The Man Behind the Shroud
An artist's intepretation of the Shroud of Turin

The Man Behind the Shroud. An artist's intepretation of the Shroud of Turin

The Man Behind the Shroud

An interpretation of the "Shroud of Turin" based on what I see as an artist

I am not making an official stance as to whether the shroud is an image of Christ or someone else; however, I encountered the following items while studying and painting this image over the past three months:

1. The bones of the nose are visible, much like an x-ray; yet, wrinkles and hair are also visible on the face... From an artist's perspective, it was much like trying to paint an image from a low powered x-ray - difficult at best!

2. Many features match the Biblical account of the Christ at his death, including wounds on the wrists and feet, and also on the head in the same pattern one would assume could be caused from a crown of thorns piercing the skin. I will not visit the carbon 1st or 2nd carbon dating debates as there are too many factors to consider here from both sides. Nor will I rule out the possibility of an elaborate hoax; however, the shroud is more accurate to the wounds on the wrists than the art of the time depicts.

3. The facial features of this individual more closely match the people of Palestine and the Middle East for the approximate time in history, certainly a closer match to someone from Israel than the traditional "European Christ" image. Furthermore, the hair appears curly or has a curl to it, and is not parted in the center, rather brushed forward; albeit, it appears as if coated in blood and likely matted in places, so the true hairstyle for this individual would be uncertain.

4. True to an x-ray, certain elements show up as the same color for the same depth - high concentrations of blood show up to be the same (light) color. Hair is differentiated from blood clots/pooling on both the scalp and forehead and hair overlaps in many places. It also appears that the majority of the hair may also be coated in blood, which would show up as light in color if there was some form of radiation to create this image. (Even the photo-negative theory, where the hair is deemed as blonde or white through contrasting it's pigment to the face, could be effected by the significant amount the hair that may have been coated in blood). Nevertheless, bones of the nose should not be visible without the presence of some form of radiation.

5. Nobody really knows what the eyes of the man behind the shroud really looked like. From studying it, I observed that the wrinkles around the eyes suggested a compassionate and painful expression, there are sufficient laugh lines along the sides of the eyes. My best hypothesis in painting this was that of soft eyes with a compassionate but painful expression as the muscles/wrinkles on the shroud infer.

6. There is no clothing on the individual in the shroud of Turin, although there are small cloths of the body (one visible on the base of the neck, another visible on the torso) they are certainly not enough to be used as clothing. I took a guess on this one, as the emphasis is primarily on the face of the shroud.

7. We still don't know how the image on the shroud was created... Whether it be an image of Christ, a clever hoax, or an amazing coincidence: the decision comes down to the individual and is an issue left to faith and speculation. Nevertheless, it's an amazing historical artifact, and the question of faith is, and always will be, up to the individual.

Unscientific Issues:

If adversity was an indication of authenticity, I would have concluded the shroud as legitimate a long time ago for the myriad of coincidental "bad luck" incidents surrounding my work on this project. As superstitious as it may appear, it seemed as if "something" didn't want me to create this work and I literally felt "cursed" while working on this.

From the first day of my work, with a pipe exploding off my wood burning stove (for reasons still unknown) and more trouble that ensued without cease as I worked on this project. What followed were freak wind storms uprooting great trees (storm damage photos), power outages, mysterious illnesses, continuous and overwhelming feelings of despair, things unexpectedly breaking, and people suddenly becoming quarrelsome but only while I'm working on this project. Then just before Halloween two people very close to me were in two separate vehicle accidents on the same day, same town, both involving injuries, and at no fault of their own in either incident... I must conclude that for whatever the reason, or lack thereof, this project has been at great personal cost.


 Copyright 2011 Artistry of Marc Eliuk - Oil Portraiture, Surrealism, Floral Designs, and more...