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Do Nobody Knows Nothing?

imageYesterday, 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

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