictured]. He’s made Stations of the Cross and chronicles the population of the Bible and various saints in bronze.
Yesterday, John Crace in the Guardian describes a BBC4 documentary:
The first episode explored the development of Christian iconography in religious art between the fourth and the 11th century, from the absence of any depictions of Jesus because no one had a clue what he looked like, to the hijacking of the fresh-faced, sunny look from Roman statues of Apollo, through to the tortured look of suffering that has been with us ever since pain and guilt became the Christian artistic orthodoxy. Watching long lines of the devoted file past the Turin shroud, [art historian Waldemar] Januszczak observed that he was certain it was not really the cloth in which Jesus’s body was wrapped after the crucifixion, because the bearded outline could be artistically dated to the medieval period. Personally, I would have thought that carbon dating was a rather more reliable method of establishing its authenticity; I suppose that proper art historians must have their own, more rigorous standards of proof. Watch and learn.
Of course, art historian Thomas de Wesselow will disagree. Or David Freeman. Or
-1. If a detail, the slight deviation of the nose, is present in the negative image it is obviously codified also in the positive image. Perhaps our eyes-brain system is not able to detect the detail in question because the inverted colors introduce some difficulties in the subjective interpretation.
I want not to discuss here the evidence of the broken nose (and then slightly deviated) on the Shroud image because this fact has been already showed by medical forensic experts.
-2. Minting error or damage to the coin? It was the first problem I considered but higher magnification of the detail of nose eliminates this hypothesis (see . . . [image at right, click on it for larger 692 by 768 pixel version]. In addition I have also found the photos of a Justinian II semissis, a Justinian II solidus and a Michael III solidus showing more or less a deviation of the nose (with the same curvature) that confirm the detail perceived by different Byzantine sculptors.
-3. At the time of the Byzantine emperor the Shroud body image was certainly more evident than now because more contrasted from the background that was brighter. It was therefore easier than now for an observer to detect details like non-symmetric hair.
I have uploaded Thomas De Wesselow’s talk given to the BSTS on Sunday Oct.21st.
Few members of this group harbour doubts that the Shroud is a medieval painting. However, for the vast majority, that is the answer they will give if asked the question: "What is the Shroud?" De Wesselow takes on this proposition head on and from first principles as only an expert in medieval art can.
The link to the talk is: http://www.shroud-enigma.com/BSTS/bsts-uk-homepage.html
Best wishes to all
Or just click here or on the photograph. It runs for about an hour.
Skewed nosed cheiropoietic & acheiropoietic Christ faces?
By way of an illustrative reply to the bloggers who thought the skewed nosed Christ face on Justinian II’s solidus obverse (685-695 CE) was a mere “minting error” and/or “directly influenced by the Christ Pantocrator, here are the perfect photographic overlap of the two ‘non made by hand’ Holy Faces (Turin Sindon + Manoppello Veil) by German iconographer, Sister Blandina Schlömer and the Christ Pantocrator of Saint Catherine’s Monastery (6th century CE). Now the reader can just guess what are the prototype and its two possible copies.
The coin image shown at right is repeated below the other two images in the same size as the other images. (Click “Read more” if necessary.)
The coins of Justinian II’s first reign (685 – 695 AD) are indeed remarkably shroud-like, and it is difficult not to think it was indeed the model. However, when, after a period of exile, Justinian returned to the throne (705 – 711 AD), the same sort of coins (with the same designation – Christus Rex Regnantium) have a closely shaven Christ with tightly curly hair. Can anyone suggest why the changed their mind about Christ’s appearance?
This image from the emperor’s second reign, A. D. 705-711 shows Justinian II with Tiberius on the reverse side. The obverse side shows Christ with curly hair and short, trimmed beard.
Later coins, for instance during the reign of Romerus II with Constantine VII and if not before, show Christ again with long flowing hair and a full beard.
Based on the Shroud of Turin: Justinian II Solidus has Face of Christ with Skewed Nose and Unbalanced Hair Length?
. . . an additional confirmation that the TS was the model of Christ’s images during the Byzantine Empire, I have found a very interesting variant of the Face of Christ on Justinian II’s Solidus (685-695) AD showing long hair only on the left and SKEW NOSE.
As you know, there are dozens of different variants of the Face of Christ in Justinian II made in different mints during these years, but the face [at right or in larger format here as "Justinian II – Face of Christ with skew nose.jpg" is the first one that reports the skew nose.
As also there are clearly visible the longer left hair than the right ones, that are longer than in other similar coins, I deduce that this Face was one of the first minted after the sculptor looked at the TS.
In fact, in agreement with Alan (Whanger), the Face of Christ became more and more less typical of the TS with the time passing.
Someone will say that this is a minting error, but "casually" also the curvature is in agreement with that of the TS!
Every comment against my interpretation of this clue is welcome, also from Dan’s Blog. (Dan, you are free to use this information if you clearly show my copyright).
I’m impressed. Comments, as Giulio makes it clear, are welcome.
Photograph bears copyright notice: G. Fanti 2012. Used here with implied permission.
Stephen Jones writes in 2. What is the Shroud of Turin?:
This aquatint print accurately depicts from the information on the Shroud of Turin how Jesus’ body was laid on the bottom half of the Shroud and then the top half was taken over His head and overlapped at His feet.
How do we know this that this is accurate? We have the note, but . . .
1. Except that it wrongly shows Jesus’ right hand on top of His left. (Wilson, I., 1998, "The Blood and the Shroud: New Evidence that the World’s Most Sacred Relic is Real," Simon & Schuster: New York NY, p.137).
Maybe an explanation is coming in another posting.
From Tigerbrite’s Blog. Take a few seconds to click in and read the comments. Nine so far like: “Nice take on the prompt, not religious myself, but the history of this shroud is captivating.”
Shroud of Turin
this linen in safe keeping
stains of blood and sweat.
Tenderly wrapped by
carried from the cross.
The Magdalene waits
within the tomb to receive
and tend his wounds.
a miracle of spirit.
Tomb cloth of Christ.
From This is Somerset yesterday:
In August we had a talk, which lived up to the promise of its title, The Knights Templar.
The speaker, Juliet Faith, began with a brief history of those armed monks, founded in 1118 on the continent, to protect pilgrims to the Holy Land. They became so powerful and rich that they were hounded out or executed in 1307. All their treasures disappeared overnight and many of the knights fled to England where their lives were spared and where they continued as before, setting up preceptories everywhere. Because of their strong links with the Holy Land, they were guardians of a huge number of sacred relics. During the Second World War, a panel painting was discovered, well hidden in the roof of a cottage in Templecombe, the most important preceptory in the South West. The panel bears an uncanny resemblance to the head on the Shroud of Turin, carbon dated to 1280. The Templars had been tried for worshipping an idol in the form of a head, so could the panel have been the lid of a box containing the shroud? It is almost too exciting to think about.