Home > Video > Thomas De Wesselow On Why the Image is Unlikely by an Artist

Thomas De Wesselow On Why the Image is Unlikely by an Artist

June 12, 2015

MUST WATCH:  This very important video in which, “Thomas De Wesselow, Cambridge art historian explains why, in his opinion, the image on the Shroud of Turin is unlikely to be the work of an artist or forger” is now, once again, available online to the public. It runs for an hour, an hour well worth your time:

image

Link:  https://vimeo.com/117793165

You will need to click twice, once here and once in the Vimeo service.

I would like to see his video in YouTube where it will get more publicity and a bigger audience. 

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  1. June 12, 2015 at 5:12 am

    I don’t just like this video, I love it.

  2. John Klotz
    June 12, 2015 at 6:43 am

    This is an extraordinary exposition of the image in the context of art. It is well worth the viewing. Where De Wesselow falters is physics and science. However, as an art historian studying the Shroud, he is nonpareil.

    I also note his impressive academic qualifications and continuing study and education. I would hope that anyone who attacks this as an issue of art history would share with us their academic qualifications as art historian. I have none as an art historian. What I do have is a lifetime of dealing with experts from various disciplines and evaluating their opinions. De Wesselow does his homework.

    It is necessary to wed pathology, art history, church history and biblical exegesis (inter alia) to understand the Shroud and reach a conclusion about its authenticity.

    John Klotz http://johnklotz.blogspot.com

    • Nabber
      June 12, 2015 at 3:26 pm

      We would say in America, “Charles Freeman can’t even carry DeWesselow’s jockstrap….”

      • John Klotz
        June 12, 2015 at 4:23 pm

        I thought the appropriate verb was “clean.”

  3. Max patrick Hamon
    June 12, 2015 at 8:47 am

    John,

    Actually it would be necessary to wed forensic medical examination, PALEOpathology, ARCHEOLOGICAL bloodstain pattern analysis, Second Temple period funerary archaeology, biblical AND talmudic exegeses and art history… at least . BTW do you mean archaeocryptology ;-)?

    • June 12, 2015 at 10:23 am

      The Shroud is such a multifaceted challenge that the most important requirement is the ability to analyze the claims of a broad spectrum of disciplines.

      • Max PatrickHamon
        June 13, 2015 at 4:21 am

        Not to mention Christolipsology (studies of and research on Christ’s contact relics), which is currently overlooked.

  4. June 12, 2015 at 5:50 pm

    There is only one misstatement made by Dr. DeWesselow concerning the VP8. The brightness map created by the VP8 which translates to height and depth is reverse what he said: white appears higher and dark appears lower in the brightness to “elevation” map. This can be seen easily in the VP8 presentation that I authored and the VP8 expert Dcn. Pete Schumacher edited for accuracy (http://shroudnm.com/docs/SEAM-VP8-Presentation.pdf).

  5. Thomas
    June 12, 2015 at 8:32 pm

    Rebuttal from Charles to de wesselow? De wesselow seems to have pretty good credentials

    • June 13, 2015 at 1:28 am

      De Wesselow starts from the premise that the images now are as they always have been, presumably in his view for two thousand years. This is the fatal error made by STURP but as they did not seem to have anyone on their team who had ever dealt with an ancient object let alone an ancient textile that is perhaps understandable. I am surprised that de Wesselow seems to have made this same error but perhaps painted textiles in not his area of specialism.

      I and others start from the opposite premise ,that what we have now is the Shroud after centuries of decay with images of a very different kind from the original creation. My interest lies in finding out what the Shroud images looked liked originally.

      I don’t think that there is any way de Wesselow can overlap with me – we are just approaching the same problem from such different perspectives. The question is whether he can find specialist support from his fellow art historians. Somehow, from my own conversations with art historians who specialise in painted linens and medieval weaves I doubt it, but I shall be interested if he can.
      Thanks for brightening my day with your comments,Nabber. Perhaps one day you will actually give the International Sceptics Forum the evidence for why you believe the Shroud is 2000 years old- you go strangely silent when asked and just infuriate everybody .

      • Thomas
        June 13, 2015 at 2:16 am

        Oh those so called anonymous art historians again…gets pretty tiresome Charles.
        De wesselow is very well qualified with expertise in art in the 14th century
        He presents a compelling articulate case.
        I wait for a compelling rebuttal from equally qualified art historians….

        • June 13, 2015 at 2:46 am

          Yes, I agree. They are the ones to challenge him. My limited asking around suggests that he does not have much support but he can prove me wrong. He should get his thesis published in an acknowledged art history journal.

          It is a pity that he did not show the Niccolo dell’Arca ‘s haunting Lamentation from the head but from the feet. I know it well having seen it twice in Bologna this year already and I am taking a study group to see it in September. Niccolo shows how the hair of Christ would fall away when he was lying down, if this was a real body, not in the straight way that it is shown on the Shroud. In fact if I was doing a book on the Shroud I would use it as one of my examples- the whole Lamentation scene is an extraordinary piece of realistic art and Niccolo had thought through how a dead body would really look laid out.
          Do see it if you are in Bologna and have lunch at the excellent Sette Archi restaurant afterwards.

      • Thibault HEIMBURGER
        June 13, 2015 at 4:03 pm

        Charles: “I and others start from the opposite premise ,that what we have now is the Shroud after centuries of decay with images of a very different kind from the original creation. My interest lies in finding out what the Shroud images looked liked originally.”

        Yes, and it can be proved that your premise is wrong.

        Why don’t you comment the many true copies (copies painted from the original and very often put in contact with it (see Luigi Fossati)? Or did I miss something ?

        – Faintness of the image ? See the 1527 Noalejo copy (a wonder !) where it is obvious that the artist tried to reproduce the faintness and the lack of borders of the image. There are other examples showing that the artist tried to reproduce this property with less success: Guadalupe 1588, Rome 1605(?), Rome 1643.
        I add that in the Museum of the Shroud in Turin, I have seen 2 months ago a small (perhaps 20 cm in length) reproduction painted on a cloth (16th or 17th century, I don’t remember).
        It’s obvious that the image had been painted in order to reproduce the faintness of the TS image: it is nearly invisible!
        Unfortunately, it’s forbidden to photograph in the museum.

        – Thumbs: contrary to what you wrote elsewhere, no thumb is visible in any of the copies.

        – Crown of thorns: in most of the copies, it is not seen: Santiago 1585, Naples 1652, Lisbon, Laguna de Cameros 1790, Alcoy 1571.

        – Loincloth: it’s true that a loincloth is clearly depicted in most of the copies. In some cases it is difficult to decide if a loincloth is present or not (Alcoy 1571, Moncalieri 1634, Rome 1643). Probably not.
        But the oldest copy, the Lier copy as well as the Lisbon copy clearly show the rounded shapes of the buttocks. No loincloth.

        So what ?

        According to Charles, the TS is a painting from the 14th century. The image we see today is “of a very different kind from the original creation.” because of century of decay.

        At the beginning the image was not as faint as it is today.
        I do not know if it was exactly as faint as today.
        But I do know that during the 16th and 17th century, some artists tried to reproduce the faintness of the image.
        Why, if the image was not faint?

        At the beginning, there was a loincloth.
        In this case, how to explain that some of the earliest copies show the buttocks (no loincloth), exactly as we seen them today ?
        The loincloth was added later and then again disappeared?
        Is it credible ?

        The same is true for the crown of thorns, the thumbs etc..

        No, the image we see today is not very different from the original creation.

        The study of the copies shows that.

        • Thomas
          June 13, 2015 at 7:45 pm

          Thibault, exactly! Charles’s claims are absurd.
          He’s wasting our time, move along please.

        • June 14, 2015 at 2:28 am

          Thibault-I think you have to move on from just looking at copies of the Shroud, which may themselves have changed over the centuries, to actual depictions of the Shroud, to the descriptions and other depictions of the Shroud. I would put forward the 1583 fresco of the exposition of the Shroud in the Vatican where onlookers are sitting a long way off and can see the images clearly. Again there is the Tempesta engraving of 1613 and many many more. We need a database of them all.
          People have wondered why the patch on the buttocks is today lighter than expected. That is probably because the loincloth was painted on later and the evidence is strong that this was to comply with the decree of the council of Trent that nudity had to be covered up, and then faded off.
          The only way to prove all this is to build up a data base of all the depictions and work through them carefully. Obviously not going to happen on this site! De Wesselow obviously has not even begun a serious study of the Shroud or he would at least have made some comment on all these depictions.
          Meanwhile I shall rely on the wise advice I was given some time ago- if the only response to something you say is abuse, don’t worry, it is because they cannot provide a reasoned reply.

  6. Thomas
    June 13, 2015 at 1:18 am

    Just watched it…wonderful presentation

  7. John Klotz
    June 13, 2015 at 5:33 am

    Freeman’s anonymous experts and travelogue are an insult to the intelligence’ Did I ever tell you about the great hot dog vendor outside the New York County Courthouse at 60 Centre St. in Manhattan. An exquisite piece of al fresco dining. And the Pepsi Cola is of a hearty, although recent vintage. Ipso fact, the Shroud must be a fake.

    • John Klotz
      June 13, 2015 at 5:42 am

      typo: ipso facto

    • Nabber
      June 13, 2015 at 6:13 am

      Freeman = Oscar “Humbug” Diggs…..

      • June 13, 2015 at 6:15 am

        “IGNORE those anonymous art historians behind the curtain!”

        • Charles Freeman
          June 13, 2015 at 6:45 am

          Yes, Nabber , but they won’t be anonymous if they agree to have their names published in any academic articles i write. My custom is when I rely on an expert opinion that I wish to quote is to clear the exact words I attribute to any expert with them. I am not going to go to that bother for postings entered here.

          I am making it quite clear on this website what my views are but this is not where I would aim to get them accepted! I also make it quite clear that in many areas serious research on the Shroud has not yet begun and I look forward to hearing what specialists in specific fields have to say.

        • Charles Freeman
          June 13, 2015 at 9:41 am

          It might help if I give an analogy.

          Suppose I am walking in the fields around my home and I spot in the grass an object that turns out to be a wallet. It was clearly dropped there many years ago.I get it home and open it in the hope of finding out who once owned it. It is, of course, very faded and disintegrated but I find some letters in it which might explain who once owned it. Unfortunately you can hardly see the lettering as the ink has disappeared over the years.

          It might be possible to reproduce the faded letters. Perhaps I could find some suitable paper, perhaps I could try and reproduce the faint lettering with one of Colin’s concoctions, or perhaps I could scorch it, or have some raised letters from a printer’s block and place the paper on top of them and rub them. Perhaps I might even apply short bursts of radiation with a laser beam.There may be all kinds of ways I can dream up of reproducing what we have now. Even if I succeed I only have a copy of what I have found and it gets me nowhere because what I want to know is what was the lettering originally.
          De Wesselow, Colin, di Lazzaro are trying to explain/reproduce the images on the Shroud as they are now and even if they succeed they won’t have proved anything-they would simply have found a way of reproducing the images faster than decay and disintegration caused by the passage of time. I am totally amazed that after all his research de Wesselow does not seem to be aware of the earlier depictions of the Shroud which help provide clues as to how the Shroud looked originally.
          My work is trying to find the original images, just as with my wallet I would be trying to reconstruct the original lettering on the letters in the hope of unlocking the secret of the writer of the letters.

        • John Klotz
          June 13, 2015 at 9:52 am

          More drivel. I am reminded of an old TV program called Dragnet. Jck Web played an LA detective, Joe Friday. He was constantly telling people “Just the facts.” Charles has given us nothing in this discussion but navel-gazing self-involved blather. No facts, no citations nor references to support his statements.

          There is another police phrase from real life: “Nothing to see here. Move on.”

  8. Richard Arthur
    June 13, 2015 at 10:19 am

    Very nice presentation. Knowledgeable, in depth yet succinct, professional. I was disappointed that after using phrases like” mind boggling” and” astronomically low odds” he meticulously avoids saying” yes” as to the origin, to the One represented. That reminded me of the old hymn “Almost Persuaded” .

  9. John Klotz
    June 13, 2015 at 10:50 am

    Richard,

    De Wesselow maintains that he is an agnostic so that can not accept the concept of the Resurrection. Pathology is not his discipline so in a sense he can ignore it.

    It is the pathologists who have examined the Shroud in the past 80 years have made two observations: (1) the image is a man in a state of rigor mortis and (2) there is no evidence of significant by-products of putrefaction. The two are related: the process of putrefaction releases rigor mortis. What this means is that image was probably created with 48 hours of the death of the man in the image; before 3:00 pm, Sunday.

    If you go to Shroud.com and search for the word “pathologist” it will generate 102 hits. Among the most thorough are the reports of Dr. Robert Bucklin.

    We should all be thankful for De Wesselow giving his insights as an art historian. However, to answer the questions about the nature of the Shroud and its meaning we must go beyond art history for the simple reason, as De Wesselow I believe demonstrates convincingly, the Shroud is not a work of art.

  10. daveb of wellington nz
    June 13, 2015 at 11:13 pm

    The Shroud is not a perishable leather wallet, containing brittle effaceable papers, lost in the long grass over several English winters subject to rain, snow, insects and field-mice.

    During most of the 660 years of its most recent sojourn, the Shroud has been kept under lock and key, in sturdy edifices, churches, cathedrals and castles. Its first few expositions at Lirey in the open air were sporadic events. For perhaps a few decades during the 15th century there were annual expositions on the banks of the Doubs River, and it was also taken to Liege and to Macon to be exhibited there. From 1453 to 1983 it was under the care of the House of Savoy, since when it has been in the care of the Turin custodians. It was brought out for public veneration on particular occasions, and not left hanging freely on a wall in some cathedral, to be damaged by continual exposure to the light. It is also known that during these seven centuries, the Shroud was cared for, maintained and repaired with some skill.

    If the Shroud is the authentic burial cloth of Christ, then its initial environment would have to be in the Middle East, Judea or Syria, a climate conducive to preservation. Those who have studied the clues have it stored in an earthenware jar, or bricked up in a wall, or else stored safely in a deep well. The written clues are few and only occasional, so it is evident that it was seldom exhibited or else used as a banner against invading armies, but kept as a secret to be known only to a select elite. At some time it would have been taken to Constantinople to become part of the imperial relic collection. This is not the story of an object subject to the damaging effects of exposure, moth or mildew, but an object that was carefully preserved.

    What of other linen objects?

    At an upper-Paleolithic excavation site at Dzudzuana Cave in the eastern-European country of Georgia, archaeologists discovered flax fibers that were preserved inside pollen chambers for 34,000 years. To date, they are the oldest evidence of man-made textiles ever discovered. The fibers at Dzudzuana showed evidence of having been knotted and dyed bright colors like turquoise and pink, consistent with the style of other artefacts left behind.

    Fast forward a few thousand years of evolution and innovation and we find, at an ancient site in eastern Turkey, a piece of 9,000 year-old, simply-woven linen cloth clinging to a bone tool—presumably once wrapped around the handle for a better grip. Archaeologist and ancient textile expert Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood supposes this rudimentary fabric was produced on a crude loom of only four sticks, and woven in a manner derived from the already well-established practice of basket-weaving.

    When the mummy of the boy-pharaoh Tutankhamun was unearthed in 1922 CE, portions of the linen wrappings that covered his remains were almost perfectly preserved, the hieroglyphed dates still legible despite the millennia.

    There are other examples, see: http://www.decktowel.com/pages/linen-history

    Thiebault’s review of artist’s copies of the Shroud as given above indicate that all of them endeavoured to replicate the faintness of the image that they saw. The image of the Shroud was never a painting, and there is not a single piece of evidence that can support the notion.

    • John Klotz
      June 14, 2015 at 6:26 am

      There are times when this blog is truly educational and other times when the trolls blather. Daveb never disappoints. What a beautiful, informative post.

  11. Hugh Farey
    June 14, 2015 at 4:06 am

    Rarely can two sides of a discussion be so determined to ignore – and here I really do mean ignore – each other’s evidence. There are two distinct and incompatible traditions of depiction of the image on the Shroud, and any explanation of how it was made must at least attempt to reconcile them. Thibault has very rightly drawn attention to the fact that many of those reproductions of the Shroud classed as ‘extractum ex originale’, dating from the 16th century onwards, show an indistinct, nude shape, with its feet together. This surely implies that from the 16th century the original was not very different from how it appears today, and Charles really ought at least to suggest an explanation for this version. I am not taken with the rapid painting on and off of crowns, loincloths, open legs and so on, which, if every copy is accurate must have occurred several times. On the other hand, almost every depiction of the Shroud being exhibited, also from the 16th century onwards, shows a very well defined shape, clearly visible for a long way, with legs apart and feet splayed. If the image was barely visible, then Charles’s detractors really ought to suggest a reason for this version. The idea that it was drawn clearly both so as to fit in with the technicalities of engraving, and to show people who bought it what they should have seen had they only got close enough does not explain the differences in posture and apparel very well. Did none of these eminent artists actually see the artefact they were representing, and did they all copy something else?

    Both versions are as likely to have crowns of thorns as not, bloodstains may or may not be present and are almost invariably different from the original, and where illustrations of the burn patches are included at all, they are often reduced to mere symbols, as if the artist had no idea of what they really were. Not until Carlo Cusetti’s image of the late 19th century is it obvious that any of the copyists were attempting an identical representation.

    Thomas de Wesselow, whose lecture I attended, agrees that painted linen cloths were very common, and that, being mostly ephemeral, there are only about eight extant today. He gives three different methods of painting them, with the suggestion that there may be others. I agree with him that comparing the Shroud to an illustration or portrait or even deliberate faked relic, makes little sense, but he does not explore the idea that it could have been one of the ‘ephemeral’ paraphernalia of liturgical ritual, of which no examples at all remain.

    Whichever side of the debate one chooses to support, there are serious anomalies in the evidence which need at least to be discussed, not dismissed, or ignored.

    • PHPL
      June 14, 2015 at 4:29 am

      Hi Hugh,
      Nice to read your comments. Are you in Italy now ? Have you seen the shroud ?
      What was your general impression ?
      All the best
      Patrick

    • daveb of wellington nz
      June 14, 2015 at 6:21 am

      It occurs to me that one possible explanation for the occasional ‘feet apart’ convention, is that some artists might have had difficulty accepting the idea of a single nail through both feet, or misinterpreted the imagery, and presumed that each foot was separately nailed, and so depicted the feet how they believed they ought to be. There was only one ever imaged Shroud, and the expositions were not frequent affairs. Quite likely if direct access wasn’t directly available, some artists copied other copies if there was sufficient client demand for them, and if the template was believed to be sufficiently reliable.

    • June 14, 2015 at 6:43 am

      Well, Hugh, I would include all the depictions but obviously the frescos and engravings, especially by experts such as Tempesta, rank above copies on cloth which may themselves have faded.

    • Thibault HEIMBURGER
      June 14, 2015 at 3:00 pm

      Hugh: “If the image was barely visible, then Charles’s detractors really ought to suggest a reason for this version. The idea that it was drawn clearly both so as to fit in with the technicalities of engraving, and to show people who bought it what they should have seen had they only got close enough does not explain the differences in posture and apparel very well. Did none of these eminent artists actually see the artefact they were representing, and did they all copy something else?”

      You give yourself the reason for which the TS image is clearly drawn with sharp outlines on the depictions of the Shroud during the exhibitions (engraving).

      The differences in posture? Legs and feet.

      The feet are not seen on the TS image, except the sole of the right foot on the back side.
      Looking at the TS from far, what do you see? Mainly the bloodstains.
      There are two clearly separate bloodstains on the back side.
      Those bloodstains are the only markers that could be seen from far during the exhibitions.
      Two bloodstains, two separate feet.
      Since the feet on the front side are not seen, most if not all of these artists did represent them the legs turned outward.

      The differences in apparel ?
      If you mean the loincloth, Charles himself gives the answer: the council of Trent.
      But it was not the Shroud image itself on which a loincloth was painted: do you really think that such a sacrilege could occur?
      No, but this explain why many of the depictions show a loincloth.

      Charles’ premise is entirely based on depictions which have nothing to do with the actual Shroud as seen closely and copied in the past.

      • June 14, 2015 at 3:44 pm

        Thibault. Relics were not treated as inviolable as they could be divided up, put into reliquaries,etc, etc, without losing their spiritual power. There would have been no problem in adding paint to an existing relic especially in the period of the Counter-Reformation when they got really worked up about nudity.
        The more I learn about painted cloths the more I learn about how vulnerable they were- I am not surprised that the painted loincloth disintegrated and ,although I would need specialist support from a linen conservationist, the lighter patch on the buttocks today would suggest that this was what was left after the paint came off.
        PLEASE NOTE: I said that specialist support is needed. This is just a hypothesis- along with many contributors here I do not have the expertise to test out my hypotheses, only to put them forward as solutions consistent with the evidence as I see it.
        I am happy to put all your copies in the database alongside the frescoes, engravings, lithographs ,etc that we have of the depictions of the Shroud. We need to add too the actual descriptions of the Shroud in documents. Then we need to creat a Shroudscope website that anyone interested can access so we can spot the changes over time in the way the Shroud was depicted. I don’t agree with Hugh that there are two distinct traditions- I think there is a spectrum from a very heavy image as in the Tempesta engraving of 1613 towards a lighter end which in some cases might be due to the fading of the copy itself.
        What do you think of the many illustrations that Beldon Scott reproduces?

  12. Max patrick Hamon
    June 14, 2015 at 1:07 pm

    For comparison’s sake, see painted Egyptian linen shroud,
    mid to late 1st century CE. Museum of Fine Arts Boston accession no. 50.650

    https://s-media-cache ak0.pinimg.com/736x/e5/5b/23/e55b239da1e66b2d10b4a00178e0c2d9.jpg

    See painted linen shroud (c. 1-100 CE), Roman period

  13. Max patrick Hamon
    June 14, 2015 at 4:36 pm

    Painted linen battle standard

  14. don
    June 14, 2015 at 7:46 pm

    Well, from what I see, at least 95 percent of the paint are still on the first century Roman period linen shown above. Charles thinks that ALL of the paint flaked off the Turin Shroud?

  15. daveb of wellington nz
    June 14, 2015 at 11:06 pm

    You can probably find a reference stating that ancient linen was more durable than medieval linen because of the differences in the manufacturing method. I’m reasonably certain I’ve read something to that effect. Hence you can probably find more intact samples of linen from ancient times, than from medieval times. But I can’t be bothered chasing it up just now merely to rebut such a lost cause. Max’s samples above are good examples. Interestingly the Shroud has survived reasonably intact. What does that tell you?

  16. John Klotz
    June 15, 2015 at 4:32 am

    After reading, daveb’s, thibault’s, Don’s and Max’s posts on this topic, I think we are all indebted to Charles Freeman for having raised the issue which has now been so thoroughly debunked. It’s been an education.

    I have leaned a ton. The provision of examples of surviving painted linens circa first century CE including a shroud is awesome. The distinction between first century linen and medieval linen’s manufacturing processing of the linen was one point Rogers made in his book a Chemists Perspective. He put the cut-off of the ancient linen at circa 1000 CE. Among other things, the Medieval linen had a lighter weight and that certainly is relevant to the degradation issue.

    I hope Freeman covers that in his book and let us know how this physical evidence is irrelevant naming sources other than his musings.. Prediction:: he won’t do it on this blog and it’s a good bet he won’t do it in his book..

  17. John Klotz
    June 15, 2015 at 4:33 am

    typo: leaned = learned

  18. Max patrick Hamon
    June 15, 2015 at 5:27 am

    Reminder for Charles: Sometimes Christians referred to the TS as “the standard of (their) salvation”. Now since long canvasses were not intended to be stationary, gesso was NOT to be used because it “would interfere with their flexibility, seeing that the gesso would crack if they were rolled up.”

    • Max patrick Hamon
      June 15, 2015 at 5:28 am

      …or folded in several layers.

      • Max patrick Hamon
        June 15, 2015 at 5:31 am

        Here I mean medieval battle flags but it an be aplied to the TS.

        • Max patrick Hamon
          June 15, 2015 at 5:32 am

          Typo (typing in haste): it can be applied to the TS

    • Max patrick Hamon
      June 15, 2015 at 6:34 am

      More typo: Now IF long canvasses were not intended to be stationary, gesso was NOT to be used because it “would interfere with their flexibility, seeing that the gesso would crack if they were rolled up.”

  19. Max patrick Hamon
    June 15, 2015 at 10:49 am

    Reminder two for Charles: The shooting-star-shaped like diluted bloodstain passive pattern off right elbow is consistent with body wrapped up in shrouds and diluted blood first pearling at elbow tip to be drained from the corpse and then, running down (over an air-gap and/or screening object) according to a parabolic trajectory to finally fall down onto the edge of the long inner winding burial sheet.

  20. Max patrick Hamon
    June 15, 2015 at 11:25 am

    Typo: diluted blood droplet pearling at elbow tip

  21. Max patrick Hamon
    June 16, 2015 at 3:08 am

    Question 1 for Charles: If the TS was a painted canvass that ‘entirely’ flaked off, could he account for the bloodstain with the shape of a butterfly implying the feet were wrapped up?

    Question 2: Could he also account for the negative impression left by three bent and tensed fingers (little, middle and ring fingers) in the bloodstain on the right heel area (the impression being that of a left hand in a position typically of someone strengthening the hold of the TS man’s right foot (with the missing thumb and index fingers naturally placed on the top of the TS man’s foot)?

    • Max patrick Hamon
      June 16, 2015 at 3:18 am

      Typo: on the LEFT heel area…. the hold of the TS man’s LEFT foot

      In other words could he account for the unusual marks left by three fingers in the blood running down from the hole in the left foot?

    • Thomas
      June 16, 2015 at 3:43 am

      Could he also account for the clear evidence that the image is darker where there is stronger contact eg. Parts of face, and lighter or non existent when there is a distance between body and cloth eg. neck or behind knees?
      This strongly suggests an imprint image and not a painting

      • Charles Freeman
        June 16, 2015 at 11:55 am

        Thomas, Having seen the pig’s ear De Wesselow made of trying to explain the images, I know the competition is not strong.
        I believe the original linen surface was coated in gesso ( of which the large quantities of calcium carbonate found by STURP is a remnant).
        Then , if the normal procedures of medieval cloth painters or stainers was followed, the pigments would be on top. Inevitably the surface would often crack up and the cloth was then discarded although in cases where there was some value given to the painting it was repainted.
        Clearly the pigments varied in thickness and consistency but after some centuries in place -the evidence suggests that for the Shroud they really only began to break off completely in the mid-nineteenth century as the lithograph in Beldon Scott of the 1868 exposition suggests- then the linen immediately underneath the gesso would have been discoloured. The discoloration would vary according to the thickness of the paint on top and possibly its colours. Hence you have the resulting ‘three-dimensional’ aspect of the Shroud.
        The best way to settle this will be through finding other examples of former painted linens whose pigments have fallen off. The best example I know is the central panels of the Zittern Veil as the pigments have gone ( steamed off by Russian looters in WWII) and there are images similar to those on the Shroud on the linen underneath, but I would like to find more.

        Although I am told that my theories have been totally debunked,- not sure quite where and by whom- I can at least set them out clearly. I wish others could set out their own theories on the images with clarity.

        • John Klotz
          June 16, 2015 at 12:17 pm

          Charles,

          Calling de Wesselow a “pig’s ear” is hardly an elegant critique. But I want ask you a question. De Wesselow I believe has an MA and PHD from the Courtlandt Institute. He has also had several other academic positions.

          What is your academic qualifications and experience, if any. Please give us facts so we can compare them to de Wesselow who you dismiss as a “pig’s ear.”

        • June 16, 2015 at 4:48 pm

          I said he MADE a pig’s ear of a particular point,the explanation of how the images got there.

          I am sure he is brilliantly qualified but perhaps has not as much experience as I have of wandering around medieval churches looking at ordinary images. He shows no sign of having studied the iconography of the Passion. I need to do a lot of looking for my study tours and also for illustrations of relic cults. That is why I shall be seeing the Niccolo dell’Arca Lamentation in Bologna three times in this year alone.

          His examples are from high class art as one would expect from a Courtauld trained art historian- he does not see the relevance of more down to earth art such as the illustrations of the naked Christ with all over scourge marks and squiggles of blood like those on the Shroud to be found in the Holkham Bible of c.1330 which actually match the images on the Shroud. I can’t help it if I have had experiences that he has not had.

          He simply appears to have missed the evidence from the early depictions of the Shroud as if he had never seen them. One crucial divide in Shroud studies is between those who believe the Shroud now is as it was originally created and those who don’t. That is the main difference between de Wesselow and myself- I think the early depictions are the vital clues. And the more I study the Lirey copy the more I see it as a set of images that have themselves faded. This is not to exclude it from my database of early Shroud descriptions but to realise that it is not representative of the spectrum of original depictions.

          The Shroud images only make sense as linen discoloured by being overlaid by gesso and paint for centuries. We know that they were ONCE painted , there is evidence that the paint disintegrated in the nineteenth century and not surprisingly there is some discolouration just on the surface of the Shroud underneath as the result of the overlay .I have never seen any alternative explanation that makes any kind of
          sense. And listening to de Wesselow, it is clear that he hasn’t any satisfactory explanation for something that may look mysterious but is not actually mysterious when you look at it systematically as a creation of time and decay.

  22. don
    June 16, 2015 at 5:15 am

    Can someone tell me what is the definition of ‘imprint’? The dictionary define imprint as;
    1. impress or stamp (a mark or outline) on a surface or body. “tire marks were imprinted in the snow”
    synonyms: stamp, print, impress, mark, emboss, brand, inscribe, etch “patterns can be imprinted in the clay.”
    Would gas diffusion, radiation or light that may have form the shroud image be part of the definition of imprint?

  23. John Klotz
    June 16, 2015 at 6:25 am

    Could it be that attempting to decipher the image without reference to the Resurrection is a fool’s errand? Pathologists have placed the moment of the image creation within three days of Christ’s death. The body is in a state of rigor mortis with no external sign of putrefaction. Ray Rogers has estimated that even by a mallard reaction, the image must have been formed in a minute fraction of a second.

    Yes, the Shroud image is “functional equivalent” of photograph but it is not a photograph. Photographs do not exhibit the differences in image intensity directly related to distance that the Shroud does. To me that would seem to destroy the concept of an imprint by contact. If the imprint was by contact, would that not mean that there would be no differences in intensity?

    Today the drafts of Pope Francis’s ground breaking encyclical “Laudato Si’” have been leaked to the press. He is not evade, and in fact adopts, the position that human activity is responsible for global warming. While we do not yet know how far he will go discussing the ultimate effects of climate change, others have already written that we face a sixth mass extinction of species that may/will include humanity. Francis has already denounced the intrinsic immorality of an unfettered market system powered by greed.

    Is Pope Francis a prophet of Apocalypse? Stay tuned.

    johnklotz.blogspot.com

  24. Hugh Farey
    June 16, 2015 at 12:18 pm

    “Would gas diffusion, radiation or light that may have form the shroud image be part of the definition of imprint?” Only metaphorically, I think. The essence of the definition provided is that something solid has rested against the imprinted material. The mark made is either by some material on the solid, such as ink, or by deformation of the material, such as tyre marks.

    “Ray Rogers has estimated that even by a Maillard reaction, the image must have been formed in a minute fraction of a second.” Really? Where does he say that?

    “If the imprint was by contact, would that not mean that there would be no differences in intensity?” Not necessarily. The pressure of the contact could result in changes in intensity, the more pressure, the darker.

  1. June 14, 2015 at 4:39 am
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