Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Leonardo da Vinci 'faked Turin Shroud and used his own features as the face of Jesus'

This is my comment on the latest explaining away of the Shroud of

[Above: Comparison of Leonardo da Vinci's self-portrait and his Mona Lisa, based on "Mona Leo" speculation of Dr. Lillian F. Schwartz of Bell Labs: Wikipedia. Note that the two faces have little in common apart from they are both human. Note also Mona Lisa's upturned and Leonardo's downturned corners of their mouths and the deep creases in Leonardo's forehead and cheek compared with their lack in Mona Lisa's. And also Schwartz's careful avoidance of placing too much of Mona Lisa's nose on Leonardo's face when it would be even more obvious that these are two very different faces! Schwartz is deluding herself in this.]

Turin (actually it is not new-see my previous posts: Shroud News - July 2007, Shroud News - November 2007, and my 2007 series Leonardo: The Man Behind the Shroud? #1, #2, #3, #4, #5) in the Daily Mail of 30th June 2009 . My comments are in bold to distinguish my words from the article's.

Leonardo da Vinci 'faked Turin Shroud and used his own features as the face of Jesus, Daily Mail, 30th June 2009. I have no URL link to this article (which I saved when it first appeared) because the Daily Mail now diverts the original URL to another story, "Is the Turin Shroud really a self-portrait by Renaissance man, Leonardo da Vinci?" which turns the original assertion (the title of this post) into a question and now has a rebuttal by Shroud researcher John Jackson (see below).

A ground-breaking study has found the first evidence that the Turin Shroud features the face of Leonardo da Vinci, a TV documentary will reveal tomorrow. Unless Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) invented a time machine, the face on the Shroud could not be Leonardo's because, as leading Shroud researcher Prof. John Jackson pointed out, "The earliest known record of the shroud appears on a commemorative medallion ... It clearly shows ...

[Above (click to enlarge): Exposition Medallion of Shroud ca. 1356: Shroud of Turin Skeptical Spectacle. Note the two full length front and back images head-to-head and the herringbone weave pattern.]

the shroud and is dated to around 100 years before Leonardo was born":

"But Professor John Jackson, director of the Turin Shroud Centre of Colorado, who believes the item dates from the time of Jesus's crucifixion, dismissed the Leonardo hypothesis. 'It is based on some very poor scientific and historical scholarship,' he said. The earliest known record of the shroud appears on a commemorative medallion struck in the mid-14th century and on display at the Cluny Museum Paris, he added. 'It clearly shows clerics holding up the shroud and is dated to around 100 years before Leonardo was born." (Derbyshire, 2009, "Is the Turin Shroud really a self-portrait by Renaissance man, Leonardo da Vinci?," Daily Mail, 1 July).

which was apparently near the end of the documentary: "After all that evidence, it turned out that there's a medallion showing the shroud a century before Da Vinci was born":

"Yet, for once, the series had a reasonably strong case to make with The Da Vinci Shroud: Revealed ... Until ah. They got me again, didn't they? After all that evidence, it turned out that there's a medallion showing the shroud a century before Da Vinci was born. This is the Revealed way, hiding rather crucially important details until late on so that those new to the subject are carried along blithely only to be brought suddenly down ... It's a cheat's way of making historical documentaries, with standards of proof which would be laughed out of court or academia." (Mullaney, 2009, "TV review: The Da Vinci Shroud - Revealed," The Scotsman, 2 July. My emphasis);

that is, "a pilgrim's medallion dating from about 1357 which was found in the Seine River in Paris ... It depicts the frontal and dorsal image of a body on a long sheet being held out for veneration by two clerics ... The image is an uncanny replica of what is now known as the Shroud of Turin":

"Pilgrim's Medallion A fortuitous discovery which adds another piece to the case for the Shroud's historicity concerns a pilgrim's medallion dating from about 1357 which was found in the Seine River in Paris ... This small lead object, most likely a souvenir of a pilgrim's visit, is now kept in the Museum of Cluny. It depicts the frontal and dorsal image of a body on a long sheet being held out for veneration by two clerics ... The image is an uncanny replica of what is now known as the Shroud of Turin ... Of striking note are the two coats of arms represented on the reliquary beneath the Shroud on the medallion ... that of Geoffrey I de Charny ... [and] Jeanne de Vergy... Clearly visible are the flagrum, the scourging column, the lance, nails ... a cross upon which is hung a crown of thorns ... Since Geoffrey I de Charny was Lord of Lirey, the medallion probably came from that region ... Geoffrey I de Charny died on September 19, 1356; therefore, it is highly unlikely that his crest would have been engraved on a medallion produced after that year." (Guerrera, 2000, "The Shroud of Turin: A Case for Authenticity," pp.103-104).

The medieval painter and scientist has long been suspected of faking the image of Jesus Christ's face using pioneering photographic techniques. This `Leonardo da Vinci faked the Shroud' theory is rejected by most Shroud anti- authenticity theorists, even by Prof. Nicholas Allen whose support it relies on (see below). The theory was invented by conspiracy theorists Lynn Picknett & Clive Prince who are patent liars in this matter in that they claim that they received information about Leonardo faking the Shroud from a "Giovanni" of the "Priory of Sion":
"... Lynn received a letter from a complete stranger ... Signed simply `Giovanni,' it dealt with Leonardo and the Shroud ... He said that Leonardo had put the image of his own face on the Shroud. That serene, gaunt, bearded face so widely believed to be that of Jesus himself was in fact Leonardo da Vinci, perpetrating a sacrilegious joke on posterity ... He claimed that the body on the Shroud from the neck down at the front and all of the back image was that of a genuinely crucified man, a fifteenth-century victim ... Our informant also told us that Leonardo had not created the Shroud image by painting or any other known technique ... the image had been created using `chemicals and light, a sort of alchemical imprinting:' In other words, the Shroud image is actually a composite photograph of Leonardo da Vinci together with some hapless crucifixion victim, whose every contusion was recorded for posterity by a fifteenth-century camera! ... Leonardo faked the Shroud in 1492. It was a composite creation: he put the image of his own face on it together with the body of a genuinely crucified man. It was not a painting; it was a projected image `fixed' on the cloth using chemicals and light; in other words, he used a photographic technique ... Giovanni also claimed to have been high in the ranks of a schismatic faction of the Priory of Sion ..." (Picknett & Prince, 2006, "The Turin Shroud: How Da Vinci Fooled History," pp.87-88, 90,93).

which however is a fictitious organisation. So I assume that Ian Wilson from what he says below (Wilson, 1998, pp.211-212) is thinking primarily about Picknett and Prince when he wrote about "certain plausible-sounding and publicity-seeking people with absolutely no concern for truth":

"Speaking personally, one of my most painful and yet illuminating experiences, having as a writer expressed my beliefs in Jesus in the 1984 version of this book and also in the ... Turin Shroud, has been to be most deviously targeted in efforts to undermine these beliefs by certain plausible-sounding and publicity-seeking people with absolutely no concern for truth ... they actually do recognize truth, but ... see it as too threatening to their own quite different priorities for it to be allowed to live." (Wilson, 1996, "Jesus: The Evidence," pp.178-179).

But what is good about Picknett and Prince's `Leonardo faked the Shroud by photography' theory for which "There is no evidence whatsoever ":

"But Professor John Jackson, director of the Turin Shroud Centre of Colorado ... dismissed the Leonardo hypothesis ... 'There is no evidence whatsoever that Leonardo was involved in the shroud' " (Derbyshire, 2009, "Is the Turin Shroud really a self-portrait by Renaissance man, Leonardo da Vinci?," Daily Mail, 1 July).

is that it admits that the image on the Shroud: 1) is not a painting; 2) would require the artistic and technological genius of a Leonardo da Vinci to make it (but there was no Leonardo or equivalent in the 14th century when the Shroud first appeared in France); and 3) there are no good alternative theories because "if anyone had come up with a convincing solution as to how and by whom the Shroud was forged, they would inevitably have created a consensus around which everyone sceptical on the matter would rally":

"As for the fundamental questions for anyone adopting the forgery hypothesis - for example: `Who forged such an extraordinary image?' 'How did he do so without betraying any obvious sign of his artifice?' 'How did he manage to get so much right medically, historically and culturally?' - if you ask yourself whether .. any of the other current detractors ... has yet offered any genuinely satisfying answers, the response has to be no. Indeed, if anyone had come up with a convincing solution as to how and by whom the Shroud was forged, they would inevitably have created a consensus around which everyone sceptical on the matter would rally. Yet so far this has not even begun to happen." (Wilson, I., 1998, "The Blood and the Shroud," pp.234-235).

But now a new study of his facial features suggest the image on the

[Above: The face on the Shroud and Leonardo's face (painted 1512-1515): Daily Mail]

Shroud is actually da Vinci's own face. Just looking at the two faces above shows that they are very different. The Shroud face is long and Leonardo's face is round, for starters. Significantly of the examples Picknett and Prince cite of people they asked whether the faces were the same, those who know least about the Shroud (fashion models!) thought they could see a resemblance and those who know most about the Shroud (members of the British Society for the Turin Shroud) stated "I can't see the similarity myself" and "The man on the Shroud looks nothing like Leonardo":

"At the time Lynn was a freelance feature writer on a women's magazine ... She took the portrait of Leonardo and the postcard into the models' dressing room ... Lynn just showed them the two pictures and asked, `What do you think?' The response was instant and extremely gratifying. Out of fifteen who came and went during the afternoon ... eleven of them said straightaway, `It's the same man.' ... months afterward, Rodney Hoare and Michael Clift of the BSTS said, respectively, `I can't see the similarity myself' and `The man on the Shroud looks nothing like Leonardo.'" ("Picknett & Prince, 2006, pp.90-91).

The discovery was made by Lillian Schwartz, a graphic consultant at the School of Visual Arts in New York, whose previous work famously claimed that da Vinci used a self-portrait as the basis for the Mona Lisa. It is not a "discovery." It is a theory, and what's more a theory that is refuted by the facts that: 1) the similarity between the Leonardo's portrait and Mona Lisa is more simply explained as either "due to both portraits being painted by the same person using the same style" or Mona Lisa "depicts the artist's mother Caterina" which "would account for the resemblance between artist and subject" and also "why Leonardo kept the portrait with him wherever he travelled, until his death":

"Which lead to the theory that it was a self-portrait as Dr. Lillian Schwartz of Bell Labs suggested. Critics of this theory suggest that the similarities are due to both portraits being painted by the same person using the same style. Additionally, the drawing on which she based the comparison may not be a self-portrait. Serge Bramly, in his biography of Leonardo, discusses the possibility that the portrait depicts the artist's mother Caterina. This would account for the resemblance between artist and subject observed by Dr. Schwartz, and would explain why Leonardo kept the portrait with him wherever he travelled, until his death." ("What is the secret about 'Mona Lisa'?," WikiAnswers, 2009)

2) as pointed out by art critic and artist Joan Altabe, "By digitizing the features of both Leonardo's face and Mona's and merging them, she said, they line up ... so what?":

"No less silly is the theory of Dr. Lillian Schwartz of Bell Labs, a pioneer in computer graphics and computer art. She said that Mona is really Leonardo. By digitizing the features of both Leonardo's face and Mona's and merging them, she said, they line up. I feel a "so what?" coming on. How about you?" (Altabe, J., "You Can Tell By The Way She Smiles," 5 March 2009).

and 3) the portrait of Leonardo is dated 1512-1515, about 150 years after the Shroud's first appearance in Lirey France in the 1350s, which alone is a reductio ad absurdum of Schwartz's entire method. She used computer scans to reveal the faces of the Mona Lisa and Turin Shroud share the exact same dimensions as those of Leonardo da Vinci himself. Of course they do. Schwartz's method guarantees it. But she is deluding herself since the Shroud was in existence at least in the 1350s and Leonardo was not born until the 1450s. Experts have described the breakthrough as the 'most exciting' discovery ever in the history of the Shroud's mysterious origins.Who are these unnamed "experts"? They are not experts in the Shroud, or they would not spout such nonsense.

According to the Channel Five documentary, da Vinci created a sculpture of his own head and 'scorched' his facial features onto

[Above: How a camera obscura supposedly created the Shroud's image: Daily Mail]

the linen using a primitive photographic device called a 'camera obscura' The camera obscura was discovered centuries, if not millennia, before Leonardo, and was known to Europeans by at least the 13th century:

"Although the pinhole camera and camera obscura are credited to Ibn al-Haytham (Alhazen, 965-1039) ... Euclid's Optics (ca 300 BC), presupposed the camera obscura ... Ibn al-Haytham ... stated ... `we did not invent this' .. While these earlier scholars described the effects of a single light passing through a pinhole, none of them suggested that what is being projected onto the screen is an image of everything on the other side of the aperture. Ibn al-Haytham ... was ... the first scientist to successfully project an entire image from outdoors onto a screen indoors with the camera obscura ... In 13th-century England Roger Bacon described the use of a camera obscura for the safe observation of solar eclipses. Its potential as a drawing aid may have been familiar to artists by as early as the 15th century; Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519 AD) described camera obscura in Codex Atlanticus." ("Camera obscura," Wikipedia, 9 July 2009)

so it is not surprising it is in Leonardo's notebooks. But what is conspicuous by its absence is there is no reference in Leonardo's notebooks to him making photographic images with a camera obscura (which would make him the inventor of photography, three centuries before "The first permanent photograph" was "produced in 1825 by the French inventor Nicéphore Niépce"):

"Photography is the result of combining several technical discoveries. Long before the first photographs were made, Chinese philosopher Mo Ti described a pinhole camera in the 5th century B.C.E, Ibn al-Haytham (Alhazen) (965-1040) studied the camera obscura and pinhole camera, Albertus Magnus (1193-1280) discovered silver nitrate, and Georges Fabricius (1516-1571) discovered silver chloride. Daniel Barbaro described a diaphragm in 1568. Wilhelm Homberg described how light darkened some chemicals (photochemical effect) in 1694 ... Photography as a usable process goes back to the 1820s with the development of chemical photography. The first permanent photograph was an image produced in 1825 by the French inventor Nicéphore Niépce." ("Photography," Wikipedia, 3 July 2009).

let alone him making: 1) photographic images on linen; 2) of a crucified man; 3) who was intended to be a fraudulent image of Jesus. Anyone who did that in 15-16th century Catholic Italy would be guilty of blasphemy for which the penalty was burning at the stake - which actually happened ~50 years later to Giordano Bruno (1548-1600) . Apart from that, while Leonardo may have been the greatest painter, as artist-physicist Isabel Piczek points out he was also among the slowest and "The image shows a cadaver in the state of rigor mortis. He would have had to finish his work before that condition changed, and that is a very limited time, too fast for the slow Leonardo":

"Isabel Piczek, an artist and physicist, said that `... Leonardo ... despite the fact that he was one of the greatest masters of all time ... could he have created the Turin Shroud? ... not very likely ... The image shows a cadaver in the state of rigor mortis. He would have had to finish his work before that condition changed, and that is a very limited time, too fast for the slow Leonardo ...' [Piczek, I., "Why Leonardo da Vinci Could Not Have Painted The Shroud," British Society for the Turin Shroud Newsletter, No. 28, April/May 1991, p.15]" (Guerrera, 2000, pp.69-70).

Turin Shroud researcher and author Lynn Picknett said: 'It is spooky, it is jaw-dropping, and it is, I think, the most exciting thing that has ever happened.' Picknett is no "Turin Shroud researcher" any more than Dan Brown is a Christianity researcher! She is, like Brown, a writer of religious conspiracy theories, of fiction masquerading as fact, to make money. He hung the fabric over a frame in a blacked-out room and coated it with a substance to make it light-sensitive, like photographic film. No mention of the fact that the Shroud is not just a head but a fourteen-foot (4.4 metre) sheet of linen with a full-length image of a man, both front and back! Nor that the Shroud's image is over its bloodstains: "scientists have discovered there are no signs of any body image beneath the bloodstains, meaning that the blood wounds penetrated the fibres before the image appeared on the cloth, " i.e. Leonardo (or whoever supposedly made this image) would have had to first apply blood to the linen and then hang a crucified man in the sun, front and back, for many hours in front of the bloodstained linen and yet "without displaying any sign of decay, and also produce subtle photographic details, like scourge wounds and bloodstains, all from a total distance of 10 metres".:

"The Camera-Obscura Theory In 1995 a theory that the Shroud image might have been created through the application of an early, crude form of photography known as camera-obscura - supposed to have been utilised in the Middle Ages - was tested by Professor Nicholas Allen ... Not only would it have required the procurement of a Jewish male corpse, crucified in the same way as Jesus, with the nail and lance wounds, and for it to be suspended for several days in sunshine, facing the aperture, then for several days more with its back facing the aperture, without displaying any sign of decay, and also produce subtle photographic details, like scourge wounds and bloodstains, all from a total distance of 10 metres ... Allen wrote: `The stigmata and other areas of the blood of the Shroud were probably added with the aid of a paintbrush and real blood, after the negative image had been obtained'. This was not possible, for the simple reason that scientists have discovered there are no signs of any body image beneath the bloodstains, meaning that the blood wounds penetrated the fibres before the image appeared on the cloth." (Whiting, B., 2006, "The Shroud Story," pp.158-161).

When the sun's ultra-violet rays passed through a crystal lens in one of the walls, da Vinci's 3D model was projected onto the material to create the permanent image, which can only be seen in detail as a photographic negative. This also is false and anachronistic in that Leonardo did not combine a lens with a camera obscura, but it was not until ~1600, or ~80 years after Leonardo's death, that "Giambattista della Porta add[ed] a lens to the pinhole camera" and "It was not until 1850 that ... David Brewster actually took the first actual photograph with a pinhole camera":

"Around 1600, Giambattista della Porta add a lens to the pinhole camera. It was not until 1850 that a Scottish scientist by the name of Sir David Brewster actually took the first actual photograph with a pinhole camera. Sir William Crookes and William de Wiveleslie Abney were other early photographers to try the pinhole technique. Pinhole cameras were also used by Leonardo Da Vinci,as he was one of the first artists to use the pinhole camera."("Pinhole camera," Wikipedia, 9 July 2009).

What is also good about Picknett and Prince's apparent unacknowledged `borrowing' in their 1994 book, "Turin Shroud: In Whose Image" of Prof. Allen's 1993 Shroud photograph theory is that it "has demonstrated that the Shroud's image really is photographic in character" which "is in fact something that those in favour of the Shroud's authenticity have been saying for years and ... bad news for" those like McCrone who have claimed, against all the evidence, that the Shroud was a painting:

"Now it can also be said unreservedly of Professor Allen that more than anyone else before him he has demonstrated that the Shroud's image really is photographic in character. This is in fact something that those in favour of the Shroud's authenticity have been saying for years and is certainly bad news for Walter McCrone and others." (Wilson, 1998, pp.216-217).

Schwartz came to prominence in the 1980s when she stumbled on the Mona Lisa revelation after making a series of detailed scientific measurements of the priceless painting and da Vinci's self-portrait and scanning them into a computer. To her amazement, the two faces lined up perfectly, which meant he must have used the self-portrait as a model for the Mona Lisa. As can be seen above, the two faces do not line up perfectly but only at a carefully selected line can they appear to line up and even that imperfectly. If the two faces did "line up perfectly" then at any line at random, e.g. half Leonardo and half Mona Lisa, they would be identical but it can be easily seen they would not be, their noses for only one feature are completely different. When she was asked earlier this year to compare another da Vinci self-portrait to the face on the Turin Shroud, she was stunned to discover the proportions of the key facial features were again identical. Again it is a reductio ad absurdum of Schwartz's method that Leonardo's portrait painted in the 16th century is "identical" to the face on the Shroud which dates from at least the 14th century. She said: 'It matched. I'm excited about this. She should be chastened by this. There is no doubt in my mind that the proportions that Leonardo wrote about were used in creating this Shroud's face.' Schwartz' "no doubt in my mind" says more about her lack of self-critical faculty in this than it does about the Shroud!

Da Vinci made thousands of sketches of faces and was obsessed with finding the formula with the correct proportions to draw the perfect one. Which alone would refute Schwartz's theory about Mona Lisa being Leonardo's self-portrait because if Leonardo was aiming to "draw the perfect" face, then both Mona Lisa's and Leonardo's face would be artistic variations on his theme of the perfect face and so would not be `photographic' images of either face. The programme claims he used this formula to sculpt a model of his own face which became the image on the shroud. Even Leonardo could not sculpt an image that already existed at least a century before he was born. The only way the Shroud could be resemble Leonardo's alleged perfect face formula is if Leonardo based his formula on the Shroud! After all, there is no reason why Leonardo could not have personally seen the Shroud. It says da Vinci was a heretic with no ethical qualms in faking Christ's burial cloth and was the only person in that era with the talents and knowledge to produce it. There is no evidence that Leonardo was a "heretic." His biographer Vascari records that Leonardo died a Christian:

"Finally, in his old age Leonardo lay sick for several months, and feeling that he was near to death he earnestly resolved to learn about the doctrines of the Catholic faith and of the good and holy Christian religion. Then, lamenting bitterly, he confessed and repented, and, although he could not stand up, supported by his friends and servants he received the Blessed Sacrament from his bed ... Leonardo breathed his last ..." (Vasari, 1971, "The Lives of the Artists," p.270).

He was not only fascinated with optical equipment and lenses - his notebooks contain one of the earliest drawings and descriptions of a camera obscura - Yes but nothing about the Shroud of Turin:

"First, we would expect to find hundreds of sketches in his notebooks, describing the project from every angle and giving long instructions. We would also expect to find meticulously written records of the cost of the linen and all other materials used. He never once missed such information ..." (Guerrera, 2000, pp.69-70).

but he dissected bodies at a hospital morgue, so he knew how anatomy worked and had access to corpses and blood for the shroud. Leonardo did not work alone in some secluded hermitage but in major cities like Florence and Milan surrounded by apprentices. There is no way that he would, or could, commit the capital crime of crucifying a body and hanging it for hours in the sun to fake an image of Jesus.

The theory is that da Vinci's forgery was commissioned to replace an earlier version that was exposed as a poor fake, which had been bought by the powerful Savoy family in 1453 only to disappear for 50 years. To get around the problem of the Shroud existing at least a century before Leonardo was born, Picknett and Prince have to claim, without a shred of evidence that: 1) the current Shroud is not the original; and 2) the original Shroud disappeared for such a long time, i.e. "50 years" that when Leonardo's replica replaced it in 1492 no one could remember what the original looked like to detect the switch. But why would "the powerful Savoy family" want a "poor fake" in the first place and pay "elderly French widow Margaret de Charny ..."a small castle and some estate revenues" for it? And then in 1464 (when this "poor fake" Shroud was supposed to have disappeared), why would "Duke Louis... compensate the Lirey canons for their loss of" this "poor fake" Shroud?:

"The year 1453 marks one of those major changes of ownership episodes ... a petition from the dean and canons of the tiny French church of Lirey, urging the elderly French widow Margaret de Charny to return the Shroud to them ... the conveyance by Duke Louis I of Savoy of a small castle and some estate revenues to this same Margaret in return for some unspecified `valuable services' ... and finally for the year 1464 an agreement on Duke Louis's part to compensate the Lirey canons for their loss of the Shroud." (Wilson, 1998, p.117).

And the Shroud did not "disappear for 50 years." Here is an extract from the Shroud's "Highlights of the Undisputed History" by Ian Wilson:

1452: Margaret de Charny shows the Shroud ... in a public exposition ...
1453: Margaret de Charny ... Duke Louis I of Savoy ... bequest of the Shroud.
1464: ... record that the Shroud has become Savoy property ...
1471: Shroud transferred from Chambéry to Vercelli.
1473: Shroud transferred from Vercelli to Turin.
1473: Shroud transferred from Turin to Ivrea.
1474: Shroud transferred from Ivrea to Moncalieri.
1474: Shroud transferred from Moncalieri to Ivrea.
1475: Shroud transferred ... from Ivrea back to Chambéry.
1477-8: Shroud at Susa-Avigliano-Rivoli.
1478 ... Shroud exhibited at Pinerolo.
1483: ... inventory in which the Shroud is described ...
1488 ... Shroud exhibited at Savigliano.
1494 ... Duchess Bianca of Savoy exhibits the Shroud at Vercelli ...
1498: ... inventory detailing the Shroud when at Turin ...
1502: ... Shroud ... given a permanent home in ... Chambéry Castle ... is displayed on the Chapel's high altar ...
1503 ... Exposition of the Shroud at Bourg-en-Bresse ...
1509: ... New casket ... for the Shroud ... installation in ...
1511: ... Private exposition for Anne of Brittany, Queen of France, and for Francesco of Aragon.
1516: ... King Francis I of France journeys ... to Chambéry to venerate the Shroud ...
1518: ... Shroud exhibited from castle walls at Chambéry ...
1521: ... Duke Charles III ... pilgrimage ... to Chambéry to venerate the Shroud. Shroud exhibited ...

which shows that the Shroud was continuously known from 1453 through the 37-year period of Leonardo's "Professional life, 1476–1513 until after his death in 1519. So this is another falsehood by Picknett and Prince:

"To support their theory of Leonardo having made the Shroud in 1492 they have repeatedly quoted me as having told Lynn Picknett, `Yes, the Shroud did disappear around then.' With due deference to Ms Picknett's reporting skills, I have equally consistently insisted that I would never in my right senses have made this statement, as ought to be obvious from the chronologies of the Shroud set out both in my 1978 book and this present one. For in my lengthy chronicling of the Shroud's two `disappearances', the year 1492 most certainly does not figure and never has.." (Wilson, I., 1998, pp.211-212).

When it returned to public view, it was hailed as a genuine relic, and experts say it was actually da Vinci's convincing replica. This is obviously false. First it would require the entire Savoy family to enter into a criminal conspiracy with Leonardo, which if it was found out (as it surely would be), would result in them being burned at the stake for blasphemy, just to get a "replica" of the original ancient Shroud. Why would they do that? The Shroud today is very faint but the Vatican would never swap it for a clearer replica and then destroy the original. Second, it would require no one to notice that the Shroud had changed markedly (otherwise why do it at all?), which included the many artists who had painted copies of the Shroud (at least 52 copies of the Shroud are known).

American Professor Larissa Tracy, of Longwood University in Virginia, told the programme: 'Da Vinci had the necessary skills. He knew enough about anatomy and about the physical muscular structure of the body. 'Da Vinci had all the skills to create an image like the shroud. What would this English professor know about the Shroud? About its perfect anatomical detail down to the microscopic level that no human artist, not even Leonardo, could create? That Leonardo was born in 1452, a century after the Shroud first appeared in the European historical record? If anybody had the capacity to work with camera obscura or early photographic technique, it was Leonardo da Vinci.' This is just idle speculation. There is no evidence that Leonardo did "work with early photographic technique." But again the good point this tacitly makes is that it would require an unknown 14th century artist with the genius of 15-16th century Leonardo to fake the Shroud.

Turin Shroud researcher and author Lynn Picknett said: 'The faker of the shroud had to be a heretic, someone with no fear of faking Jesus's holy redemptive blood. Picknett is just projecting onto Leonardo her own anti-Christian and fraudster attitude. Even if Leonardo was "a heretic" (and there is no evidence he was), he would have to be a criminal fraudster as well as have a death wish to fake the Shroud, because he would have been caught if he did it. There is no way that a criminal conspiracy of that magnitude, involving many people, e.g. the entire Savoy family and their servants, could be kept quiet. 'He had to have a grasp of anatomy and he had to have at his fingertips a technology which would completely fool everyone until the 20th century. This "technology" would include making a photographic negative, which did not exist until over 300 years later in 1840:

"After reading about Daguerre's invention, Talbot refined his process so that portraits were made readily available to the masses. By 1840, Talbot had invented the calotype process, which creates negative images. John Herschel made many contributions to the new methods. He invented the cyanotype process, now familiar as the "blueprint". He was the first to use the terms `photography', `negative' and `positive'." ("Photography," Wikipedia, 3 July 2009).

and there is no evidence that Leonardo invented that:

"The photographic hypothesis has been developed (so to speak) in some detail, notably by South African art historian Nicholas Allen. He has even used medieval materials to create faint photographic images on linen cloth saturated with silver nitrate. But Allen failed to convince other shroud scholars, who reasonably asked how an invention as marvellous as photography could have remained otherwise unknown until the nineteenth century." (Ball, P., "To know a veil," Nature news, 28 January 2005).

'When we look at the man on the shroud, we're looking at a photograph of a crucified man. ' Indeed! And since the Shroud was already in existence in the 14th century and photography was not invented until the 19th century, then the Shroud cannot be a human creation. Leonardo took a body from the stock of bodies he dissected for his anatomical research and he truly crucified it. There is no evidence for this but if it were true, it would make Leonardo doubly a criminal as crucifixion had been outlawed by Constantine since AD 337. 'If Leonardo could have known that 500 years after he died generations of pilgrims are still crossing themselves over the image, I think he would have laughed quite a lot and felt that he had succeeded in what he set out to do. ' Again Picknett is falsely projecting onto Leonardo her own anti-Christian, fraudster attitude. He had a hunger to leave something for the future, to make his mark for the future, not just for the sake of art or science but for his ego.' This projection tells us something significant about Picknett not Leonardo!

Although debate still rages over the shroud's authenticity, radiocarbon dating in 1988 showed it was made between 1260 and 1390. Which has since been refuted - see for example, Benford & Marino, "Discrepancies in the Radiocarbon Dating Area of the Turin Shroud" (2008). The image itself cannot be dated and may have been created much later, although most scientists are baffled about how it was produced. Indeed! Art historian Professor Nicholas Allen, of Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in South Africa, demonstrates in the documentary how da Vinci could have made it by using a sculpture and primitive camera equipment. I haven't seen the documentary but Allen is on record as having rejected the Leonardo theory: "Allen denies the possibility that Leonardo da Vinci was in any way involved in production of the shroud":

"According to the art historian Nicolas Allen the image on the shroud was formed by a primitive photographic technique in the 13th century. Contrary to similar proposals by others, Allen denies the possibility that Leonardo da Vinci was in any way involved in production of the shroud. He rather maintains that techniques already available before the 14th century, as e.g. described in the Book of Optics which was just in this time translated from Arabic into Latin, were sufficient for primitive photographic techniques and that people familiar with these techniques could be able to produce an image as found on the shroud. To demonstrate this, he has experimentally produced photographic images using only techniques available at that time. He described his results in his PhD Thesis, in papers published in several science journals, and in a book." ("Shroud of Turin," ,Wikipedia, 9 July 2009).

because "This is some 135 years after the Shroud was first exhibited at Lirey in c 1357!":

"One exception to this state of affairs came to light only quite recently. Indeed, in August 1994 two Britons, L Picknett and C Prince published a book entitled Turin Shroud: in whose image? The shocking truth unveiled. Although published a few months after the author's own independent findings, Picknett and Prince claim that since 1988 they have also been exploring the possibility that the Shroud of Turin had been produced by photographic means. However, although at first appraisal this claim would seem to be supportive of the author's own conclusions, it should be appreciated that these two researchers' adhere to the somewhat sensationalist notion that the Shroud of Turin is a self-portrait produced by none other than Leonardo da Vinci in 1492. This is some 135 years after the Shroud was first exhibited at Lirey in c 1357!" (Allen, N.P.L., 2009, "Verification of the Nature and Causes of the Photo-negative Images on the Shroud of Lirey-Chambéry-Turin," University of South Africa).

He said the cloth could have been covered in silver sulphate, which was readily available in 15th-century Italy, making it light-sensitive. That the individual components of photography were "readily available" in Leonardo's time does not mean that they were brought together to create photography itself. Professor Allen is urging the Catholic Church to allow further scientific research on the shroud to test for the presence of this chemical, which causes a reaction with the sun's UV rays to create the permanent scorching marks on the fabric, but it has refused. In 1978 the Shroud was subjected by STURP to extensive visual, physical and chemical tests. If there was any silver sulphate or silver nitrate they would have found it. He said: 'If you look at the Shroud of Turin as it appears to the naked eye, you see a negative image of a human being, and if you take a photograph of that you produce a positive image of that human being, which means the shroud is acting as a negative. 'That in itself is a very good clue that it was made photographically.' Indeed! But that does not mean that Leonardo or any human `took the photograph" of the man on the Shroud. If the Shroud is the very burial sheet of Jesus that covered His body which was then resurrected through it, then the image would be "a literal `snapshot' of the Resurrection":

"This explanation, proposed completely independently of each other by Drs Phillips and Little, potentially accounts both for how the radiocarbon dating could have erred and for how the crucified body image could have been formed on the cloth, all in one neat single package. It is also a view to which I can hardly object, given that twenty years ago, when I wrote my 1978 book, I specifically suggested the image came to be formed by some such nuclear-type blinding flash from the body. As I then hypothesised: `In the darkness of the Jerusalem tomb the dead body of Jesus lay, unwashed, covered in blood, on a stone slab. Suddenly there is a burst of mysterious power from it. In that instant the blood dematerialises, dissolved perhaps by the flash, while its image and that of the body becomes indelibly fused onto the cloth, preserving for posterity a literal `snapshot' of the Resurrection.' [Wilson, I., "The Turin Shroud," Victor Gollancz: London, 1978, p.211]." (Wilson, 1998, pp.233-234).

The Da Vinci Shroud: Revealed is on Channel Five at 8pm tomorrow. Picknett, Dan Brown, and their ilk, think they are being so clever attacking Christianity by this fiction masquerading as fact, but they are unwittingly confirming Christianity to be true, in that they are fulfilling the Bible's prediction that before Jesus returns there will be a Great Apostasy (2Th 2:3), which I believe we are now in, that includes people rejecting "sound doctrine" and gathering "around them ... teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear" but which are "myths":

2Tim 4:3-4 "For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths

The full quotes below are hyperlinked from the brief quotes above.

Posted: 14 July 2009. Updated: 4 July 2016.


"Two English researchers, Clive Prince and Lynn Picknett, have suggested that the Shroud image was painted by none other than Leonardo da Vinci. According to Picknett, da Vinci created the image using an early photographic technique. Supposedly, a recently crucified body was used for the main image while Leonardo used a self-portrait for the face. [Prince, C., "Did Leonardo da Vinci Fake the Shroud?," British Society for the Turin Shroud Newsletter, No. 28, April/May 1991, p.12] This hypothesis completely lacks credibility, for we know that there is documentary evidence that the Shroud was in Lirey in the 1350s and that it was given to the House of Savoy on March 22, 1453. Leonardo da Vinci was born in 1452. Isabel Piczek, an artist and physicist, said that `most of Leonardo's paintings are ... lost today because of his technical errors, despite the fact that he was one of the greatest masters of all time. So could he have created the Turin Shroud? It is not very likely. First, we would expect to find hundreds of sketches in his notebooks, describing the project from every angle and giving long instructions. We would also expect to find meticulously written records of the cost of the linen and all other materials used. He never once missed such information... . The image shows a cadaver in the state of rigor mortis. He would have had to finish his work before that condition changed, and that is a very limited time, too fast for the slow Leonardo... . Working at Leonardo's speed the man of the Shroud would have been not much more than a skeleton.' [Piczek, I., "Why Leonardo da Vinci Could Not Have Painted The Shroud," British Society for the Turin Shroud Newsletter, No. 28, April/May 1991, p.15]" (Guerrera, V., 2000, "The Shroud of Turin: A Case for Authenticity," TAN: Rockford IL, pp.69-70).

"Pilgrim's Medallion A fortuitous discovery which adds another piece to the case for the Shroud's historicity concerns a pilgrim's medallion dating from about 1357 which was found in the Seine River in Paris in 1855 by Arthur Forgeais. This small lead object, most likely a souvenir of a pilgrim's visit, is now kept in the Museum of Cluny. It depicts the frontal and dorsal image of a body on a long sheet being held out for veneration by two clerics vested in copes. It is obvious that the heads are broken. The image is an uncanny replica of what is now known as the Shroud of Turin. The double body image depicts a naked figure with crossed hands and trickles of blood on the back and feet. As an added touch of realism one can also detect the herringbone weave pattern that appears on the Shroud. Of striking note are the two coats of arms represented on the reliquary beneath the Shroud on the medallion. The one on the left (as viewed by reader) is that of Geoffrey I de Charny, represented with three small inner shields. The original would have been silver on a red background. The one on the right is that of Jeanne de Vergy, represented with three flowers which would have been gold. Flanked between the coats of arms are the instruments of the Passion. Clearly visible are the flagrum, the scourging column, the lance, nails, and, in the middle of the two shields, a roundel symbolizing the empty tomb surmounted by a cross upon which is hung a crown of thorns. Although the exact date or origin of the medal is not certain, the coats of arms give us a clue. Since Geoffrey I de Charny was Lord of Lirey, the medallion probably came from that region. Humbert de Villersexel, the second husband of Marguerite de Charny, to whom various relics were entrusted for safekeeping in 1418, acknowledged receiving `a cloth, on which is the figure or representation of the Shroud of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is in a casket emblazoned with the de Charny crest.' Geoffrey I de Charny died on September 19, 1356; therefore, it is highly unlikely that his crest would have been engraved on a medallion produced after that year." (Guerrera, 2000, pp.103-104. Emphasis original).

"But Professor John Jackson, director of the Turin Shroud Centre of Colorado, who believes the item dates from the time of Jesus's crucifixion, dismissed the Leonardo hypothesis. 'It is based on some very poor scientific and historical scholarship,' he said. The earliest known record of the shroud appears on a commemorative medallion struck in the mid-14th century and on display at the Cluny Museum Paris, he added. 'It clearly shows clerics holding up the shroud and is dated to around 100 years before Leonardo was born. 'There is no evidence whatsoever that Leonardo was involved in the shroud.' The professor believes the radiocarbon dating of the shroud was wrong because the sample was contaminated." (Derbyshire, D., "Is the Turin Shroud really a self-portrait by Renaissance man, Leonardo da Vinci?," Daily Mail, 1 July 2009).

"Yet, for once, the series had a reasonably strong case to make with The Da Vinci Shroud: Revealed which, as the title suggests, argued that while it now seems that the famous Turin Shroud cloth image of 'Jesus' is a medieval forgery ... the forger was, of all people, the equally famous Leonardo.This initially sounded like wishful thinking ... In his undoubtedly busy life, how could Da Vinci have had time to fake a religious icon ... Yet it wasn't just that computer mapping shows the image said to be Jesus has the same dimensions as a self-portrait of Leonardo (after all, a lot of faces are similarly proportioned), but the actual technical challenge of creating such a clear negative image on linen could only have been done by very few people. The forger would have had to be in the right place, with knowledge of both anatomy and art, as well as a technical imagination which could have conceived of a form of photography, in effect, centuries before it was actually invented. The attribution suddenly began to seem much less coincidental. Until ah. They got me again, didn't they? After all that evidence, it turned out that there's a medallion showing the shroud a century before Da Vinci was born. This is the Revealed way, hiding rather crucially important details until late on so that those new to the subject are carried along blithely only to be brought suddenly down. By that time, you've invested almost an hour in the theory ... It's a cheat's way of making historical documentaries, with standards of proof which would be laughed out of court or academia. Yet these programmes don't actually lie; perhaps the sensational revelations promised draw in gullible viewers but they do at least get a fair amount of information about the subjects in order to make up their own mind. And, well, they are on Five: don't expect BBC4 levels of intellectual rigour, because it's not going to happen. Still, it was disappointing to have been temporarily taken in. Next time I'll take advice from the theme tune to Five's other most implausible show, CSI Miami: I won't get fooled again." (Mullaney, A., "TV review: The Da Vinci Shroud - Revealed," The Scotsman, 2 July 2009).

"Shortly after doing both these broadcasts [1989], Lynn received a letter from a complete stranger ... The letter was intriguing. Signed simply `Giovanni,' it dealt with Leonardo and the Shroud but took the story much further into the realm of what appeared to be fantasy. On the radio Lynn had simply said that the Maestro might have been implicated in the fake, but this man claimed to have inside knowledge that Leonardo had been responsible. Giovanni said that she should read The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln as background to the story of Leonardo and the Shroud, and that he would be in touch again. We have to admit that, both of us having read the book, we were no wiser about Leonardo and the Shroud, although he does figure in the story as grand master of a secret society ... Clearly there was a feeling that the events and theories outlined in The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail had some connection with the Shroud, although quite what it was eluded everyone. In due course, however, we made that connection. Our mystery man, Giovanni, had made some astonishing claims about Leonardo and the Shroud ... He offered extraordinary pieces of information that, although seemingly outrageous, gave us real food for thought. He said that Leonardo had put the image of his own face on the Shroud. That serene, gaunt, bearded face so widely believed to be that of Jesus himself was in fact Leonardo da Vinci, perpetrating a sacrilegious joke on posterity. As if this were not enough in itself, he went further, much further. He claimed that the body on the Shroud from the neck down at the front and all of the back image was that of a genuinely crucified man, a fifteenth-century victim of the first-century legacy of man's inhumanity to man ... Our informant also told us that Leonardo had not created the Shroud image by painting or any other known technique such as brass rubbing. He said that it represented the Maestro's greatest and most daring innovation, as the image had been created using `chemicals and light, a sort of alchemical imprinting:' In other words, the Shroud image is actually a composite photograph of Leonardo da Vinci together with some hapless crucifixion victim, whose every contusion was recorded for posterity by a fifteenth-century camera! Over the months we received a total of thirteen letters from Giovanni, which gave us a great deal of information about Leonardo and the Shroud, most of which we have shown to be accurate through independent research and our own experiments. To sum up ... Leonardo faked the Shroud in 1492. It was a composite creation: he put the image of his own face on it together with the body of a genuinely crucified man. It was not a painting; it was a projected image `fixed' on the cloth using chemicals and light; in other words, he used a photographic technique ... Giovanni also claimed to have been high in the ranks of a schismatic faction of the Priory of Sion, claiming that his faction was purists who believed that the modern organization had moved too far from its original aims and beliefs." (Picknett, L. & Prince, C., 2006, "The Turin Shroud: How Da Vinci Fooled History," [1994], Touchstone: New York NY, Second edition, Reprinted, 2007, pp.87-88, 90,93).

"At the time Lynn was a freelance feature writer on a women's magazine, and that afternoon it was organizing a mammoth photo shoot for its fashion pages. She took the portrait of Leonardo and the postcard into the models' dressing room ... So Lynn just showed them the two pictures and asked, `What do you think?' The response was instant and extremely gratifying. Out of fifteen who came and went during the afternoon ... eleven of them said straightaway, `It's the same man.' Two said words to the effect of `I don't know what you want me to say ... apart from the fact that it's the same man.' One said she didn't know what Lynn was after and was busy, and the last one said she recognized the man on the Shroud because she was a Catholic ... This unofficial vox pop was hardly evidence, although it is true that the human eye is a better judge than almost any other monitoring, imaging, or matching equipment, from the camera to the computer. Lynn had been careful not to give the models any clues as to what reaction she was looking for. We regret not having taken their details for future reference, but even so that episode certainly added to the growing enthusiasm we felt for further investigation into Leonardo and the Shroud. And it certainly made us smile when, months afterward, Rodney Hoare and Michael Clift of the BSTS said, respectively, `I can't see the similarity myself' and `The man on the Shroud looks nothing like Leonardo.' On the other hand, even other believers have no difficulty seeing the resemblance. One of the most priceless moments in our career came in 2001, during the filming of a documentary about our work for the National Geographic Channel. The program also included a piece about the Italian sculptor Luigi Mattei, who specializes in life-size sculptures of-as he firmly believes-Jesus based on the image on the Shroud. During filming Mattei spontaneously declared that he had often remarked on the striking resemblance between the Shroud image of `Jesus' and Leonardo da Vinci." (Picknett & Prince, 2006, pp.90-91).

"Finally, in his old age Leonardo lay sick for several months, and feeling that he was near to death he earnestly resolved to learn about the doctrines of the Catholic faith and of the good and holy Christian religion. Then, lamenting bitterly, he confessed and repented, and, although he could not stand up, supported by his friends and servants he received the Blessed Sacrament from his bed. He was joined by the king, who often used to pay him affectionate visits, and having respectfully raised himself in his bed he told the king about his illness and what had caused it, and he protested that he had offended God and mankind by not working at his art as he should have done. Then he was seized by a paroxysm, the forerunner of death, and, to show him favour and to soothe his pain, the king held his head. Conscious of the great honour being done to him, the inspired Leonardo breathed his last in the arms of the king; he was then seventy-five years old." (Vasari, G., 1971, "The Lives of the Artists: A Selection," [1961], Volume I, Bull, G., transl., Penguin: Harmondsworth UK, Revised Edition, Reprinted, 1987, p.270).

"The Camera-Obscura Theory In 1995 a theory that the Shroud image might have been created through the application of an early, crude form of photography known as camera-obscura - supposed to have been utilised in the Middle Ages - was tested by Professor Nicholas Allen, a dean of the Faculty of Art and Design at the Port Elizabeth Technikon in South Africa. [Allen, N., "Verification of the nature and causes of the photo-negative images on the Shroud of Lirey-Chambery-Turin," De Arte, April 1995, pp.31-34] Allen knew that the image on the Shroud was not a painting, and was aware that in medieval Europe, Italy in particular, there existed knowledge of the use of quartz for making lenses for magnification purposes. He was also aware that at that time there was knowledge of silver salts, which had the properties required for converting into light-sensitive chemicals. To test his theory Allen constructed a camera obscura in the form of a room that was totally dark except for an aperture in the front wall, in which he set a type of rock-crystal lens that he believed could have existed in the Middle Ages. He soaked a shroud-like cloth in light-sensitive silver nitrate, folded it in half across the middle, and installed it vertically in the middle of the room, some 5 metres from the aperture, while it was closed. For the subject to be `photographed' he made a plaster cast from a naked and bearded male life-model who had stood in a death-like pose, as similar as possible to that of the man of the Shroud. He suspended the plaster cast vertically in full sunlight, about 5 metres in front of the aperture outside the room, having precalculated that at this distance from the lens the subject's image would be exposed on the light-sensitive cloth life-size and upside-down. He opened the aperture and kept it open for several days, during which the plaster cast remained exposed to sunlight. The result was a `negative' exposure of the front of the cast-image on the cloth. To produce a double image, front and back, he repeated the process, closing the aperture, turning both the plaster cast and the folded cloth around, then opening the aperture for several more days. To complete his experiment he had the cloth washed in a solution of ammonia salts to remove the silver salts, thus `fixing' the exposures. The entire experiment was conducted according to his hypothesis that he had replicated a form of photography believed to have been known in some scientific circles in medieval Europe. The result was images which bore a number of similarities to the Shroud image when viewed by the naked eye. The cloth had developed a straw-yellow discoloration of its surface fibrils, and faint evidence of an image of the plaster-cast was apparent when the cloth was viewed from about 2 metre's distance. The most telling effect became evident when he photographed his cloth with a modern camera, using black-and-white film, and examined the negative. It revealed a `positive' image of the subject. While his experiment might have supported his conclusion, `that people in the late thirteenth or early fourteenth century were privy to a photographic technology which was previously thought to be unknown before the beginning of the nineteenth century', it would be an extreme interpretation of his work for him or anyone to claim that the Shroud images could have been created in a similar way. Not only would it have required the procurement of a Jewish male corpse, crucified in the same way as Jesus, with the nail and lance wounds, and for it to be suspended for several days in sunshine, facing the aperture, then for several days more with its back facing the aperture, without displaying any sign of decay, and also produce subtle photographic details, like scourge wounds and bloodstains, all from a total distance of 10 metres. To have fulfilled such onerous requirements is beyond belief. Yet, in attempting to dispel disbelief that the Shroud image could have been formed in this way Allen wrote: `The stigmata and other areas of the blood of the Shroud were probably added with the aid of a paintbrush and real blood, after the negative image had been obtained'. This was not possible, for the simple reason that scientists have discovered there are no signs of any body image beneath the bloodstains, meaning that the blood wounds penetrated the fibres before the image appeared on the cloth. With all photography the choice of film and the purity of the developing emulsions define the degree of sharpness and clarity of a photographic image. The fact that no museum or library in the world possesses a medieval camera-obscura photograph or even a crude pre-1800 photograph is sufficient evidence that no one had produced one before the invention of photography." (Whiting, B., 2006, "The Shroud Story," Harbour Publishing: Strathfield NSW, Australia, pp.158-161).

"This clear recognition of the power of good by the power of evil, and the perennial and seemingly insatiable anxiety of the latter to stamp out the former, is supremely important because, as many a committed Christian of today can corroborate, it is very real and remains every bit as active as it was in Jesus' time ... Speaking personally, one of my most painful and yet illuminating experiences, having as a writer expressed my beliefs in Jesus in the 1984 version of this book and also in the otherwise so discredited Turin Shroud, has been to be most deviously targeted in efforts to undermine these beliefs by certain plausible-sounding and publicity-seeking people with absolutely no concern for truth. The illuminating aspect is that for modern-day people to be so motivated can only mean that they actually do recognize truth, but like Caiaphas, see it as too threatening to their own quite different priorities for it to be allowed to live." (Wilson I., 1996, "Jesus: The Evidence," [1984], Weidenfeld & Nicolson: London, Revised, pp.178-179).

"The year 1453 marks one of those major changes of ownership episodes that requires special scrutiny in order to guard against any skulduggery or confusion, especially since there survives no actual deed of transfer as such. Instead, what we do have is a set of alternative documents which serve the same function. These comprise, from the year 1443, a petition from the dean and canons of the tiny French church of Lirey, urging the elderly French widow Margaret de Charny to return the Shroud to them; for the year 1453 the conveyance by Duke Louis I of Savoy of a small castle and some estate revenues to this same Margaret in return for some unspecified `valuable services' (this seems to have been what sufficed as the transfer); for the year 1457 an excommunication of Margaret for her failing to return the alleged Shroud to the Lirey clergy; for the year 1459 a lifting of the excommunication, apparently as a result of a deal having been struck; and finally for the year 1464, four years after Margaret de Charny's death, an agreement on Duke Louis's part to compensate the Lirey canons for their loss of the Shroud. Despite the lack of a formal transfer document, it is crystal-clear from all this data that a Christ shroud had been in Margaret de Charny's possession and passed into Duke Louis's. And from the fact that Duke Louis's Christ shroud passed all the way down through his descendants to become the Turin Shroud that we know today it follows, despite Margaret's and Louis's rather 'under-the-counter' way of conducting their transaction, that Margaret's Christ shroud must have been our Turin Shroud." (Wilson, I., 1998, "The Blood and the Shroud: New Evidence that the World's Most Sacred Relic is Real," Simon & Schuster: New York NY, p.117).

"To support their theory of Leonardo having made the Shroud in 1492 they have repeatedly quoted me as having told Lynn Picknett, `Yes, the Shroud did disappear around then.' With due deference to Ms Picknett's reporting skills, I have equally consistently insisted that I would never in my right senses have made this statement, as ought to be obvious from the chronologies of the Shroud set out both in my 1978 book and this present one. For in my lengthy chronicling of the Shroud's two `disappearances', the year 1492 most certainly does not figure and never has. In that year the Shroud's technical owner was, in fact, a two-and-a-half-year-old boy, Duke Charles II, the cloth's effective control thereby being in the hands of his widowed mother the Dowager Duchess Bianca, a very devout woman who personally exhibited the Shroud at Vercelli in 1494, and who would hardly have failed to notice had this been a different cloth from the one that she and her retinue had carried around during their travels in the preceding years." Wilson, 1998, pp.211-212).

"Now it can also be said unreservedly of Professor Allen that more than anyone else before him he has demonstrated that the Shroud's image really is photographic in character. This is in fact something that those in favour of the Shroud's authenticity have been saying for years and is certainly bad news for Walter McCrone and others. Rather more serious, however, from the pro-authenticity camp's point of view is that he has demonstrated that it could have been achieved with materials and knowledge readily available in the Middle Ages. And while I for one would not wish to question that this indeed might have been possible, this is still very far from accepting that this actually was how (and when) the Shroud's imprint came into being. For Professor Allen himself has been more than a little hesitant with regard to certain details, not least whether, for the Shroud proper, the hypothetical mediaeval photographer used either an actual corpse or a plaster cast of the same. Among just some of the difficulties of the former method are that if an actual crucified human corpse really were suspended for `several days' in full sunshine, then its likely condition after such a length of time, particularly in any climate with the required sufficiency of sunshine, boggles both the mind and the olfactory system. This is quite aside from the offence it would have caused to every mediaeval religious sensitivity. An actual corpse must therefore be considered most unlikely, given that rigor mortis would in any case never have held sufficiently long to create the impression of the figure lying flat. Also, had the body been genuinely crucified, its correspondingly convincing `bloodstains' could hardly have become transferred to the Shroud over Professor Allen's required focal length of twice fifteen feet." Wilson, 1998, pp.216-217).

"As for the fundamental questions for anyone adopting the forgery hypothesis - for example: `Who forged such an extraordinary image?' 'How did he do so without betraying any obvious sign of his artifice?' 'How did he manage to get so much right medically, historically and culturally?' - if you ask yourself whether Sox, or any of the other current detractors, from McCrone and Hall to Picknett and Prince, has yet offered any genuinely satisfying answers, the response has to be no. Indeed, if anyone had come up with a convincing solution as to how and by whom the Shroud was forged, they would inevitably have created a consensus around which everyone sceptical on the matter would rally. Yet so far this has not even begun to happen. Realistically, to date there has been only one genuinely satisfying, albeit still only partial, replication of the Shroud's image, that by Professor Nicholas Allen. And that demands so much ingenuity and advanced photographic knowledge on the part of someone of the Middle Ages that it may actually represent rather better evidence for the Shroud's authenticity than for its forgery." (Wilson, 1998, pp.234-235).

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am so glad that you allow comments so that I can say that this theory is so amazingly and astoundingly stupid that it makes me sick in my stomach to know that people can be this stupid.

Stephen E. Jones said...

Anonymous

>I am so glad that you allow comments so that I can say that this theory is so amazingly and astoundingly stupid that it makes me sick in my stomach to know that people can be this stupid.

Thanks for your comment, the first on this 2009 post which I had forgotten about!

Maybe its not so much "stupid" as deluded? And also possessed by a craving for fame and fortune. As well as ignorant of the true facts about the Shroud. Not to mention being against Christianity.

Stephen E. Jones