The man on the Shroud
NO PAINT, ETC. #15
Copyright © Stephen E. Jones
This is part #15, "The man on the Shroud: No paint, etc.," of my series, "The evidence is overwhelming that the Turin Shroud is authentic!" See the Main index for more information about this series.
- The man on the Shroud #8
- No paint, etc #15
Introduction. "There is no sign of paint, dye, powder, or any other foreign substance on the cloth that can account for the image" of the man on the Shroud.
[Above (enlarge): Photomicrograph taken by optical engineer Kevin Moran of 15 microns (15 thousandths of a millimetre) diameter Shroud fibres attached to one of Max Frei's Shroud sticky tapes. The boundaries between the image (yellow) and non-image parts of each fibre are only about 1 micron (1 thousandth of a millimetre) wide. No human artist/forger can paint, etc., with such precision. Note that the image fibres are uniformly yellow and where a non-image fibre crosses over an image fibre, the non-image fibre has the same uniform yellow image colour. And as we saw in part #12, "Colour," the image of the man on the Shroud is made up only of these uniformly yellowed fibres, which are too thin (about half the thickness of an average human hair) to be individually painted or dyed, etc, by an artist/forger!]
There is no paint, pigment, powder, etc., on the Shroud which accounts for the man's image
• No applied paint, pigment, powder, etc, can account for the man's image on the Shroud. Extensive scientific examinations of the cloth by STURP in 1978 and afterward found that no paints, pigments, stains, dyes, nor any foreign materials of any kind applied to the body image fibres could account for the man's image on the Shroud.
[Above (enlarge): "Micrograph taken at the image area of the right eye at 32Xmagnification.". As can be seen, each straw-yellow colour image fibre is distinct with no cementation between them and nor is there paint or powder particles responsible for the image trapped between the image fibres.]
image fibres. This is highly significant because if a liquid paint, dye, pigment, etc., had been used to create the man's image on the Shroud, the liquid would have soaked into the threads, and the fibres would have become glued together. But on the Shroud each coloured image fibre is distinct and does not adhere to any other (see above). In fact it was already evident in the 1930s, when Giuseppe Enrie's 1931 photographs of the Shroud were enlarged, each thread of the Shroud could be distinctly seen with nothing visible in the spaces between the fibres. This absence of colouring material caught in the crevices between the threads was confirmed under microscopic examination by the Turin Commission of 1973.
• No capillarity. Nor is there any evidence of capillarity, that is capillary action: "the ability of a liquid to flow in narrow spaces without the assistance of, or even in opposition to, external forces". Specifically, there is no evidence of capillary flow under the unexposed threads of the weave. Linen, paper and cotton are polysaccharide fibres and liquid is drawn into them by capillary action, as ink is drawn into blotting paper. So this absence of capillary action immediately rules out all liquid colourants having been applied to the Shroud, as even Shroud sceptic Joe Nickell admits.
• No pigment binder. Nor did protein tests detect any evidence of a medieval artist's protein-based pigment binder, such as egg white, gelatin, milk, or oil, to enable a colourant to stick to the fabric. Any of these would have changed colour (but didn't) along a heat gradient from the 1532 fire (see below). Specifically proteases (enzymes which dissolve proteins), had no effect on the yellow body image fibres of the Shroud.
• Extreme superficiality. The body image colouration does not appear under the crossing threads of the weave, nor penetrate the cloth, but is only one fibre deep into the thread. Again, if a paint, dye, pigment, or any other type of liquid painting medium was used to create the man's image on the Shroud, it would have soaked into the threads and the image could not remain only on the topmost fibres of the latter. The same also applies to powder pigments (see below).
• Uniform colour. All image fibres have a uniform straw yellow colouration, provided by the relative number of uniformly coloured fibres per unit area, that is, it is an areal density image [see "Colour #12"], not a pigment concentration gradient as in a painting, where an artist varies the concentration of an applied pigment to create variations in colour. And because each fibre is about half the diameter of a human hair (see above) and has been individually encoded with colour (with a precision of 1 thousandth of a millimetre - see above), a painter would need to use a microscope, several centuries before the instrument was invented. He would also have had to use a paintbrush with a single bristle less than 15 microns wide when the finest brush hair is vast by comparison, and would have required the skill and time to paint each fibre separately and with the same intensity. Nor can this uniformity of colour be achieved by applying powdered pigment to a cloth laid over a bas-relief or statue, and in fact experiments have shown that a uniform intensity of powder cannot be achieved on even one fibre! That is, if the uniform straw yellow image colour was paint or powder, which it is not (see next).
• Colour is dehydrative oxidation of cellulose. The image was produced by a dehydrative oxidative process of the cellulose structure of the linen to yield a conjugated carbonyl group as the chromophore. This is similar to the way linen is discolored when scorched by a hot iron, but a heat scorch would have discoloured all the way through the thickness of the cloth, as did the 1532 fire (see next).
• Colour unaffected by heat. There is no evidence of any colour change of the image closest to the burn marks of the 1532 fire from those image areas farthest away. This would not be so if the body image was an organic pigment, as artists' pigments usually were in the Middle Ages, or iron oxide. Especially since the burns were caused by a drop of molten silver from the Shroud's casket burning through a corner of the folded Shroud inside and silver melts at about 1800°F (~980°C).
• Colour unaffected by water. While the waterstains from the water used to extinguish the 1532 fire show chromatographic diffusion of material to the edges, the body images within the waterstains show no change in colour, indicating there are no water soluble pigments, again as artists' pigments usually were in the Middle Ages, stains, or applied powdered materials comprise the image.
• Paint on the Shroud does not account for image. There are artists' pigments on the Shroud but not in sufficient amounts and in the appropriate locations, to account for the image, and are the result of painted copies of the Shroud having been laid over it to `sanctify' them.
• Not a painting. STURP found in 1978, and its aftermath, that image of the man on the Shroud is not a painting. Not only were no pigment particles found on the cloth which constitute the man's image (see above), there was no evidence of brush strokes. And as we saw above, had the man's image been painted, the paint would have saturated through the cloth. Moreover, the painter would have needed a paintbrush less than the size of a linen fibre, which in turn is less than half the width of a human hair (see above)!
• Not a powdered bas-relief or statue. That there is no powder on the Shroud which accounts for the man's image (see above), applies to powdered pigment as proposed by Joe Nickell in his dry powder bas-relief theory. If the body-image was made by daubing a powdered pigment on the wet Shroud, moulded over a bas-relief, residues of that pigment would remain. And not only on the topmost fibres but the pigment dust would have become lodged between the linen threads and discoloured fibres throughout the weave. But that Nickell now argues for what he calls "the rubbing hypothesis" shows that even he no longer believes that the Shroud is a painting!
• Conclusion. Thus the chemical investigations are in complete agreement with forensic and image studies which found that the body images are not composed of applied pigments, stains, or dyes, and so do not result from the application of any pigments, stains, dyes, dry powders, or hot surfaces to the cloth.
Problems for the forgery theory. (see first and previous three: #12, #13 & #14).
• Bishop d'Arcis' "cunningly painted" claim was wrong. For over 70 years the anti-authenticist case had rested on an unsigned, undated, unaddressed, draft memorandum of a Bishop of Troyes, Pierre d'Arcis (†1377-1395). A transcript of the memorandum was published in 1899 by a French anti-authenticist church historian Canon Ulysse Chevalier (1841–1923), who dishonestly combined two documents and attached a date of 1389 and an address to the Avignon Pope Clement VII (1342-94), to the new combined document. However there is no evidence in either the Troyes' or the Papal archives that the memorandum was ever sent. However Pope Clement did reply, enjoining "perpetual silence" upon Bishop d'Arcis about this matter, so it is likely that d'Arcis conveyed his complaint verbally, along the lines of the memorandum, to the Papal Nuncio Cardinal de Thury.
Canon Chevalier's attack on the authenticity of the Shroud was taken up in England by Fr. Herbert Thurston (1856–1939) who translated Bishop d'Arcis memorandum from the Latin and published it in the the Jesuit journal The Month. D'Arcis claimed that the Shroud currently being exhibited at Lirey church in c. 1389, and which had been previously exhibited at that church in c. 1355 (see next), had been "cunningly painted" (my emphasis):
"The case, Holy Father, stands thus. Some time since in this diocese of Troyes the Dean of a certain collegiate church., to wit, that of Lirey, falsely and deceitfully, being consumed with the passion of avarice, and not from any motive of devotion but only of gain, procured for his church a certain cloth cunningly painted, upon which by a clever sleight of hand was depicted the twofold image of one man, that is to say, the back and front, he falsely declaring and pretending that this was the actual shroud in which our Saviour Jesus Christ was enfolded in the tomb, and upon which the whole likeness of the Saviour had remained thus impressed together with the wounds which He bore."D'Arcis further claimed that one of his predecessors, Bishop Henri de Poitiers (†1354–1370) had about "thirty-four years" previously (i.e. in c. 1355) "after diligent inquiry and examination he discovered ... how the said cloth had been cunningly painted" having obtained this from "the artist who had painted it" (my emphasis):
"The Lord Henry of Poitiers, of pious memory, then Bishop of Troyes, becoming aware of this, and urged by many prudent persons to take action, as indeed was his duty in the exercise of his ordinary jurisdiction, set himself earnestly to work to fathom the truth of this matter. ... Eventually, after diligent inquiry and examination, he discovered the fraud and how the said cloth had been cunningly painted, the truth being attested by the artist who had painted it, to wit, that it was a work of human skill and not miraculously wrought or bestowed. Accordingly ... he began to institute formal proceedings against the said Dean and his accomplices in order to root out this false persuasion. They, seeing their wickedness discovered, hid away the said cloth so that the Ordinary could not find it, and they kept it hidden afterwards for thirty-four years or thereabouts down to the present year."Further problems with d'Arcis' memorandum include: • Hearsay. It is mere hearsay in that d'Arcis simply asserts with no evidence that his now deceased predecessor Bishop de Poitiers, extracted from an artist a confession that he had painted the man's image on the Shroud. • Unnamed artist. D'Arcis does not provide the alleged forger's name, which means that he did not know it, despite the alleged forger's confession having been only ~34 years before in ~1355, which was well within living memory. • Unknown date. D'arcis' "thirty-four years or thereabouts" shows that he, who had been a lawyer, did not know the date of this alleged artist's confession, which means that he had no documentary evidence of it. • No inquiry. There is no evidence that Bishop de Poitiers conducted an inquiry into the alleged painting of the Shroud. • No problem. Nor is there any evidence that de Poitiers had a problem with the ~1355 exhibition of the Shroud at Lirey church. Indeed in 1356 de Poitiers wrote a letter praising and ratifying the "cult" (which presumably means the Shroud) at the Lirey church. And Geoffroy II de Charny (c. 1352-98), the son of Geoffroy I de Charny (c. 1300–1389) who had exhibited the Shroud at Lirey in c.1355, married Marguerite de Poitiers (c. 1362–1418), who was Bishop de Poitiers' niece. Although their marriage in c. 1392 was after Bishop de Poitiers' death in 1370, it is most unlikely that permission would have been granted by the de Poitiers' family for Marguerite to marry into the de Charny family, if Bishop de Poitiers had found the de Charny family had been been involved in a "fraud" of such "wickedness" as claimed by d'Arcis. Moreover, that the de Charny and de Poitiers families continued to be on very good terms is shown by the fact that Geoffroy II's daughter, Marguerite de Charny (c. 1392–1460), left her Lirey lands to her godson, Antoine-Guerry des Essars (c. 1408-74), who was the son of Guillemette de Poitiers (1370–1450), who in turn was one of four illegitimate children of Bishop de Poitiers and his nun concubine, Jeanne de Chenery (1340–). This would be best explained if when Geoffroy II de Charny died in 1398, his widow Marguerite de Poitiers and their three young daughters, Marguerite de Charny (age ~6), Henriette de Charny (age ~3) and Jeanne de Charny (age ~1) went to live with Bishop de Poitiers' widow Jeanne de Chenery and their daughter Guillemette de Poitiers!Not painted. The final problem with Bishop d'Arcis' claim in his ~1389 memorandum that the Shroud man's image was "cunningly painted," is, as we saw above, it was not painted. So Bishop d'Arcis was wrong, either through him having been misinformed at best or lying at worst. This is a mortal wound to the entire forgery theory.
As leading anti-authenticist Walter McCrone (1916-2002) pointed out, painting the Shroud man's image "... is certainly the simplest and probably the only way" that it could have been done by a medieval forger:
"I realize that there are still, perhaps, a majority of people convinced by the carbon-dating that the `Shroud' is medieval, who are still looking for an answer as to how the `Shroud' was produced. Many mechanisms have already been proposed. Some say it was draped wet over a bas-relief to which it was shaped then dabbed with powder or a paint. Some say a painting was prepared and transferred to a cloth in contact with it by pressure. However, I see no reason to doubt that an artist ... simply took up his brush and a dilute red ochre watercolor paint based on scraps of parchment as the vehicle and proceeded to paint the `Shroud.' Why go to all the work of preparing a statue or bas-relief or making a transfer of the image from a primary artist's rendering? A direct approach to painting a dilute watercolor image on a canvas of the proper size is a common sense assumption; Occam's Razor applies here ... It is certainly the simplest and probably the only way an undistorted original image could be prepared. If an artist (read sculptor) has to first prepare a statue or bas-relief then decorate it he will have to be more skilled, go to more trouble and stand in greater risk of distorting the final image than if he decided, by careful study, the image he wanted to produce then proceeded to paint it on a flat canvas with materials, and, by a method, readily available to him in the 1350s. The artist requires only a dilute watercolor paint, a paint brush, canvas and the talent and skill to produce a `Shroud.'"But as mentioned above, McCrone's fellow leading Shroud sceptic, Joe Nickell, had since been forced by the evidence to abandon the painting theory:
"While we should never underestimate what an unknown, skillful artist might be capable of - and so cannot conclusively rule out freehand painting - we must add that convincing evidence for any painting medium (that is, oil, egg tempera, etc.) on shroud image fibers is lacking ... Even at 40X magnification there are no obvious encrustations and no apparent cementing between threads nor any consistent and confirmed coating of fibers to indicate the presence of a painting medium ... The superficiality of the stain - extending `only 2 or 3 fibers deep into the thread structure' - is another strong argument against painting. A fluid medium (for example, paint, dye, ink) would be expected, by capillary action, to penetrate much farther - to the depth of a full thread, or even to the reverse of the cloth. Finally, tests at several laboratories failed to detect the presence of any foreign organic substance in `body' image areas.".So McCrone and Nickell are both right. McCrone was right that painting was "the only way" that a medieval artist would have forged the Shroud. And Nickell was right that the Shroud image was not painted. Therefore both are also wrong: the Shroud man's image was not forged by a medieval artist!
1. This post is copyright. Permission is granted to quote from any part of this post (but not the whole post), provided it includes a reference citing my name, its subject heading, its date, and a hyperlink back to this post. [return]
2. Habermas, G.R., 1984, "Turin, Shroud of ," in Elwell, W.A., ed., 1990, "Evangelical Dictionary of Theology," Baker Book House: Grand Rapids MI., Seventh printing, p.1115. [return]
3. Moran, K.E., 1999, "Optically Terminated Image Pixels Observed on Frei 1978 Samples," Shroud.com, pp.1-10, 8. [return]
4. Adler, A.D., 2000c, "Chemical and Physical Aspects of the Sindonic Images," in Adler, A.D. & Crispino, D., ed., 2002, "The Orphaned Manuscript: A Gathering of Publications on the Shroud of Turin," Effatà Editrice: Cantalupa, Italy, pp.11-27, 15. [return]
5. Heller, J.H., 1983, "Report on the Shroud of Turin," Houghton Mifflin Co: Boston MA, p.198; Iannone, J.C., 1998, "The Mystery of the Shroud of Turin: New Scientific Evidence," St Pauls: Staten Island NY, pp.156, 178; Tribbe, F.C., 2006, "Portrait of Jesus: The Illustrated Story of the Shroud of Turin," , Paragon House Publishers: St. Paul MN, Second edition, p.152. [return]
6. Antonacci, M., 2000, "Resurrection of the Shroud: New Scientific, Medical, and Archeological Evidence," M. Evans & Co: New York NY, p.73. [return]
7. Lavoie, G.R., 2000, "Resurrected: Tangible Evidence That Jesus Rose from the Dead," , Thomas More: Allen TX, p.58. [return]
8. Schwalbe, L.A. & Rogers, R.N., 1982, "Physics and Chemistry of the Shroud of Turin: Summary of the 1978 Investigation," Reprinted from Analytica Chimica Acta, Vol. 135, No. 1, 1982, pp.3-49, 10; Adler, 2000c, p.15. [return]
9. Jackson, J.P., "An Unconventional Hypothesis to Explain all Image Characteristics Found on the Shroud Image," in Berard, A., ed., 1991, "History, Science, Theology and the Shroud," Symposium Proceedings, St. Louis Missouri, June 22-23, 1991, The Man in the Shroud Committee of Amarillo, Texas: Amarillo TX, pp.325-344, 332. [return]
10. Antonacci, 2000, p.36. [return]
11. Brent, P. & Rolfe, D., 1978, "The Silent Witness: The Mysteries of the Turin Shroud Revealed," Futura Publications: London, p.43. [return]
12. Meacham, W., 1983, "The Authentication of the Turin Shroud: An Issue in Archaeological Epistemology," Current Anthropology, Vol. 24, No. 3, June, pp.283-311, 288. [return]
13. Schwalbe & Rogers, 1982, p.10; Adler, 2000c, p.15. [return]
14. "Capillary action," Wikipedia, 13 July 2016. [return]
15. Adler, A.D., 2000a, "The Shroud Fabric and the Body Image: Chemical and Physical Characteristics," in Adler & Crispino, 2002, pp.113-127, 113; Adler, A.D., 2000b, "Chemical and Physical Characteristics of the Bloodstains," in Adler & Crispino, 2002, pp.129-138, 129. [return]
16. Heller, 1983, p.113. [return]
17. Heller, 1983, pp.86, 151. [return]
18. Nickell, J., 1987, "Inquest on the Shroud of Turin," , Prometheus Books: Buffalo NY, Revised, Reprinted, 2000, p.100. [return]
19. Adler, 2000c, p.22. [return]
20. Ibid. [return]
21. Adler, 2000c, p.15. [return]
22. Heller, 1983, p.85. [return]
23. Wilson, 1986, "The Evidence of the Shroud," Guild Publishing: London, p.95. [return]
24. Heller, J.H. & Adler, A.D., 1981, "A Chemical Investigation of the Shroud of Turin," in Adler & Crispino, 2002, pp.34-57, 40-41; Adler, 2000c, p.22; Adler, 2000a, p.113. [return]
25. Adler, 2000c, p.15. [return]
26. Ibid. [return]
27. Ibid. [return]
28. Antonacci, 2000, p.36. [return]
29. Adler, 2000c, p.15. [return]
30. Antonacci, 2000, p.36. [return]
31. Heller, 1983, p.202. [return]
32. Antonacci, 2000, pp.36-37. [return]
33. Antonacci, 2000, p.74. [return]
34. Heller & Adler, 1981, p.35. [return]
35. Jackson, 1991, p.332. [return]
36. Antonacci, 2000, p.48. [return]
37. Case, T.W., 1996, "The Shroud of Turin and the C-14 Dating Fiasco," White Horse Press: Cincinnati OH, p.46; de Wesselow, T., 2012, "The Sign: The Shroud of Turin and the Secret of the Resurrection," Viking: London, p.136. [return]
38. Brent & Rolfe, 1978, p.72. [return]
39. Adler, 2000c, p.16. [return]
40. Gove, H.E., 1996, "Relic, Icon or Hoax?: Carbon Dating the Turin Shroud," Institute of Physics Publishing: Bristol UK, pp.1-2. [return]
41. Gove, 1996, p.2. [return]
42. de Wesselow, 2012, p.136. [return]
43. Brent & Rolfe, 1978, p.72. [return]
44. Adler, 2000c, p.16. [return]
45. Heller & Adler, 1981, p.44. [return]
46. Adler, in Case, 1996, p.53; Adler, 2000c, p.20. [return]
47. Danin, A., Whanger, A.D., Baruch, U. & Whanger, M., 1999, "Flora of the Shroud of Turin," Missouri Botanical Garden Press: St. Louis MO, p.8. [return]
48. Guerrera, V., 2001, "The Shroud of Turin: A Case for Authenticity," TAN: Rockford IL, p.71. [return]
49. Guerrera, 2001, p.71. [return]
50. Ibid. [return]
51. Antonacci, 2000, p.73. [return]
52. Nickell, 1987, pp.101-106. [return]
53. de Wesselow, 2012, p.138. [return]
54. Ibid. [return]
55. Nickell, 1987, pp.103-105. [return]
56. Drews, R., 1984, "In Search of the Shroud of Turin: New Light on its History and Origins," Rowman & Littlefield: Lanham MD, pp.16-17. [return]
57. Adler, 2000c, p.20. [return]
58. Heller & Adler, 1981, p.35. [return]
59. Adler, 2000c, p.25. [return]
60. Drews, 1984, pp.23-24. [return]
61. 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.121; Antonacci, 2000, p.152; Tribbe, 2006, p.45. [return]
62. Wilson, 1998, p.121; Antonacci, 2000, p.152; Guerrera, 2001, p.15. [return]
63. Antonacci, 2000, p.152. [return]
64. Wilson, 1998, p.121; Antonacci, 2000, p.152; Guerrera, 2001, p.15. [return]
65. Drews, 1984, p.3. [return]
66. "Ulysse Chevalier," Wikipedia, 2 February 2016. [return]
67. Antonacci, 2000, pp.152-153. [return]
68. Antonacci, 2000, pp.151-152 [return]
69. Antonacci, 2000, p.152; Guerrera, 2001, p.15; Tribbe, 2006, p.45. [return]
70. de Wesselow, 2012, p.183. [return]
71. Currer-Briggs, N., 1988, "The Shroud and the Grail: A Modern Quest for the True Grail," St. Martin's Press: New York NY, p.41. [return]
72. Thurston, H., 1903, "The Holy Shroud and the Verdict of History," The Month, CI, pp.17-29. [return]
73. Wilson, I., 1979, "The Shroud of Turin: The Burial Cloth of Jesus Christ?," , Image Books: New York NY, Revised edition, pp.266-267. [return]
74. Wilson, 1979, p.267. [return]
75. Scavone, D.C., 1989, "The Shroud of Turin: Opposing Viewpoints," Greenhaven Press: San Diego CA, pp.15, 19; Antonacci, 2000, p.152; de Wesselow, 2012, p.182. [return]
76. Bulst, W., 1957, "The Shroud of Turin," McKenna, S. & Galvin, J.J., transl., Bruce Publishing Co: Milwaukee WI, p.11; Antonacci, 2000, pp.151-152. [return]
77. Guerrera, 2001, p.15 [return]
78. Bulst, 1957, p.11; Wilson, 1986, p.11; Wilson, 1998, p.121; Wilson, I., 2010, "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, p.231. [return]
79. Wilson, 1998, p.128. [return]
80. Bulst, 1957, p.11; Wilson, 1998, pp.121, 128. [return]
81. Antonacci, 2000, p.152. [return]
82. Reference(s) to be provided. [return]
83. Wilson, 1998, p.278; Antonacci, 2000, p.152; Guerrera, 2001, pp.11, 14; Oxley, M., 2010, "The Challenge of the Shroud: History, Science and the Shroud of Turin," AuthorHouse: Milton Keynes UK, p.50. [return]
84. Currer-Briggs, 1988, pp.35, 37. [return]
85. Antonacci, 2000, p.302. [return]
86. Antonacci, 2000, p.302. [return]
87. Wilson, 1998, p.283. [return]
88. Jones, S.E., 2015, "de Charny Family Tree," Ancestry.com.au (members only). [return]
89. Wilson, 1998, p.130. [return]
90. Drews, 1984, p.26; Tribbe, 2006, p.45. [return]
91. Antonacci, 2000, p.153. [return]
92. McCrone, W.C., 1999, "Judgment Day for the Shroud of Turin," Prometheus Books: Amherst NY, pp.122-123. [return]
93. Nickell, 1987, pp.99-100. Footnotes omitted. [return]
Posted: 11 July 2016. Updated: 29 October 2016.