clip_image001Pam Moon has published another interesting paper, The Lier Shroud and Lucas Cranach the Elder (pictured in his self portrait) The synopsis Pam offers reads:

This paper argues that the artist who created the Shroud of Turin copy known as the Lier (or Lierre) Shroud may be Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553). It examines the signature on the Shroud and compares it with the different ways Cranach signed his name. It looks at Cranach’s relationship with Maximilian 1 the Holy Roman Emperor (1459 -1519) who was thought to have commissioned copies of the Shroud. It examines the similarity of the Lier copy to the Shroud of Turin. And finally it examines other examples of Cranach’s work particularly his Christ as the Man of Sorrows dated 1515.

The conclusion reads:

Without a more detailed examination of the signature by an art expert it is not possible to confirm that Lucas Cranach painted the Lier Shroud in 1516. However it is a possibility that could be researched further. Certainly his accurate paintings of Christ as the Man of Sorrows deserve more attention from Shroud researchers. In favour of Cranach being the painter of the Lier Shroud: what are the chances of there being two world class artists who worked for Maximilian 1 and Margaret of Austria, who spoke the Old Nuremberger dialect and had a surname beginning with a C viewing the Shroud of Turin in 1515 – 1516? The probability tips towards Cranach being the creator of the Lier Shroud.

If Cranach does prove to be the painter then we can learn more about the Shroud from his association: Cranach was a Renaissance master and capable of very accurate drawings. For example we can learn about the nature of the whip marks on the arms; possibly how the dislocation appeared before the fire; the length and condition of the cloth before the fire. It would confirm that in 1516 the corners were not missing and that there was probably more
cloth beyond the feet than we can currently see.

Finally, if Cranach is the artist it raises problems for the medieval Radiocarbon date. If a painter as accomplished as Lucas Cranach the Elder cannot come close to replicating the complexity of the Shroud in his copy, how can we possibly believe an unknown medieval artist could create it from scratch?


The paper is rich with examples. I found it fascinating.

I do have a problem with the last paragraph. It doesn’t make sense unless you are thinking of a painting of a painting. The notion that if Cranach is the artist of the Lier copy, it is a problem for the medieval results for carbon dating of the shroud seems to be an afterthought. The subject of carbon dating isn’t even mentioned before the next to last sentence of the paper.