Roger Bassett’s Clarifying Art

imageI once watched an art restorer working on a tiny spot of a damaged painting. He put down his brushes and tiny scalpels and capped the bottle of cleaning fluid he was working with. Motionless and silent, he just stared at the painting. Finally, after three or four minutes, he spoke. “I must figure out what the artist intended,” I remember him saying. “It’s art, not science. But its not my aesthetic; its systematic.”

Roger W. Bassett has “restored” (clarified) a portion of the shroud: the face. If he has indeed figured out what the artist intended, it is exciting. That artist, if the shroud is authentic, is God himself or a natural process. If not authentic then the original artist was . . . well . . .  an artist. That’s my take on it (and I think the shroud is authentic).

Roger’s St. Louis presentation, “Portrait” from the Turin Shroud: An Artist’s Study of the Shroud Image demands your attention:

It is important to note that due to the complexity of the shroud image this process of clarification is a continuing “work in progress”. What I am able to share with you today is hardly a finished work. There are areas where clarification was gained at the temporary expense of losing some clarity in other areas because for every adjustment made to any given area the perception of the surrounding areas is affected, thus affecting the interpretation of what is actually there. Some areas where data was retrieved by raising the luminosity, left some other areas over-exposed so that there are still corrections that need to be made, which when done will only further enhance the image with even greater accuracy. So having made this disclaimer, that there is much more work to be done, let me begin.

From one slide in the PowerPoint:

The narrow look to the face resolves itself as the areas of image drop-off are “equalized” to become a seamless transition into the other areas of the facial anatomy.



5 thoughts on “Roger Bassett’s Clarifying Art”

  1. Didn’t I read on one of thee sites something that was worded similar to “I know what we have here is that I don’t know, it is incomprehensible” ??

  2. Well what can I say? It’s an excellent article, and what’s more it supports my own observation. It clarifies many misconception and gives much food for thought. Moreover, it seems to provide some crucial information for one of my projects, but what exactly I will reveal when I make it.

    1. Yes it is a excellent article. Before the development of technology, most of the peoiple, like today – including Popes, thought TS is just a painting. Now technology is changing our perception.

  3. I can’t say I’m keen, I’m afraid. I do not see an oriental eyed Jesus with curly Nubian hair. The finished image does not look good in ImagJ either, as the enhancement of the cheeks makes them appear higher than the nose – just as they do in ordinary photographs, in fact. And I disagree completely with the conclusion that the orginal image “immediately brings to mind a scene of horrific brutality … a reminder of suffering and brokenness … seemingly without expression”, while the enhanced image “reveals more specifically a definitive expression on the face … immediately pleasing, even divinely sweet.” It just doesn’t do it for me. There is some milage in attempting to identify places on the image where there “ought to be” some discolouration but there isn’t, and to try to correct the failure, but this must be a highly subjective task, and one man’s interpretation may not fit anothers. To call this a definitive likeness is pushing the value of this research too far.

Comments are closed.