Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Shroud of Turin blog topics "L"

The Shroud of Turin blog topics #6
© Stephen E. Jones[

Topics "L"

This is the topics page "L" and part #6 of my "The Shroud of Turin blog topics" series. See the Index "A-Z" for more information about this series. I will add other topics beginning with "L" in the background, working forward in time from my earlier posts.

[Above (enlarge):[2] Comparison between Leonardo's self-portrait and the face of the man of the Shroud. Note that the two faces have little in common: Leonardo's head shape is `round' and the man on the Shroud's head is `rectangular'.]

[Index #1] [Previous "E" #5] [Next "M" #7]

Leonardo da Vinci. [06Jul07] If the Shroud was forged, the forger would have to have been one of the greatest artistic geniuses ever, at least equal to Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519). The leading (if not the only) proponents of the theory that Leonardo faked the Shroud are Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince. But not only is there no evidence that Leonardo forged the Shroud, it has an undisputed European history from 1355 and Leonardo was born in 1452, nearly a century later. In fact there was a public exposition of the Shroud at Germolles, France in 1452, the year that Leonardo was born[3]. So Picknett and Prince claim that there were two Shrouds: a 14th century Mk I which was transferred to the House of Savoy by Geoffroy de Charny's granddaughter Margaret de Charny in 1453; and a 15th century Mk II which Leonardo created for Pope Innocent VIII (1484-92) in 1492[4] and after the latter's death was given to the House of Savoy in 1494[5]. They ignore the overwhelming evidence that the Shroud we now have is authentic and therefore 1st century, and also they are at odds with the 1988 radiocarbon date of the Shroud as "mediaeval ... 1260-1390"[6], which they admit[7]. Even leading Shroud sceptic Joe Nickell regards their "claim that Leonardo had created the Shroud of Turin ... a century before the birth of Leonardo" as a "foray into nonsense"![8]. Picknett and Prince claim that they were told by a "Giovanni"[9] [see 14Jul09], a high ranking member of the "Priory of Sion"[10], that Leonardo had faked the Shroud in 1492[11], by inventing photography[12], crucifying a dead (or alive) man[13] and photographing his body and Leonardo's head onto the Shroud's linen[14].

Major problems for Picknett and Prince's Leonardo forged substitute Shroud theory include: ■ The Priory of Sion was a hoax[15] perpetrated by convicted fraudster Pierre Plantard de Saint-Clair (1920–2000)[16]. Therefore "Giovanni" never existed and Picknett and Prince, who know about Plantard and his hoax[17], are lying[18] (or worse[19]). ■ Picknett and Prince claim that the Shroud disappeared around 1492, but as Ian Wilson documented, "In that year ... the cloth's effective control [was] in the hands of ... the Dowager Duchess Bianca [Blanche of Montferrat (1472-1519)], 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"[20]. The Shroud's movements "are consistently well attested throughout this whole period, automatically reducing to fiction the ... theory that Leonardo da Vinci `invented' it" (my emphasis)[21]. While Leonardo was "in Milan for the next 18 years" from 1482-1499 in the employ of the Duke of Milan, the longest period the Shroud was not being publicly exhibited or seen privately by non-members of the House of Savoy was only ~6 years from 1488-1494[22], far too short a period for the supposed Shroud Mk. I to be out of circulation long enough (Picknett and Prince tacitly admit they need a "forty-year period of obscurity"[23]), for the members of the Savoy family and public, many of whom would have been at both the 1488 and 1494 expositions[24], to forget what it looked like, such that they would then accept without questions Leonardo's Shroud Mk. II. ■ It would have made Leonardo a criminal (and also his House of Savoy accomplices) to have crucified a dead body. And a murderer (and his Savoy accomplices accessories to murder) if the victim had been crucified alive, which Picknett and Prince don't rule out[25]. ■ It would have made Leonardo and his Savoy accomplices guilty of blasphemy, punishable by burning at the stake in 15th century Italy[25], for destroying a relic, let alone one believed to be Jesus' very burial shroud, and replacing it with a forgery. Picknett and Prince admit this, by claiming that Leonardo "... risked his life by faking the ultimate Christian relic" and so "committing ... a grave sacrilege."[26] ■ Leonardo's above crimes claimed by Picknett and Prince would have been quickly found out, because he did not work alone but, "Leonardo maintained an extensive workshop in Milan, employing apprentices and students"[27]. Also Picknett and Prince admit that "Using a camera obscura to project a life-size image ["as on the Shroud"] ... would need ... at least twenty feet of floor space"[28], so Leonardo would have had to use his workshop. Moreover, Picknett and Prince acknowledge that it would take "days" for just the image of the head to be imprinted on the cloth[29]. ■ Picknett and Prince claim that "the Savoys of the fifteenth century" replaced the Shroud because they began "to panic that the relic they owned was no longer convincing to the public of the increasingly discerning Renaissance"[30]. But not only is there is no evidence that the Shroud was not convincing to the 15th century public, it is a false premise that the House of Savoy would replace their old, believed to be genuine relic, even if it was inferior artistically, with a new, artistically superior, fake relic. That would be like a wife replacing her original but inferior quality wedding ring for a new superior quality one, and destroying the original. The whole point of a relic (and a wedding ring) is that it is original, not that it is artistically superior. Besides, Picknett and Prince contradict themselves, because they claim that "Leonardo was never paid for his work on the Turin Shroud because ... it was very disappointing."[31]. ■ Picknett and Prince admit that despite Leonardo having been "a compulsive note-maker" in his notebooks there was not "anything that refers to the Shroud"[32]. They also tacitly admit that there was nothing in Leonardo's notebooks about photography[33]. But if Leonardo did discover photography in the 15th century, "some 350 years before its known invention"[34] by Joseph Nicephore Niepce (1765-1833), in 1826[35], then why would he have used it only once to fake the Shroud? Picknett and Prince agreed that, "if Leonardo were alive today he would be a photographer."[36], but this is a `Freudian slip' which shows that they don't believe their own theory that Leonardo was a photographer then!

Other problems for Picknett and Prince's Leonardo theory include: ■ If the Shroud was a photograph taken by Leonardo it would fail the VP-8 Image Analyzer three-dimensional test as do all other photographs[37]. Picknett and Prince even admit this[38], but then they deny the VP-8 Image Analyzer (and therefore other all other evidence) that the Shroud image does contain three-dimensional information[39]. ■ There is no chemical or spectroscopic evidence of light-sensitive chemicals on the Shroud[40]. Picknett and Prince also admit this but claim that they were "washed out" removing "every trace of the original mixture"[41]. ■ In their attempt to reproduce how Leonardo could have photographed the Shroud's head image, Picknett and Prince added the blood ("theatrical blood") last[42]. They admit that STURP's Alan D. Adler (1931-2000) found that "there is no body image on the cloth underneath the bloodstains"[43] and "No forger would have applied the bloodstains first and then painted the image around them"[44]. So Picknett (a journalist) and Prince (an accountant)[45] simply deny that this is so[46]. For good measure they also deny that it is real blood on the Shroud"[47], forgetting their claim (above) that Leonardo crucified a real human body, possibly alive, for realism!■ There is no evidence of Pope Innocent VIII in Rome ever taking any interest in, or having any control over, the Shroud which was in Chambéry, France; and if the Pope had wanted a relic for a "publicity exercise"[48], he had them in Rome[49] with a then higher credibility than the Shroud[50]. ■ Any conspiracy to replace the Shroud would have had to involve Duchess Bianca of Savoy [ Blanche of Montferrat (1472–1519)], who from 1490 to 1496 was in control of of the Shroud, but it beggars belief (to put it mildly) that this deeply religious young woman would ever be involved in any such criminal and sacrilegious conspiracy[51].■ Further to their lie about "Giovanni" of the non-existent "Priory of Sion" (see above), whose claimed non-existent 13 letters to Picknett, she conveniently destroyed[52]; they claim that Giovanni could not find Ian Wilson, yet his "home address has always been freely available to people seriously interested in the Shroud," and so Giovanni, "singled out Lynn Picknett, who had no known connection with ... the Shroud ... to reveal his society's hitherto closely guarded secret to the world"[53]! Picknett and Prince claimed that Ian he could not find Ian Wilson, whose,"home address has always been freely available to people seriously interested in the Shroud," and "so he singled out Lynn Picknett, who had no known connection with ... the Shroud ... to reveal his society's hitherto closely guarded secret to the world"[53]! In their 1964 book, Picknett claimed that Ian Wilson told her of the year "1492" that, "The Shroud did disappear around then"[54]. But after Wilson in his 1998 book, pointed out, "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"[55], Picknett and Prince in their 2006 second edition, simply repeated the falsehood verbatim[56]! So presumably when Wilson wrote of "...certain plausible-sounding and publicity-seeking people with absolutely no concern for truth," he was thinking of Picknett and Prince[57]!

1. This page, and each page, in my The Shroud of Turin blog topics series, is copyright. However, permission is granted to quote from one entry at a time within a page (e.g. "Shroud of Turin," not the whole page "S"), provided that it includes a reference citing my name, its subject heading, its date, and a hyperlink back to the page it came from. [return]
2. Jamieson, A., 2009, "Was Turin Shroud faked by Leonardo da Vinci?," The Telegraph, 1 July. [return]
3. Guscin, M., 1998, "The Oviedo Cloth," Lutterworth Press: Cambridge UK, p.114. [return]
4. Picknett, L. & Prince, C., 1994, "Turin Shroud: In Whose Image?: The Truth Behind the Centuries-Long Conspiracy of Silence," HarperCollins: New York NY, pp.68, 107, 113; Picknett, L. & Prince, C., "The Turin Shroud: How Da Vinci Fooled History," [1994], Touchstone: New York NY, Second edition, 2006, Reprinted, 2007, pp.91, 131. [return]
5. Picknett & Prince, 1994, p.113; 2006, pp.91, 138. [return]
6. Damon, P.E., et al., 1989, "Radiocarbon Dating of the Shroud of Turin," Nature, Vol. 337, 16th February, pp.611-615, p.611. [return]
7. Picknett & Prince, 1994, p.188; 2006, pp.104, 215. [return]
8. Nickell, J., 2007, "Deciphering Da Vinci’s Real Codes," Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. 31, No. 3, May/ June. [return]
9. Picknett & Prince, 1994, pp.64,73; 2006, pp.86,96. [return]
10. Picknett & Prince, 1994, p.71; 2006, p.93. [return]
11. Picknett & Prince, 1994, p.68; 2006, p.91. [return]
12. Picknett & Prince, 1994, pp.65, 68; 2006, pp.65, 88. [return]
13. Picknett & Prince, 1994, pp.65, 68, 157; 2006, pp.87, 88, 91, 188. [return]
14. Picknett & Prince, 1994, pp.65, 68, 157; 2006, pp.86-87, 91, 188. [return]
15. "Priory of Sion," Wikipedia, 2 July 2016. [return]
16. "Pierre Plantard," Wikipedia, 21 February 2016. [return]
17. Picknett & Prince, 1994, pp.69, 71-72, 85; 2006, pp.92-93, 95, 109. [return]
18. Wilson, I. 1996, "Jesus: The Evidence," [1984], Weidenfeld & Nicolson: London, Revised,, pp.178-179. [return]
19. Picknett & Prince, 1994, p.188; 2006, pp.210-211. [return]
20. Wilson, I., 1998, "The Blood and the Shroud: New Evidence that the World's Most Sacred Relic is Real," Simon & Schuster: New York NY, pp.210-212. [return]
21. Wilson, 1998, p.116. [return]
22. Wilson, I., 1996, "Shroud History: Highlights of the Undisputed History," [return]
23. Picknett & Prince, 1994, pp.110, 113; 2006, pp.134, 138. [return]
24. Oxley, M., 2010, "The Challenge of the Shroud: History, Science and the Shroud of Turin," AuthorHouse: Milton Keynes UK, p.75. [return]
25. Picknett & Prince, 1994, p.65; 2006, p.87. [return]
25. Wendel, F., 1963, "Calvin: The Origins and Development of His Religious Thought," [1950], Mairet, P., transl., Fontana: London, Reprinted, 1965, p.96. [return]
26. Picknett & Prince, 1994, pp.177-178; 2006, p.225. [return]
27. "Leonardo da Vinci," Encyclopaedia Britannica online, 13 May 2015. [return]
28. Picknett & Prince, 1994, p.157; 2006, p.188. [return]
29. Picknett & Prince, 1994, p.157; 2006, pp.188-189. [return]
30. Picknett & Prince, 1994, p.115; 2006, p.140. [return]
31. Picknett & Prince, 1994, p.68; 2006, p.91. [return]
32. Picknett & Prince, 1994, pp.113, 177; 2006, p.138. [return]
33. Picknett & Prince, 1994, p.147; 2006, pp.177-178. [return]
34. Picknett & Prince, 1994, p.147; 2006, p.177. [return]
35. Picknett & Prince, 1994, p.156; 2006, p.184. [return]
36. Picknett & Prince, 1994, p.149; 2006, pp.179-180. [return]
37. Adler, A.D., 1999, "The Nature of the Body Images on the Shroud of Turin," in Adler, A.D. & Crispino, D., ed., "The Orphaned Manuscript: A Gathering of Publications on the Shroud of Turin," Effatà Editrice: Cantalupa, Italy, 2002, pp.103-112, 108. [return]
38. Picknett & Prince, 1994, p.140; 2006, p.170. [return]
39. Picknett & Prince, 1994, p.15, 135, 140-146; 2006, pp.20, 163, 170-176. [return]
40. Adler, 1999, p.108. [return]
41. Picknett & Prince, 1994, p.162; 2006, p.194. [return]
42. Picknett & Prince, 1994, p.170; 2006, p.204. [return]
43. Picknett & Prince, 2006, p.21. [return]
44. Ibid. [return]
45. Wilson, 1998, p.210. [return]
46. Picknett & Prince, 2006, p.21. [return]
47. Picknett & Prince, 1994, pp.15-16; 2006, pp.21-22. [return]
48. Picknett & Prince, 1994, p.68; 2006, p.91. [return]
49. Oxley, 2010, p.75. [return]
50. Wilson, 1998, p.212. [return]
51. Oxley, 2010, p.75. [return]
52. Picknett & Prince, 1994, p.77; 2006, p.101. [return]
53. Wilson, 1998, p.211. [return]
54. Picknett & Prince, 1994, p.188. [return]
55. Wilson, 1998, p.211. [return]
56. Picknett & Prince, 2006, p.210. [return]
57. Wilson, 1996, p.178. [return]

Posted: 30 June 2016. Updated: 7 August 2016.

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