Observations Consistent with a Medieval Artist?

clip_image001Hugh Farey writes:

Hi Dan,

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.

37 thoughts on “Observations Consistent with a Medieval Artist?”

  1. Now had Robert Richert et al just considered (for a very long minute) somehow rounded objects were placed over the TSM’s eyes, the non-anatomical accuracy/IRrealism argument he puts forward drops (see Prs Bucklin, Baima-Bollone and Zugibe’s opinions + Shroud face 2D to 3D conversions).
    Had they also considered the phenomena of ‘truncated panoramicity’ and volumetic (com)pressure imprint recorded as image in plane, his ‘popular artistic stylisation in the Middle Ages to early Renaissance’ argument also drops.

  2. The fact that many medieval art works are consistent with the TS face is also consistent with the latter being used as reference Christ face model/template.

  3. Palaeographically and anatomically speaking, the TSM image is accurate and consistent in light of ‘truncated panoramicity’ and volumetic (com)pressure imprint of a stiff rigid tortured bloodied body recorded as image in plane.

  4. Additional comments:

    CB wrote in his blog: “In the meantime, this comment has just appeared on TOS :
    The fact that many medieval art works are consistent with the TS face is also consistent with the latter being used as reference Christ face model/template.

    If that were the case, then why do we see the nail wound(s) in paintings, manuscripts etc always in the palm, never the wrist?”

    Can CB show me a Christ FACE showing ‘nail wound(s) in PALMS’?!

    More seriously, in the West, till the the middle of the 14th century, the TSFace was mainly known through the Veronica (which is sort of a second TSFace).

    Note: The Christ’s sidewound iconography changed (left to right side) from the 13th c. CE (see Chinon early 14th c. CE Templar graffiti). In another Chinon Templar graffiti (Chancellor’s Hand Sign) a cross at wrist level symbolically features Christ’s nail wound.

  5. A few weeks ago, I posted a piece about “Clumsy Me” that featured a picture of my dog Bogie. I was a little unhappy with the picture because the perspective of the picture and perhaps the camera lens made his head much larger than the body.

    The other day while working on a piece of my work in progress, I was struck by an insight that explains some of the quirkiness that some found in the Shroud image. Bogie’s head in the image is in disproportion to his body. He is sitting and I was taking the picture from above him. The disproportion of the image is essentially an inverted triangle.

    What it does is define the angle from which the picture was taken.

    The disproportion that some see in the Shroud, is not proof that it is a painting, it may be an indication of the angles at which different parts of the image were created. Possibly only one, maybe a couple or more.

    The proof that the Shroud is not a painting was proved by STURP whose examinations were conducted by devices that functioned at the quantum level. We do not understand yet how it was created. I think the biggest fools of all are art experts who proclaim it a painting.

    Tell me art expert: was he the artist left or right handed? A good one can discern that. Where was the light source? What was the directionality of the brush strokes? How did your medieval artist learn about serum halos around blood clots which on the Shroud revealed by X-Rays. Why did he/she add features such as serum halos which were invisible until detected by twentieth century technology?

    Point is that the “distortions” in the image don’t prove it was a painting. In fact, the variations of proportionality point in the opposite direction.

    See http://johnklotz.blogspot.com/2013/01/clumsy-me-and-shroud-of-turin.html

  6. Can CB see/check also the Pray Ms for a nail wound in the wrist (just in case he would cate to).

    1. Typo Can CB alos see/check also the Pray Ms for a nail wound in the wrist (just in case he would care to).

  7. Methinks Mr Colin Berry is lackin a PhD in so many fields as far as the Turin Shroud is concerned.

  8. In his blog CB presents us a very poor/biased picture of the Pray Ms (what about his high quality enhancements he is usually so proud to show us?) and writes:

    “I believe this is the image ( the last of 4 in the relevant Pray Codex series) that is claimed to show a nail wound in the wrist.
    One has to be pretty desperate to base any claim for a correspondence between this image and the Shroud of Turin on the location of nail wounds, given this inexpert line image is more like a “cartoon” in its execution than a serious attempt at art, and with there being no obvious points of correspondence here.”

    Methink, CB relies too much on a very poor/biased picture of the Pray Ms in order to make his point ‘clear’. Most curiously CB (so prone to notice minute details and the slightest anomaly on the Lirey Pilgrim Badge) just missed the left hand elongated fingers too… Would not he be “a TINY little bit” partial?

  9. To those of us that have followed the research on the shroud through the years, we all know that its not a painting. So who cares what Joe Nickell says. He’s not even a scientist. And this artist, he never bothered to explain how the image was painted.

  10. BTW Can CB really get the meaning of the phrase “Benedictine work”? (the ink drawing was done by a Benedictine Monk artist in 1192-95)

  11. Had a spare moment on a Friday afternoon to check out his statement “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.”
    I’m an amateur artist and the position of the eyes on the Shroud didnt seem wrong to me, but being a scientist decided to measure, and the position of eyes on the Shroud were just about half way up the head as they should be (NOTE: this is measuring the head as being from the top where there is a bit of uncertainty where the top is exactly, to the position of where the beard splits. This lower position ie where beard splits is about right otherwise you end up with a Jesus with an abnormally large jaw). Makes me wonder if he actually tried to measure these.

  12. And we all know that the result from the VP8 Image Analyzer show that the image is encoded with 3-D dimensional properties. No paintings or photographs in the world can produce a 3-D image using the VP* Analyzer. This proves its not a painting.

  13. Commenting on the Lirey Pilgrimage Badge, CB also wrote:
    “(To depict) a more un-Christ figure (is) hard to imagine ”
    …while at the same time imaging the figure to be that of Jacques de Molay and/or Geoffrey de Charny, which is even harder to imagine (even in the 14th c. CE)?!

    1. How UN-Jacques de Molay and UN-Geoffrey de Charny the face in the LPB looks like?The fact is CB just cannot tell since he has not the foggiest notion what any of them really could look like when they were sent to be burned at the stakes. Beside CB just doesn’t care all he cares about is to putting forward his most fancyful/delirious hypothesis as an alleged ‘historical ground’ for his scorching hypothesis?!

  14. CB on “the other site” is still clutching at his poor/biased picture and keeps trying to make his point ‘clear’.
    While manipulating/biasing his ‘dear reader’s perception he asks him: Do you see wounds that are unequivocally in the wrists? The true fact is I ONLY mentioned the left hand (for the viewer) as far as a nail wound is concerned.
    Cannot CB use a higher quality image and make an enhancement close-up of ‘the hand in question’ so that he/we all can see the anomalies: elongated fingers and nail wound appearing at the very basis of the hand not in the middle of palm? Yes I know, such minute details are just Benedictine work. Indeed!

  15. Now kindly could CB put side to side the Pray Ms and TSM left hands with nail wound at the same scale. Thank you. What can you see now?

    1. Now compare TSM left hand, Pray Ms left hand (left for the viewer) with Pray Ms right hand (right for the viewer). What can you see now you maybe still coud not see?

  16. Has CB ever heard of the iconocryptographic technique consisting in scattering/fragmenting a secret image into spy clues to be reinserted in a series of 3 to 5 illustrations within the same manuscript? This is called Benedictine steganography.

  17. CB wrote (about the Pray Ms illustrations): “other images in the same series show hands without any nail wounds at all!” Most precisely, it should have rung a “steganographic/cryptographic” bell instead!

  18. BTW the most likely name of the Benedictine monk artist is Friar JÓZSEF ÁLMOS.

  19. On the other site Colin Berry aka CN asked:

    “(Incidentally, can anyone explain to me why the Shroud literature is full of references to a burial shroud?

    There is surely no ‘burial’ as such in a cave tomb (sic!).

    The deceased is simply laid out on a stone bench… A year later, what’s left can be transferred to an ossuary and taken away, freeing up the cave tomb for someone else…)”

    Had he checked the online dictionary, English language speaker CB PhD in ignorarrogance should have read the following:
    bury (v.)
    Old English byrgan “to raise a mound, HIDE, bury, inter,” akin to beorgan “to SHELTER,” from Proto-Germanic *burzjanan “protection, shelter” (cf. Old Saxon bergan, Dutch bergen, Old Norse bjarga, Swedish berga, Old High German bergan “PROTECT (from predators), shelter, CONCEAL,” German bergen, Gothic bairgan “to save, PRESERVE”), from PIE root *bhergh- “protect, preserve” (cf. Old Church Slavonic brego “I preserve, guard”). Related: Buried; burying. Burying-ground “cemetery” attested from 1711.

  20. CB will never show his ‘dear reader’ an enhanced quality photograph showing a LEGIBLE left hand (left for the viewer) close-up of the Pray Ms Illustration 5 lest the reader could see most elongated fingers and wound nail not in the middle of palm as expected but in the wrist basis as opposed to the right hand (right for the viewer) that clearly appears in the middle of palm. Just guess why? It is consistent with the TS nail wound in conjunction with elongated fingers. This is what we call in French ‘Filer à l’anglaise’ (cowardice).

    1. Notice how the pointed > shaped blood rivulet on the back of the left hand does echo the inverted pointed V blood rivulet on palm of the left hand at wrist basis level. To have the two bloodstains closely match, just rotate one of the left hand image and overlay.

      1. Note: the Pray Ms throning Christ’s palm of the left hand shall be horizontally mirrored to ‘reproduce’ the TSM’s back of the left hand.

      2. Of course I meant “close match” as far as a stylized tiny ink drawing of a hand/life-sized bloodied hand decal comparison can yield a ‘close match’.

  21. The TRUE fact is we do not need CB’s most biased/misleading FUZZY “higher magnification and/or improved colour/contrast adjustment” image (see his blog, Alert day 11). What the ‘dear reader’ does need is a truly high definition photograph of the Pray Ms illustration plate IV to REALLY make his opinion.
    Methinks CB is just manipulating (once again) the data to his own advantage, call it ‘science’ and just take an English leave… A most curious way to make his point.

    1. Not to be argumentative, but I don’t believe that was their conclusion exactly. As a matter of fact I think their conclusion was; They do not know what caused the image, …but then postulated it resembled a scorch.


    2. Best to avoid the s word on this site, Carol. It is not considered PC (pyrolytically correct). I sure if you ask nicely, the regulars here will provide you with a list of acceptable alternatives. ;-)

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