Image Formation Theories
Shrouded in Deceit – Leonardo's Last Laugh
Copyright © 2005 by Kenneth Humphreys.
Presented with permission
Composite Photograph of the shroud
After 500 years we can at last spot the flaws in Leonardo's 15th
Greater contrast of negative image reveals
Anomalies resulting from projection of three images:
- A giant figure – 6'8" at front, 6'10" at back!
- Head too small for body – and displaced upwards! (projection
of head added separately)
- Face unnaturally thin; forehead and sides of face
foreshortened, ears lost
- Right arm/hand too long (double exposure of fingers)
- Light circle on nose (effect of lens, centred on the face)
- Back of head wider than front of head
- Image area oxidized and dehydrated (result of using heat to
burn chemical image into cloth. Chemical solution then washed off)
- Hair hanging vertically, added later (on a shrouded,
horizontal body hair would have fallen towards back of head)
- Composed expression – odd for a torture victim!
- No loin cloth but naked, with hands over genitals (sensitive
to intended audience – or a cryptic joke?
- 'Flowing blood stains' from a corpse? (added in separate
Positive image of the Shroud – as seen by the
The Shroud is a biscuit coloured cloth 4.4 m by 1.9 m. The large
marks are the result of a fire which burned the (folded) cloth and
its subsequent repair, in 1532.
Carbon Dating of the Cloth
Such hullabaloo greeted the early identification of pollen ("as
found in the Holy Land") in 1973 – yet carbon dating in 1988 at
three different laboratories all agreed: the cloth was no older than
the 14th century. At that time, the Crusaders brought back vast
quantities of Infidel cloth, of much better quality than could be
found in Christian Europe.
That the Shroud was fake was obvious – but then how was it done?
No known painting technique could reproduce such an effect. This
remained the last defense
of die-hard defenders of "authenticity."
But now we know better – the Shroud was not painted at all, it
is a photograph!
Pity that 15th century Europe was still in the vicious grip of
Holy Mother Church – we might have had the Box Brownie camera in
time for the War of the Roses!
Leonardo – Sacrilegious 'Sorcerer' Outwits the Priests
"Many are those who trade in tricks & simulated miracles,
duping the foolish multitude; and if nobody unmasked their
subterfuges, they would impose them on everyone."
– Leonardo da Vinci (Manuscript F, Institut de France, 5v)
Best known for his artistic masterpieces Leonardo da Vinci
revealed insights into everything from the human body to engines of
war. He conceptualised objects as diverse as scissors, bicycles and
helicopters. Living in the age of the Inquisition, a time when
merely being a vegetarian might lead to execution, he had to remain
ever vigilant of the censure of the Church. For its part, the Church
was only interested in Leonardo's ability to artistically represent
Commissioned to produce a better Shroud, he pioneered an early
photographic technique, using lenses, a camera obscura, chromium
salts and – in a wonderful satire on Church duplicity – his
own face in lieu of Jesus Christ!
Head on the Shroud (left) and Leonardo da Vinci
On the one hand ...
The 'Shroud' is never mentioned in the New Testament – and nor is
it ever referred to by early Christians.
On the other hand ...
'Holy Shrouds' were part of hugely profitable medieval fakery
industry – more than 40 rival shrouds are known. The 'Turin Shroud'
appeared suddenly on Good Friday, 1494!
The Devil's Magic? Camera obscura...
At least as early as Aristotle (4th century BC) it had been noted
that a small hole into a darkened room throws a reversed and
upside-down image of the outside scene onto the opposite wall. From
at least the time of the Romans, it had been known certain materials
reacted to light.
The challenge for Renaissance alchemist/artists – whilst avoiding
the attentions of the Inquisition – was to capture and fix the
projected image using the right material.
Leonardo, man of outstanding artistic skill and technical
ingenuity, was equal to that challenge.
Leonardo's sketch of his "oculus artificialis"
– a camera obscura.
When & Where?
Leonardo served several wealthy Renaissance patrons, including
Giuliano de Medici, son-in-law of the Duke of Savoy. The House
of Savoy (which became the Italian royal family) had acquired an
earlier 'Holy Shroud' from a minor French aristocratic family, the
de Charnys, around 1453.
This (painted) shroud had long since been denounced by the local
bishop as "a fake used to defraud gullible pilgrims" but he had been
silenced by the Pope. Nothing was seen of any shroud for thirty
Colluding with the House of Savoy, Pope Innocent VIII (the
witch-burning pope, closely tied to Lorenzo de Medici) commissioned
Leonardo to produce a 'better shroud' in 1492.
Under what threats Leonardo worked we can but speculate.
Vegetarianism alone could have got him burned, let alone his
Two years later – no doubt after much experimentation – the 'Holy
Shroud' appeared. In its positive form it was disappointing – and
Leonardo was not paid!
By sheer serendipity, modern photography reversed Leonardo's image
into an altogether more awesome artifact – and triggered off a new
century of delirious 'Faith'.
The old alchemist would have laughed his socks off!
Copyright © 2005 by Kenneth Humphreys. Copying is
freely permitted, provided credit is given to the author and no
material herein is sold for profit.
Blood and the Shroud: New Evidence That the World's Most
Sacred Relic Is Real
by Ian Wilson
well-written and intelligent book gives a balanced view of
evidence for and against the Shroud of Turin's authenticity
(including new finds such as the presence of human blood and
DNA on the Shroud), and along the way, provides a
fascinating discussion of subjects ranging from capital
punishment in first-century Palestine to the chemistry of
radiocarbon dating. For Wilson, the Shroud's ultimate
significance resides in the very fact of Christians'
fascination with it. The Shroud represents the possibility
that the Resurrection actually happened; if there's any
chance the Shroud is authentic, and if that chance excites
you, then historical facts are a crucial aspect of your
faith. Given that, the Shroud of Turin becomes much more
than a curiosity for cranks and crazies. It's a valuable
incitement to introspection for all believers. --Michael
Resurrection of the Shroud: New Scientific, Medical, and
by Mark Antonacci
In Resurrection of the Shroud ,
Mark Antonacci authoritatively and scientifically challenges
radiocarbon testing and presents new evidence in determining
the Shroud's true age.
and the Shroud of Turin (1999)
Theatrical Release Date:
January 1, 1999
Video Release Date:
March 2, 1999
This video is an excellent documentary of the
Shroud's history and scientific investigation. It is easy to
understand and quite entertaining as it was filmed in many
international settings. The Shroud is not a "dead"
Shroud of Turin : |
The Most Up-To-Date Analysis
of All the Facts Regarding
the Church's Controversial Relic
by C. Bernard Ruffin
Icon or Hoax? : Carbon Dating the Turin Shroud
by H. E. Gove
Second Messiah :
Templars, the Turin Shroud
and the Great Secret of Freemasonry
Christopher Knight, Robert Lomas
The the shroud itself is a piece of herringbone
patterned linen in a 3:1 twill weave. This type of cloth
came into use in Europe at the beginning of the 14th
Century. Lomas and Knight accept that it would not be
impossible for this to have been produced in the first
century, however it is unlikely. It is also true, according
to the authors, that of all the pollen deposits found
embedded in the cloth, no pollen from olive trees has been
found, and Israel has always had a high number of these
plants. Radiocarbon dating has shown that the flax plants
which were used to make the shroud had ceased to live
between 1260 and 1390 AD.
On the image itself, Lomas and Knight deduced
that the victim whose image the shroud bears was nailed with
his right arm over his head and his left arm out sideways.
This also corresponds with the observation that the right
shoulder on the shroud appears to be dislocated. This
conflicts with the traditional crucifixion in which the arms
are stretched out sideways to promote great difficulties in
breathing. the positioning of the arms on the shroud itself
indicates that the victim was not laying on a flat surface,
but on a soft padded surface when the image was made. With
the head and shoulders raised to assist breathing, and the
body heat that would be needed for the chemical process that
created the image on the shroud, it suggests that the victim
was not only alive, but was intended to recover.
in 1307, the Grand Master of the Knights
Templar was a man called Jacques de Molay. In their book,
Lomas and Knight demonstrate that the French king Philip IV
had planned to restore his fractured economy by stealing the
wealth accumilated by the Knights Templar. Prior to Friday
13th October 1307, the Knights Templar had been a holy order
but on this day the Paris Inquisition took 15,000 members,
including de Molay and also took control of the Paris
Temple. William Imbert was ordered by king Philip to extract
a confession from de Molay by whatever means necessary but
under no cicumstances was he to kill him.. Lomas and Knight
produce evidence to show that one Templar, John of Foligny,
confessed to the inquisition that there was a 'secret place'
inside the Temple which Lomas and Knight believe resembeld a
modern Masonic temple, complete with four items within a
wooden chest- a human skull, two thigh bones and a white
burial shroud (which is still used today in the ritual of
the living ressurection just as it was in the Jerusalem
Chuch and by the Knights Templar). According to Lomas and
Knight, de Molay was interrogated in the Paris Temple. Lomas
and Knight believe that Imbert was outraged at the Templars
use of a ressurection ceremony which he felt insulted the
resurrection of Jesus, and as a form of irony intended that
Molay should suffer as Jesus had. They believe thay Molay
was nailed most probably to a large wooden door in the
manner described above. They believe that when his right arm
was raised above his head and the nail driven through the
wrist, that the impact from the nail caused his thumb to
swing violently across his palm and dislocated at the joint.
This concurs with medical examinations of the shroud.
This trauma would have produced large amounts
of lactic acid, leading to 'metabolic acidosis' this
produces severe cramps and was not helped by the fact Molay
would not have been able to breathe propperly. This would
have caused 'respiratory acidosis'. It was at this point,
Lomas and Knight believe, that Molay was taken down and
covered with the shroud found within the wooden chest to
show that his "mocking use of a shroud had not gone
unnoticed by the Holy Inquisition". Molay was then
placed into the same bed that he had been dragged from,
supporting the notion that the man on the shroud had been on
a soft surface at the time the image was made. As Molay had
no family in the area to care for him, Lomas and Knight
believe that the family of his right hand man, that of Jean
de Charney was called in to care for him. The Charney family
removed the shroud and nursed him to health, though the
scars never healed and some years later Molay showed papal
representatives the extent of his injuries. The shroud which
was bloodied, but a useful cloth, was washed and put away.
The shrouds first display was in a small church
in the French town of Lirey in 1357. Interestingly, it was
lent to the church by the widow of Geoffrey de Charney, a
decendant of the family that Lomas and Knight believe cared
for Molay after his tourture. This would explain why this
shroud came into their posession.
Blood, Sacred Image : |
The Sudarium of Oviedo,
New Evidence for the Authenticity
of the Shroud of Turin
Shroud of Turin and the C-14 Dating Fiasco|
: The Shroud of Turin, the True Cross, the Blood of
History, Mysticism, and the Catholic Church
Made by Hands : |
The Miraculous Images of
Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Shroud of Turin
Shroud of Turin: An Adventure of Discovery|
Whanger, Alan Whanger
Turin Shroud Is Genuine : |
The Irrefutable Evidence
Shroud of Turin : Unraveling the Mystery|
(April 2002) Not yet published
Shroud and Science|
by Leonard W.
Shroud of Turin: A Case of Authenticity|
Guerrera (December 2000)
Mystery of the Shroud of Turin :
New Scientific Evidence
by John C.
Iannone ( June 1998)
on the Shroud of Turin : |
Latest Scientific Findings
Nickell (March 1999)
Jesus Conspiracy : |
The Turin Shroud and the Truth
About the Resurrection
Kersten, Elmar R. Gruber (May 1995)
Day for the Shroud of Turin|
by Walter C.
McCrone (March 1999)
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