Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Dirk Bouts’ The Entombment

July 10, 2015 18 comments

Mark writes:

imageI’ve been following your blog on and off for some time now. I’d be curious if any of your blog followers have comments on Dirk Bouts "Entombment" painting. It is a glue-size painting on linen depicting the entombment of Jesus, and was probably completed between 1440 and 1455.  In looking at the face in detail I see what looks to be an epsilon bloodstain like on the shroud.

This is a wonderful close up. of the face  Click on either image, particularly the close up below to see larger versions.

Thanks, Mark.

Wikipedia article


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Arvo Pärt’s La Sindone

May 15, 2015 1 comment

West Virginia Public Broadcasting (PBS and NPR) is reporting that the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra is closing out their 2014-15 season tonight with a concert that features Arvo Pärt’s La Sindone–a deep, mysterious, and emotional journey describing the Shroud of Turin.

There is some interesting discussion (audio) on the webpage and a brief sample of the music at the 3:25 mark.

There is also a wonderful nine minute long rendition of the music on YouTube from  "Pärt: La Sindone" by Tõnu Kaljuste. The same recording is also available at AmazonMP3 (free for Prime members).


The Wheeling Symphony Orchestra is bidding farewell to the 2014-2015 season by performing a series of masterpieces by great composers, both old and new, during their concert on May 15th, 2015 7:30 PM at the Capitol Theater in Wheeling.

This concert features Arvo Pärt’s La Sindone–a deep, mysterious, and emotional journey describing the Shroud of Turin.

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Ray Downing Writes

May 5, 2015 4 comments

imageHe writes:

We have a new website dedicated to pictures of Jesus generated from the computer graphics model we created for the Real Face of Jesus programs.

While these images do not advance investigation into the Shroud beyond what we posited in our films, they do attempt to connect emotionally and respectfully with the central figure of Christianity.

If you have a moment, please visit our new site and we hope you like it.

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Having Nightmares

April 28, 2015 28 comments

clip_image001In an email, Russ Breault writes:

I had a dream last night.  For some reason I was dreaming of Charles Freeman and his painting theory.  I remembered conversations with Isabel Piczek at her studio.  She always develops her paintings, which are large scale murals, with a "cartoon" as she calls it.  I would call it a sketch that becomes the guide for where and how she would apply the paint.  I assume that almost all artists start with an outline, cartoon or sketch.  So in the case of Freeman’s theory, if all the paint has now flaked off, where is the outline?  Where is the underlying sketch? 

First of all, dreaming of Charles Freeman and his painting theory is not merely a dream, it’s a nightmare.

Anyway, when I first read about the shroud, I often read about how the image on the shroud had no outline. Isabel was often quoted and I found myself using the lack of an outline as an argument.  Then one day, I was on Fifth Avenue along the edge of Central Park in Manhattan. There is along this famous avenue, where the sidewalk is as wide as the road, an area where local artists sell their works hanging on a fence or spread out on the pavement. Occasionally, you will find an artist painting portraits of tourists. I watched one such artist at work.  He began with a smattering of seemingly random brush strokes with random colors from his palette. It was, for most of the time that he was painting, a work of pure chaos.  Then the portrait emerged, slowly at first. The was the moment of I think I see the face. Then, it was, of course that is a face. Finally, after maybe ten minutes, it was as hyper realistic as Albrecht Dürer’s self portrait, ca. 1500 AD (above). Watching this artist work was like watching the Harlem Globetrotters. No one shoots baskets like that. No one paints like that, without even a hint of an outline.

But they do. Ever watch Bob Ross on TV?  I’m thinking these days that some artists use outlines and some do not. That the shroud does not appear to have a surviving outline doesn’t impress me all that much any more. Link is

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Fra Giovanni Angelico’s ‘Lamentation’ to be Displayed with the Shroud

April 15, 2015 12 comments

imageThe Italian News Agency, Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata (ANSA) is reporting, in its English syndication feed that Beato Angelico’s ‘Lamentation’ is to be displayed with the Turin Shroud:

The recently restored Lamentation, depicting weeping mourners wrapping Christ’s body in the Shroud, has been loaned by the Museum of San Marco in Florence to enhance visitors’ experience in Turin.

The painting, which had been damaged by rain when a tornado hit Florence last September, will be displayed from Thursday through June 30.

A special mobile app through Google Play or Apple, offers viewers an audio guide narrated by Timothy Verdon, director of the Duomo museum in Florence, illuminates the panel which was painted between 1441 and 1442.

Experts suggest that Fra Angelico likely saw the Turin shroud before he painted the Lamentation panel, with the result an intense rendering of the moments after Christ’s crucifixion.

Click on the above image. I have provided a 3200 bit wide copy of a photograph of the painting.

Art Scholars on Scientific Evidence

April 9, 2015 32 comments

imageArt critic Jonathan Jones weighs in over at The Guardian:

If only the great arguments between religion and doubt could be settled by scientific evidence. A story this week has it that solid evidence has emerged about the historical Jesus: the “tomb of Jesus” reportedly contains proof that Jesus was married, had a son – and was never resurrected.

So that’s settled then. Or at least it would be if the scholarly world unanimously accepted these claims (which seems unlikely) or if religious belief were grounded in evidence. If that were the case, all religious belief would have disappeared when Charles Lyell uncovered the nature of geological processes and intimated the true age of Earth in the 1830s – the first clear evidence of a godless natural world.

Religion sees only the evidence it wishes to see. This is very apparent in western art. Christian paintings are full of supposed evidence for the divinity of Christ. His real face is purportedly recorded in paintings that faithfully copy his uncannily preserved image.


Few relics have withstood scientific scrutiny, but the modern age produced its own peculiar piece of Christian “evidence”. The ghostly face revealed by a photographic negative of the Turin shroud in 1898 made this relic suddenly convincing to many eyes – a genuinely inexplicable image. Radiocarbon dating has revealed that it is in fact a medieval fake (as relics tend to be) but the “photographic” quality of the shroud still seduces some.

Christianity, then, does care about evidence – as long as it suits pre-existing beliefs. The mountains of evidence for a universe that works just fine without any divine intervention are easily ignored by anyone who wants to believe in God. Lots of people would rather believe in the veil of Saint Veronica than in a historical Jesus who got married and had a kid.

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Palm Sunday

March 28, 2015 2 comments
Categories: Art
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