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New Paper: The Face of the Shroud in Michelangelo’s Last Judgment?

November 2, 2014

This past week, Jos Verhulst uploaded a paper to Academia.edu entitled, The Embedment of the Face on the Shroud of Turin in Michelangelo’s Last Judgment: A corroboration of the Dayvault hypothesis.

The paper is interesting. And I notice if I stand back a few feet, squint and fiddle with the angle of the screen on my laptop, then I almost think I almost see the face from the shroud portrayed in the fresco. I don’t mean to sound fatuous. I’m saying, maybe it’s me. This paper helps me grasp the idea.


Figure 1: The Dayvault hypothesis in a nutshell. The fresco has the shape of a rectangle surmounted by two lunettes. According to the hypothesis, these eyebrow-shaped lunettes correspond to the eyes of the Man of the Shroud. The pear-shaped central cluster encompassing Christ and his mother, with Saint Lawrence and Saint Bartholomew at their feet, corresponds to the nose. . . . (emphasis mine)

I just don’t have the artist’s eye. I would have never seen these lines:


Figure 10 : The encodement of the structure of the Shroud fabric in Michelangelo’s Last Judgement. The position of the centre fold is indicated by the skin held by Saint Bartholomew. Together with the yellow-dressed‘assistant saint’ behind him, Saint Bartholomew looks (blue line) at the index finger of the saint in green who points at the position of the related primeval fold (see figure 6). The symmetry axis of Saint Lawrence’s grid, together with the tilaka’s (purple points) of Saint John, Saint Lawrence’s ‘assistant saint’ in yellow, Saint Bartholomew and Saint Peter, form a V-shape corresponding to the herringbone-pattern of the Shroud fabric (orange lines). The median axis(green line) of this V-shape is indicated by the hands of Christ. Saint Lawrence holds his grid in a very peculiar way that reflects the weaving structure (figure11) of the Shroud: his arm overarches three cross bars of his gridiron, just as a warp thread overarches three weft threads in the fabric of the Shroud.

Something to think about.

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