Friday, March 3, 2023

How was the Image Formed? (1) Turin Shroud Encyclopedia

Turin Shroud Encyclopedia
Copyright © Stephen E. Jones

This is "How was the Image Formed? (1)" part #23 of my Turin Shroud Encyclopedia. This will help me write chapter "17. How was the Image Formed?" of my book, "The Shroud of Turin: The Burial Sheet of Jesus!" See 06Jul17, 03Jun18, 04Apr22, 13Jul22 & 8 Nov 22.

[Index #1] [Previous: Herbert Thurston #22] [Next: John Calvin #24]

Explanations and replications There are theoretical explanations of how the Shroudman's image was formed and there are claimed replications of the Shroud and its image by Shroud sceptics. As the latter are more significant, I will only consider them here.

[Right (enlarge): Full-length image of the Shroud after the 2002 restoration[HR14].]

Major features Any claimed replication of the Shroud must include all of its major features[JP88, 11]. Claimed replications of the Shroud which do not include each and every major feature of the Shroud, are a type of `straw man' fallacy. That is, they present a replication of the Shroud which does not contain all the Shroud's major features, and then claim that they have replicated the Shroud! Major features of the Shroud include: 1) Double body length[WI79, 21; AF82, 26; WI10, 184]. 2) Faint[WI79, 21; AF82, 5; AM00, 37]. 3) Negative[SH81, 67; BM95, 19; AM00, 34-35]; 4) Three-dimensional[SH81, 67; AF82, 93-94; CJ84, 53; AM00, 38-39]; 5) Non-directional[SH81, 67; CJ84, 53; CT96, 26]; 6) Superficial[SH81, 66; CJ84, 53; PM96, 217; AA99, 105; AA0a, 116; OM10, 238]; 7) Uniform straw-yellow colour[AA99, 105; AA0a, 116; AA0c, 15]; 8) No paint, pigment or dye[SH81, 67; CJ84, 53; RC99, 71; GV01, 71]; 9) Blood is human[BZ98, 20-22; RC99, 95, 100; AM00, 25; GV01, 49]; and 10) Blood was before image[HJ83, 203; GV01, 71; DT12, 104]. See my "The man on the Shroud #8." These will be explained as we consider each claimed replication.

Spoiler alert! "The basic fact remains: neither Joe Nickell nor any other artist or forger has ever created an image showing all the characteristics of the image of the man of the Shroud"[SH81, 109]; "Yet none of the proposed mechanisms ... can replicate all the unique characteristics of both the body images and blood marks on the Shroud ... none even comes close"[AM00, 60-61].

Admissions of failure Each new claimed replication of the Shroud by sceptics is a tacit admission that all previous claimed replications of the Shroud by sceptics had failed!

No consensus What Ian Wilson wrote in 1998, ~25 years ago, is still true today:

"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."[WI98, 235]
Painted Chicago microscopist Walter McCrone (1916-2002) correctly pointed out that a medieval forger would have painted 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 ..."[MW99, 124].
So McCrone commissioned a professional artist, Walter Sanford

[Above (enlarge): Negative of Sanford's painted Shroud face (left) compared with the Shroud face (right)[WS00, 120-121]. As can be seen, Sanford's negative lacks the photographic realism of the Shroud's.]

(1912-87), to paint the Shroud face, using medieval pigments[WI98, 196]. Yet even though Sanford had a photograph of the Shroud before him and only had to copy the Shroud face[WS00, 120], his finished result was "nowhere near as impressive as the Shroud," according to Shroud sceptic Lynn Picknett (1947-)[PP06, 77]. McCrone himself conceded before a 1980 meeting of the British Society for the Turin Shroud (BSTS) that Sanford's attempt to replicate only the Shroud face had failed[NJ87, 99, 173. n.16]. McCrone's reason why Sanford had failed, because an artist would "have to think in terms of what would a body under a cloth ... register"[NJ87, 99] would apply even more to a medieval artist who didn't know about photographic negativity and didn't have the Shroud to copy! McCrone told the meeting, "I'm sorry I got into this part of the controversy, and I wish that I had stuck to my microscope[NJ87, 99]! McCrone subsequently "quietly downgraded his references to" Sanford's `replication' of the Shroud face[WI98, 196]. In his 1999 book, Judgement Day for the Turin Shroud, while McCrone has a photograph of Sanford's painted Shroud face[MW99, 149], he tellingly omitted a negative photograph of it (which Wilson and Schwortz provided above)! So McCrone's painted replication of the Shroud fails because: 1) Double body length. It is face-only. It does not follow that a method which can replicate the Shroud face (and McCrone's replication didn't even do that) could replicate the double full-length Shroud. For one, there are more than a hundred scourge wounds on the man's back, chest and legs, each with blood serum retraction halos[SH90, 85; RC99, 42; AM00, 27-28; WS00, 56; WI10, 45-46; DT12, 122] and to date, no one has even attempted to paint those! 3) Negative. It's negative lacks the Shroud's realism (above). 4) Three-dimensional. McCrone's flat painted replication, was not three-dimensional[PP06, 77] 5) Non-directional. Being painted, McCrone's replication would show direcional brushstrokes. 6) Superficial. Sanford's paint would not have remained on the topmost fibrils as the Shroud image does, but would have soaked through the cloth. 7) Uniform straw-yellow colour The Shroud image is a uniform straw-yellow but Sanford's red ochre painting is redder than the Shroud's image[WS00, 120]. 8) No paint, pigment or dye is on the Shroud, but paint would be on Sanford's shroud. 9) Blood is human and 10) Blood was before image. Sanford painted the blood after he had painted the image[MW99, 124; WI98, 196; WS00, 120]. So McCrone's painted replication of the Shroud fails in all but one of the Shroud's 10 major features! There actually are more - see again my "The man on the Shroud #8." Only one major feature, 2) Faint in one of the photos of Sanford's paintings on page 149 of McCrone's book apparently passes! But as McCrone pointed out above a medieval forger would have painted the Shroud. So the abject failure of McCrone's painted replication is, in effect, the failure of the forgery theory!

Powder rubbing Joe Nickell (1944-), a former stage magician [AM00, 73; GV01, 76; NJW], whose PhD is in English[NJW], experimented with replicating the Shroud image by rubbing powdered pigments on a wet

[Left (enlarge). Negative photograph of a powder rubbing of the Shroud face by Nickell using an iron oxide pigment[NJ15]. Sceptic Lynn Picknett (see above ) had included "Nickell's results" in with Sanford's, as "although more recognizable in negative-are nowhere near as impressive as the Shroud"[PP06, 77]!]

linen cloth placed over a bas-relief[NJ87, 102; AM00, 73], while impressing all the relief's features onto the cloth[AM00, 73; JNW]. After the cloth dried, he used a cotton dauber covered with cloth to rub powdered pigment onto the impressions left on the linen[AM00, 73]. Art historian Thomas de Wesselow pointed out that "Nickell implies an art-historical episode so bizarre, speculative, impractical and anachronistic that it is quite unbelievable"[DT12, 139]. Nickell's powdered pigment replication of the Shroud fails because: 1) Double body length. It is face-only (see above). Nickell needed to show that his powdered rubbing method can replicate the full-length Shroud image, front and back. In particular, Nickell would need to explain how his method could depict the Shroud's fine details[invented c. 1609) and in ultraviolet light (discovered 1801)[AM00, 76]. Indeed, modern sceptics like McCrone and Nickell who don't go to the trouble to replicate the entire full-length, double image, front and back, Shroud, but the face only, are refuting their own theory because they are showing that that is what a medieval forger would have done[DT12, 138]! 2) Faint Nickell claims "the rubbing technique can produce images which are quite faint"[NJ87, 103] but he doesn't say "as faint as the Shroud"! Nickell has in his 1987 book a black-and-white positive photograph and its

[Above (enlarge)[NJ87, pl. 6]: Black-and-white positive photograph (left) of powdered myrrh and aloes "rubbed on with a cloth-over-cotton dauber," and its negative (right). As can be seen, even though it isn't in colour, the positive would not be faint. I printed in grayscale a positive of the Shroud face and it was much fainter than Nickell's positive above.]

negative, of a myrrh and aloes powdered rubbing over a bas relief (above) and it is not faint. And presumbly the positive of an iron oxide powder rubbing would be even less faint, otherwise Nickell would have shown that in his book! 3) Negative. Nickell's negative of an iron oxide powder rubbing (above), like McCrone's, lacks the photographic realism of the Shroud. 4) Three-dimensional. STURP found that under a VP-8 Image Analyzer Nickell's shroud face is not truly three-dimensional[SH81, 108; RC99, 79; AM00, 73; OM10, 253] and is distorted[RC99, 79; SH90, 31; TF06, 181]. 5) Non-directional. Nickell claims his powdered rubbing images are "`directionless' (that is, without brush marks)"[NJ87, 102]. But he must know from the very word "directionless that what is meant is no direction at all, by any means [see "Non-directional #17"]. The Shroudman's image is random with no evidence of a directional pattern[BM95, 22; AA0a, 116; AA0c, 18]. Not up and down nor side to side[AM00, 38]. Any method by which colouring medium was added to the cloth by hand would be directional[SH81, 122]. So the application of powdered pigment would be directional[SH81, 108]. Nickell himself wrote: "using a dauber, I rubbed on powdered pigment"[NJ87, 102]. Nickell is deceiving himself if he thinks that rubbing with a cloth dauber is "directionless"! 6) Superficial. Nickell claimed that his powder "rubbing technique ... yields images that are superficial (remain on the topmost fibers)"[NJ87, 102; OM10, 253]. But this is self-evidently false as the powder particles which are smaller than the gaps between the Shroud's weave would not have stayed on the surface fibres, but would have fallen through those gaps, and larger particles would have become lodged between the threads, discolouring them throughout the weave[DT12, 138]. STURP tested Nickell's powder rubbing method and found that powder particles fell through the weave of the cloth and accumulated on the reverse side[AM00, 74; GV01, 77; OM10, 253]. 7) Uniform straw-yellow colour A uniform application of powder, resulting in a uniform image, has been shown to be unachiev-able[RC99, 136; OM10, 253]. 8) No paint, pigment or dye Nickell's image would consist of powdered pigment, but he later accepted STURP's finding that there was no build up of pigment particles in the image area[SH81, 107] and there isn't enough iron oxide on the Shroud to account for its image[DT12, 137]. So Nickell now claims that all the powdered pigment had fallen off the cloth and that the image is a `ghost' of the vanished iron oxide having dehydrated and oxidized the underlying cellulose[BM95, 44; DT12, 137-138]! But residues of powdered iron oxide pigment would remain on the cloth if they had been there originally[SH81, 122; DT12, 138]. And Nickell hasn't explained how iron oxide powder could have dehydrated and oxidized the underlying cellulose of the Shroud's linen. Iron oxide as red ochre has been used in Egypt since at least 1800 BC to colour red on linen[GC22], and obviously it wouldn't have been so

[Right (enlarge[GC22]): Linen coloured red with iron oxide (red ochre) from the tomb of Tuthmosis IV (c. 1400-1390 BC).]

used if it all fell off those linen cloths after it had dehydrated and oxidised them! 9) Blood is human. Nickell simply denies STURP's findings that the blood is real, human blood [see "Real human blood #23"] and claims the blood was paint applied after the image[AM00, 76; DT12, 137]. But, for starters, paint cannot account for the serum halos surrounding the edges of the hundreds of bloodstains on the Shroud[AM00, 76]. Nickell's painted `blood' is not realistic and does not have the correct shape or appearance of actual wounds that have formed and bled on human skin[AM00, 76]. 10) Blood was before image It would be impossible to apply the `blood' paint first to the cloth over a bas relief and then rub powdered pigment around it! So Nickell's powder rubbing replication of the Shroud fails to replicate all ten of the Shroud's major features!

Other problems with Nickell's powder rubbing method include: • There is no evidence in the Shroud cloth of tensions that would have resulted from it having been moulded wet over a bas-relief[OM10, 253]. • There are no medieval powdered rubbings on bas-reliefs[SH81, 122; SH90, 31-32; OM10, 253].]. Brass rubbing only began in 17th century Holland[BR83]. • The bas-relief that Nickell's rubbing was based on would itself be a major work of art[SH81, 108-109; DT12, 137]. So where is it[SH81, 108]? And after the forger had made his double body length, front and back, bas relief, he could have produced many shrouds identical to the Shroud[SH81, 108; DT12, 139], as Nickell admits[NJ87, 106]. So where are they? Why is there only one Shroud?

1. This post is copyright. I grant permission to extract or quote from any part of it (but not the whole post), provided the extract or quote includes a reference citing my name, its title, its date, and a hyperlink back to this page. [return]

AF82. Adams, F.O., 1982, "Sindon: A Layman's Guide to the Shroud of Turin," Synergy Books: Tempe AZ, 26.
AA99. Adler, A.D., 1999, "The Nature of the Body Images on the Shroud of Turin," in AC02, 103-112.
AA0a. Adler, A.D., 2000a, "The Shroud Fabric and the Body Image: Chemical and Physical Characteristics," in AC02, 113-127.
AA0c. Adler, A.D., 2000c, "Chemical and Physical Aspects of the Sindonic Images," in AC02, 10-27.
AC02. Adler, A.D. & Crispino, D., ed., 2002, "The Orphaned Manuscript: A Gathering of Publications on the Shroud of Turin," Effatà Editrice: Cantalupa, Italy.
AM00. Antonacci, M., 2000, "The Resurrection of the Shroud: New Scientific, Medical, and Archeological Evidence," M. Evans & Co: New York NY.
BA91. 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.
BR83. "Brass Rubbing: Historic Craft Revived," The New York Times, 29 December, 1983.
BZ98. Baima-Bollone, P. & Zaca, S., 1998, "The Shroud Under the Microscope: Forensic Examination," Neame, A., transl., St Pauls: London.
CJ84. Cruz, J.C., 1984, "Relics: The Shroud of Turin, the True Cross, the Blood of Januarius. ..: History, Mysticism, and the Catholic Church," Our Sunday Visitor: Huntington IN, 52-53.
CT96. Case, T.W., 1996, "The Shroud of Turin and the C-14 Dating Fiasco," White Horse Press: Cincinnati OH.
DT12. de Wesselow, T., 2012, "The Sign: The Shroud of Turin and the Secret of the Resurrection," Viking: London,
GC22.Graves-Brown, C., 2022, "Red cloth to protect the living and dead," Egypt Centre, Swansea [Wales], 10 February.
GV01. Guerrera, V., 2001, "The Shroud of Turin: A Case for Authenticity," TAN: Rockford IL
HJ83. Heller, J.H., 1983, "Report on the Shroud of Turin," Houghton Mifflin Co: Boston MA.
HR14. "High Resolution Imagery: Image of Full 2002 Restored Shroud," Shroud University, Peachtree City GA, 2014.
JNW. "Joe Nickell," Wikipedia, 8 February 2023.
JP88. Jackson, J.P., 1988, "The radiocarbon date and how the image was formed on the Shroud," Shroud Spectrum International, No. 28/29, September/December, 2-12.
MW99. McCrone, W.C., 1999, "Judgment Day for the Shroud of Turin," Prometheus Books: Amherst NY.
NJ87. Nickell, J., 1987, "Inquest on the Shroud of Turin," Prometheus Books: Buffalo NY, Revised, Reprinted, 2000.
NJ15. Nickell, J., 2015, "Fake Turin Shroud Deceives National Geographic Author," Skeptical Inquirer, 23 April.
NJW. "Joe Nickell," Wikipedia, 18 March 2023.
OM10. Oxley, M., 2010, "The Challenge of the Shroud: History, Science and the Shroud of Turin," AuthorHouse: Milton Keynes UK.
PM96. Petrosillo, O. & Marinelli, E., 1996, "The Enigma of the Shroud: A Challenge to Science," Scerri, L.J., transl., Publishers Enterprises Group: Malta.
PP06. Picknett, L. & Prince, C., 2006, "The Turin Shroud: How Da Vinci Fooled History," [1994], Touchstone: New York NY, Second edition, Reprinted, 2007.
RC99. Ruffin, C.B., 1999, "The Shroud of Turin: The Most Up-To-Date Analysis of All the Facts Regarding the Church's Controversial Relic," Our Sunday Visitor: Huntington IN.
SH90. Stevenson, K.E. & Habermas, G.R., 1981, "Verdict on the Shroud: Evidence for the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ," Servant Books: Ann Arbor MI.
SH81. Stevenson, K.E. & Habermas, G.R., 1990, "The Shroud and the Controversy," Thomas Nelson Publishers: Nashville TN.
TF06 . Tribbe, F.C., 2006, "Portrait of Jesus: The Illustrated Story of the Shroud of Turin," Paragon House Publishers: St. Paul MN, Second edition.
WI10. Wilson, I., 2010, "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London.
WI79. Wilson, I., 1979, "The Shroud of Turin: The Burial Cloth of Jesus?," [1978], Image Books: New York NY, Revised edition.
WI98. Wilson, I., 1998, "The Blood and the Shroud: New Evidence that the World's Most Sacred Relic is Real," Simon & Schuster: New York NY.
WI10. Wilson, I., 2010, "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London.
WS00. Wilson, I. & Schwortz, B., 2000, "The Turin Shroud: The Illustrated Evidence," Michael O'Mara Books: London.

Posted 3 March 2023. Updated 8 May 2023.

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