Maybe Vermeer Made the Shroud of Turin

This is devastating. Someone is certain to think that Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675 A.D.) faked the shroud, probably with a Toys R Us electric scorching pen. Someone will discover that the Girl with a Pearl Earing has two eyes and a nose in the same place on her face as the grand master himself. And we thought Shroud Science was sophisticated. This guy spent years and money painstakingly building a replica of Vermeer’s home.

I missed the story in Vanity Fair last month. But there it was, in the doctor’s waiting room, and me on those pain pills for sciatica that help make sense of every thing.

Reverse-Engineering a Genius (Has a Vermeer Mystery Been Solved?)

David Hockney and others have speculated—controversially—that a camera obscura could have helped the Dutch painter Vermeer achieve his photo-realistic effects in the 1600s. But no one understood exactly how such a device might actually have been used to paint masterpieces. An inventor in Texas—the subject of a new documentary by the magicians Penn & Teller—may have solved the riddle.

Penn and Teller? Not to worry! They’re Atheists! Whew! Bias! This is no more devastating then Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince and their theory that Leonardo photographed himself for the shroud. Notice the resemblance between Clive (left of Lynn) and Vermeer.



8 thoughts on “Maybe Vermeer Made the Shroud of Turin”

  1. So Vermeer gave the copy to de Charny, a hundred years before that? Picknett and Prince would have to be asked the same question when it comes to da Vinci.

    1. Roger Bacon (1220-1292) woud be spot on for a C14 date of ~1250, one of the first experimentalists, he knew about lenses (spectacles had barely entered the western world), influenced by Robert Grosseteste, familiar with alchemy, experimented with the camera obscura. But commodity of crucifixion victims in short supply ~1250. Also he’d have to create the image without pigments. Also more of an experimentalist and discoverer, rather than inventive genius. Otherwise, an interesting possibility!

  2. I think they just can’t imagine how complex/unlikely/not realistic it would be to get an image on a shroud such as the one we can see according to the middle ages knowledge.

    Though it would still be an interesting challenge if they could produce anything close to any image on a shroud thanks to any camera obscura / optical system. No wonder, they did not.

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