Gian Marco Rinaldi writes:
The panel of Templecombe was dated not to 1280 but to an interval between 1280 and 1440. I have written an article here, but it is in Italian
Fascinating: Click the read more below to read a Google translation to English. Spacing is pretty rough but the translation isn’t half bad.
The deception of Barbara Frale (3)
Templecombe: The idol in legnai to
Gian Marco Rinaldi
As we know, Barbara Frale believe that the Templars worshiped an idol and that their special idol
was the Shroud of Turin. In his last book (The Templars and the Shroud of Christ ) says that
idol we have received representations in Germany and some seals of the Templars in a painted face
on a wooden panel found in Templecombe in England [1, p. 88]:
"However, there are some representations of the same character [the alleged idol] who are
on items that belonged to the Templars undoubtedly, objects that can still be seen today and allow
to see, let us say first-hand, the identity of the mysterious are some seals Masters
Temple preserved in the archives of Germany, which lead on to the very portrait of a man
with a beard, and a panel of wood found in the church of the Templar house of Templecombe,
in England. "
To seal the Germans, the Frale not reproduce images nor is a reference bibliography, but in all likelihood
includes seals such as those you see here (halfway down the page).
Figure a little ‘lighter can be found here.
The figure shows a bearded head indiscriminately, but there is no reason to think that
were the idol of the Templars, and if it was, there is no reason to see the face of the Shroud.
Among other things, this figure appears on the head of something massive (perhaps the crown of thorns?)
going to cover even part of the front and has no correspondence on the Shroud. The only
resemblance to the Shroud is the beard, but shaving heads with them have been depicted countless
throughout history (especially in the Middle Ages) and of course it was not always the Shroud.
Or maybe for all Frale beards beards are the Shroud? It occurs to me that the Frale believe
to see the Shroud whenever they see, say, the famous photograph of Che Guevara.
As the head of Templecombe, the Frale reproduces a picture [1, Fig 7c] and we show here.
It is a wood panel formed by five horizontal axis (compared to the figure). The measures should
be about 85 to 145 cm. For the thickness is above a rate of two inches, about five
cm. The top axis does not bring the figure and it is false.
The panel was found in 1944 in Templecombe, a village in Somerset (southwest England).
In that area in the thirteenth century had established a Preceptory of the Templars. The knights came to the
end of the twelfth century when they came in possession of an estate and lived there until about 1310 when
the Order was terminated (the Templars were arrested and tried in English from January 1308).
As a result, the properties of the Templar knights were replaced by another order, that of the Hospitallers.
In 1540 King Henry VIII suppressed the monastic orders and the estate passed into private possession of families
nobles. The various buildings of the Preceptory were a bit ‘dismantled at a time and today it remains nothing.
The head depicted on the panel, according to the Frale, it would be a representation of the idol of the Templars and the
resemblance to the Shroud shows that the idol was in fact the Shroud. There is no reason to think
that the Templars one of their idol worship, in the case, there is no reason to think that the idol is depicted in
Templecombe panel, and if not, then we would have proof that an idol is not the Shroud was.
We make the comparison. The Shroud has dual full-length, front and back, a dead man and with
signs of wounds and blood stains. Templecombe panel has only the face, without even the neck,
a man very much alive, with eyes wide open, his mouth open where there are teeth, and without
no trace of wounds or blood. The only similarity is the presence of a beard and the shape
long hair on the sides of the face. But by then all the representations of Christ (and often
other characters) hair and beard had more or less similar.
Templecombe panel, apart from the ridiculous idea that it can represent the Shroud, in Frale
manages to put together a few lines wrong or try different news. We see below.
In the church, temple?
The Frale mentioned in the book  says three times that the panel was found in a church temple.
On p. 88: "a panel of wood found in the church of the Templar house of Templecombe in
England. ‘On p. 89: "The board found in the Templar church of Templecombe …" The caption of the
Figure 7c: "icon found in the Templar chapel of Templecombe. It also repeated in his latest book
( The shroud of Jesus of Nazareth ) [2, p. 62-63]: "… Templar church of England in Templecombe
was found a panel …».
This is false. The panel was found in 1944 in a small room adjoining the outside of a house
home. The room was then used as a storage room for firewood. It was a small room with a door
and no windows. The ground floor was not implanted.  The restaurant was later demolished. Not
received information about what the building was old or over who had built.
The panel was placed in the ceiling of the room and was covered with a plaster. There is no known
why it was put there. The panel was then transferred in the one church (Anglican)
the country where it has since remained.
It was impossible that the panel is found in a church temple in 1944 because it no longer existed
a church temple in Templecombe. The present church stands on the site and partly on the ruins of an ancient
church that had existed before the Templars arrived in the area and was never under their
administration. Within the perimeter of their tutor, the Templars built their own chapel, or small
church, which over the centuries fell into ruin. In the nineteenth century could still see some remnants of
walls, now completely demolished. It is likely that the house which was found at the panel, which is at the West Court
side of High Street, to be located just outside the perimeter of the Preceptory and not more than a few
hundred meters from the chapel, but it is certainly not at the chapel.
Dates back to the Templars?
The Frale is assumed that the panel belonged to the Templars, then places the execution of the figure
during the period when the Templars were in Templecombe, that is the end of the twelfth century to the early years of the
XIV century. In the second book provides a limited range of dates, and that the panel is
"Dating from the years 1275-1300 [2, p. 63]. Where have taken this date range, as if he had
the result of a C14 dating?
In fact, the wooden panel has been radiocarbon dating in 1987 at the Laboratory for Accelerator
University of Oxford (the same one year later as the linen of the Shroud). They were taken two
samples on the margins of the two axes. Both samples gave the same result, which was published in
a list of dating laboratory in Oxford . The wood was given (95% confidence) interval
between 1280 and 1440. So the range is centered on 1360. If this result can be considered
valid, the wood panel is dated to the fourteenth century than to the XIII. It should also be considered that the date
which was painted the panel should be back a little or a lot, compared to the dating of the wood.
In fact, the tree could be cut when it was already old, considering that the boards are of considerable
size and it was not twigs. It is of course true that each sample was taken on the margin
of a board, that is in place as possible device, but it is said that it was just the latest
growth rings of the tree. Then you do not know when the painting was done on wood, in a given
back any tree felling.
The result of dating is not totally rule out that the panel date back to the Templars, but it makes it
likely to be back. Then the panel can be more easily attributed to the time when
Templecombe were the Hospitallers, rather than the Templars.
If Frale knew the future date (as he should have known if he was informed on the subject),
has kept the outcome. If you do not know that the panel was dated, how could
1275-1300 invent that range? Based on what information?
The painting style is difficult to define, since it is a masterly painting crude and certainly not, but
far as I can judge, is compatible with the fourteenth or fifteenth centuries.
In short, there is no evidence that the painting on the front panel temple date back to 1310.
He was in possession of the Templars?
Even supposing for the moment, the panel goes back to before 1310, it is not necessary to think
that was owned or in use of the Templars. Could be, but there is no certainty and no Frale
has reason to take it for granted. The painted figure does not contain any details or symbol that can be specifically correlated with the Order.
The Templars had an estate in Templecombe, inside their tutors, where they practiced
agriculture and livestock, but not all the territory around the area was in their possession. The church
country was not governed by them. An estate nearby was in possession of a great abbey of nuns
located in an area not far away. Finally it is possible that the panel came from outside.
He was the idol of the Templars?
Again let us assume that the panel was of the Templars, but then there is no reason to consider
a representation of their special "Idol." To begin with, we repeat, there is no evidence that the
Templars had their own special worship and idol. If they had had one, there is no reason to think
that the face of the panels is a copy. There is nothing special that differentiates this from other portrait
similar and which identifies him as the idol of the Templars.
We can not know for sure, but the representation of the single head, frontal view, with no halo
and no neck, suggesting a painting on the model of so-called "Veronica" (or "Veil of Veronica").
Copies of Veronica referred to a prototype that was in Rome.
Already in the thirteenth century they began to talk about Veronica and produce some representation. Among other
two British-born author, Gervase of Tilbury and Gerald of Wales, talking about it as early as 1220.
But to find a wider dissemination of images of the Veronica in Europe need to get to after the year
Jubilee 1300. Initially, the images had a head with the neck, then spread the model
no neck. So we can not exclude that the head of Templecombe, if interpreted as a Veronica,
is the thirteenth century, but it is more likely to be back.
What use was for the panel?
One can easily assume that the wood panel was not intended to be used as a support
painting. The boards are thick and the panel is heavy. Was not prepared the ground on which to apply the paint.
You can see the cracks between the boards. There are a number of pins or nails are not becoming visible in a painting. So
you have to think that the panel was built for another use and that only later, after a time
not restricted to, someone painted the face. The condition may have been occasional or accidental. Not
is also possible that an amateur painter has used the panel to practice painting
It appears that it has been established what was the use to which the panel was originally intended, or what
were any other uses to which it was adapted as a result. One can imagine many uses: shelf
railing, fence, gate, door, wall or lid of a box. It has been said, but I do not think
it is certain that at the time of the discovery was a milestone on one corner (top right), and if
this were true it would indicate a use as a revolving door or door or lid.
We do not know or imagine a reason why the panel was painted.
Was from eastern Europe?
The Frale Templecombe argues that the portrait was of oriental origin as a copy of mandila
( mandylion ) of Constantinople [1, p. 88-89]. She is convinced that the mandila of Constantinople was in fact
that the Shroud was kept folded down to show only the area of the face, what course
there is no evidence whatsoever. In the second book [2, p. 63] says that the portrait reproduced the mandylion of
Constantinople, with the face of Jesus in accordance with Byzantine iconography. "
Around the fourteenth century the model of mandila was already widespread in the Eastern Churches from the Balkans to Russia to
Turkey. In the West, was spreading the model of Veronica. I was heavily influenced by two models with similar
versions of the legend of Jesus who wipes his face with a cloth and left her image imprinted in
miraculous ways. Both the Eastern mandila Veronica depicted a Western face seen
front and with open eyes. In practice, Veronica was the Western version of mandila. In
source some representation for both the mandila for Veronica, also had the neck, then said
the model of single face without necks.
There is no way to distinguish one from Veronica mandila East Western Europe? Meanwhile, copies Eastern
were obviously made in a Byzantine style, was quite hard over the centuries. In the West
representations followed the development of painting styles. Even the appearance of the face of Veronica had
evolution. First it was a clean face, no blood and no crown of thorns. Then also appeared
examples with a crown of thorns, as a result of an evolution of the legend. The face could then also be
streaked with blood. Much later, from 1600, also appeared with depictions of Veronica’s eyes
closed, perhaps influenced by knowledge of the Shroud of Turin.
Around the fourteenth century a mandila and Veronica could be quite similar, with both eyes
open, without a crown of thorns and bloodless. But there was a feature that could allow
distinguish. The mandila always had a halo or nimbus, which is a circle round the face. Copies of
Veronica, however, could often be no halo. Perhaps they thought that if the Western painters
the image must have been produced as a footprint in contact with the face of Jesus, there was no reason that even imprimesse halo.
The head of Templecombe dell’aureola is free, then certainly conforms to the Western model of Veronica. Even the style of painting, although poorly characterized, it is not typical of a Byzantine icon.
You can add the frame painted diamond-shaped lobata was widespread in the West, as we shall
immediately. Then there is a floral decoration on the outside of the frame, which recalls the typical reasons common in the West
(Think of the fleur de lis of the French or the arms of Florence).
In conclusion, the face of Templecombe has no halo and this model differs from the east. Style
is not clearly defined but does not look the Byzantine Empire. So it can be assumed that the product is
West. Furthermore, the painting was found in England, not in the East, and there is no reason to
think that the heavy panel, plus or materials of any artistic value, has been transported from
from a distance.
Speaking of image Mandil, the Frale writes [1, p. 89]:
"Even today in some of the major basilicas of Europe are works of art that reflect, as
example the icon on fabric known as the Holy Face of Manoppello, those preserved in Genoa, Jaen, Alicante,
kept in the basilica of St. Peter in the chapel of Matilda of Canossa: they are all
copies of mandylion made in the East. "
The Eastern origin is uncertain for the sample of Genoa, for others is uncertain. The veil is not a Manoppello
Byzantine style, and certainly shows a European style, but rather evolved.
We should point out an oversight that is surprising for a scholar who works in the employ of the Vatican,
when he says that the Roman copy of mandila is "kept in the basilica of St. Peter in
Chapel Matilde di Canossa. " The painting is kept in a room next to the Matilde Chapel, which
is not in the Basilica of St. Peter’s but a private chapel in the Apostolic Palace of the Popes. (For at least
twenty years the name of Matilda has been replaced with that of Redemptoris Mater .)
The lozenge lobata
The Frale goes on to speak of an alleged and imaginary shape of the frame in which it was contained, according
her, mandila to Constantinople, and makes a comparison with a miniature in a manuscript of mandila
Vatican Library (Rossano greek 251). Here to show off his fantastic imagination to the point
that it deserves a special treat in an episode. Finally, it refers to the shape of the frame painted around
the face of Templecombe an invoice as evidence of Eastern Europe [1, p. 89]:
"The icon of Templecombe shape of this box that turns the human traits of Jesus and the island
the cover is an elegant geometric pattern in clover, very popular in the East, and used in shrines
Byzantine since the ninth century. "
(You do not need to think about what was the "coverage" which will be discussed next time). For
painted frame, the shape "cloverleaf," that we can more properly called "diamond lobata"
the second would be a feature Frale Byzantine. In the note at the end of the quotation adds [1, p. 136,
"Sterlingova, The New Testament relics , pp. 88-89. Thank you for giving me Emanuela Marinelli
the existence of this object. "
Sterligov Irina (who writes Frale Sterlingova) is the author of a chapter in a book when Russian
I have not seen yet. In the book, it seems, there would have represented an example of a Byzantine reliquary
quatrefoil shape. It is possible that there were Byzantine reliquaries with that form, but it is not
a characteristic only of Byzantine art. I would add that if the Frale needed a hint of
Marinelli, probably did not know many examples of such Byzantine reliquaries. Searching the Internet I
found a precious relic of the fourteenth century Byzantine that you can see here.
I do not know whether the same referred to by the Frale. But it should be noted that this shrine, if oriented
accordance with the small figures on the lobes, has a square with sides in the horizontal direction and unwilling
diamond. Furthermore, it is not a frame surrounding an image.
The Frale says that this four-leaf clover motif was "much loved in the East." I do not know in the East, but certainly
Gothic art was used in the West. The first example that comes to mind is one of the panels on
doors of the Baptistery in Florence. Those of Andrea Pisano were conceived around 1330. Then came
those of Lorenzo Ghiberti (not to mention Filippo Brunelleschi). No need to give examples of
those panels, they are so famous. Another example of relief with that form, in Florence on a
wall of the Bargello, you can see here (go down to the middle of the page).
Turning to painting, in the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua are many text entered by diamond
lobed as in these two examples.
This bust is in the nearby Basilica of the Holy Ghost.
Taddeo Gaddi, a pupil of Giotto, painted many tiles with diamond-shaped frame lobata, for example
this ( http://www.wga.hu/art/g/gaddi/taddeo/panels/quatref2.jpg ).
In the cathedral of Gurk in Carinthia, this lamb was outside the diamond floral motifs not unlike those of Templecombe ( http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gurker_Dom_Vorhalle_Detail.jpg ).
These were all examples of painting of the first half of the fourteenth century. Coming a little ‘later on, we find this angel’s head by Piero della Francesca ( http://www.wga.hu/art/p/piero/francesc/croce/decorat/angel2.jpg ).
Now to illuminated manuscripts. There are plenty of examples of miniatures in frames diamond lobata. The very rich site of the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York you can see, one by one, as many as 84 pages of manuscript cataloged as M.75. This is a French manuscript, about 1350. All or most of the pages have one or even two miniatures framed diamond lobata. The link is the first page, where you can continue. Click on "Detail of miniatures" you have the magnification.
On the same site you can see other miniatures diamond lobata, for example in the manuscript M.1000, also French, about 1420.
Next is an example of an embroidered fabric. The "Syon Cope of" about 1300, executed in England, now in the Victoria & Albert Museum, has different diamond shapes within lobed. Here a design showing a detail.
And here a color photo of the whole.
Finally we have a seal of an English monastery of the second half of the thirteenth century.
These examples should suffice to induce Frale to revise its belief that the diamond lobata is a sign of oriental origin.Perhaps the examples are abundant, but it is not every day have the opportunity to explain medieval art for the benefit of a distinguished medievalist!
Appendix. The panel on display at the Venaria
It is open these days, the Venaria near Turin, an exhibition entitled "Knights: From the Templars to Napoleon" (from November 28, 2009 April 11, 2010). Among the masterpieces of art and precious objects, there is also the Templecombe panel. The panel has no artistic value but has indicated some newspapers as the main attraction of the exhibition. The anonymous painter who painted it did not believe his eyes when he saw that his work is exhibited together with paintings by Titian or Rubens or Goya.
In official statements of Venaria  are repeated statements such as we have seen here. We read that the board was "dated with carbon 14-1280 about" and that the author is an "anonymous painter of probable Middle Eastern origin."Then it is assumed that the face is a copy of the Shroud of Turin or the idol of the Templars.
Perhaps the curators of the exhibition have been educated in the school of Frale? It seems so because the exhibition catalog contains an essay just on the Frale Templecombe. At the time of writing I have not seen the catalog but a few phrases that appear in newspapers reported Frale has even outdone herself. For example, the print on 26 November, a phrase in quotes taken from the catalog for Frale says that "the image of Templecombe it is the most important and suggestive of the worship of Christ with the Templars. This is the door of a shrine which houses a copy of the Shroud, consecrated by contact with his linen. " Previous fantasies, he also added that the door of the chapel.
We can update when we have the exhibition catalog.
 B. Frail: The Templars and the Shroud of Christ (Princeton 2009)
 B. Frail: The Shroud of Jesus of Nazareth (Princeton 2009)
 The date and circumstances of the finding were reported by the Shroud Rex Morgan: "Did the Templars take the Shroud to England? New evidence from Templecombe, "pp. 205-232 in A. Berard, Ed, History, science, theology, and the Shroud (Proceedings of a symposium in 1991 in Saint Louis, Missouri). Morgan was based on a personal interview in 1987 with Molly Drew, the woman who had found the Templecombe panel. I do not know if we can be sure that Drew remember the exact date of 1944 at this distance of time. The Shroud Ian Wilson, who later in turn interviewed Drew, then used the more generic term "near the end of war."
 Archaeometry , Volume 29 No 2, pp. 289-306 (August 1987)