Monday, 28 October 2013

Is this the image of Our Queen?

In recent years, forensic science has excelled itself in modelling faces from skulls so that we know just how stone age man appeared facially and, often, how sightings of criminal faces can be portrayed through e-fit pictures such as in the Madeleine McCann case.

The trouble is, we have to take the word of the forensic science men and women who make these sculptural or pictorial representations that they are accurate.

A Facebook report on Church Militant's entry features a depiction of Our Lady, taken from the image of Christ from The Shroud of Turin.

Of course, it is obvious when one thinks about it; the Son must resemble the Mother and the Mother the Son.

I cannot find any further information on the background to this report but here is the image, a stunning image, I think you will agree.

And I find it quite plausible that this is a reasonable representation of Our Lady.


What can you see in this face?
 Purity, Love, fear, apprehension, unparalleled goodness?

Of course, wherever Our Lady has appeared in the world she has been seen as being Japanese in Akita and as a Pyrenean girl, short and stocky in the manner of St Bernadette, in Lourdes.

It is also reported that St Bernadette tried to take the Church to task over the images that were created in the aftermath of Our Lady appearing at Lourdes as she knew that the tall, willowy figure could never have graced the grotto which is less than five feet in height.

But, I find this depiction absolutely breathtaking and, whether it is an accurate portrayal or no, it is surely a great portrait of Mary, the Mother of our God.

37 comments:

  1. Have to agree, Richard, beautiful image!
    But then, throughout history, Our Lady was always portrayed as the epitome of beauty (usually Westernised).
    But I was under the impression that the authenticity of the Turin Shroud was still in doubt.
    Sue

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    1. If you peruse the incredible scientific research collated (and added to) by Brother Bruno at The Catholic Counter Reformation website I think you will see that the authenticity of the Shroud has been fairly well established.

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    2. Sue, Aged P is correct but, also, Our Lady has been portrayed as Chinese, Japanese, Indian, African and so on. Each nationality would appear to wish to claim her for their own, and why not?

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  2. Wow! Instant goosebumps! I have never had a reaction like that to an image of Our Lady. I have saved a copy but can one get a higher quality version anywhere?

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    1. Hi I am the creator of the picture :). My name is Julien Lasbleiz. You will find a higher resolution here. Everyone has to know that this was also a tribute to Bouguereu's painting style as well as a representation of accurate proportion. thank you :)
      http://julienlasbleiz.deviantart.com/art/Maria-accurate-face-matching-the-Shroud-of-Turin-262151746

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  3. James- F-J not sure about a better resolution image, you might try Church Militant.
    Sandy, indeed.

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  4. Impressive!
    Not fully forensic exactly.
    A quick google finds:
    http://julienlasbleiz.deviantart.com/art/Maria-accurate-face-matching-the-Shroud-of-Turin-262151746
    says that it is:" painter William Bouguereau. This painting of Maria the virgin has been done in photoshop. The project was to paint an accurate face of Maria, matching the Christ's face in the "Shroud of Turin"
    In other words , there is a very higher statistical probabilty that this is what Our Lady's face was like than anything else on pure grounds of physical resemblance mother to son, but with a professional artist's touch on the final touches.
    Forensic reconstruction programmes rely on probability and continual feedback from actual cases, you're only getting impressively likely.

    Sue : the only incongruence regarding the shroud were one set of radiocarbon dates, everything else in terms of objective tests says first century palestine.
    That does not prove it's our lord of course!
    The C14 tests show what they show , the ratio of different types of c arbon, the isotopes,in samples is not consistent with a first century date for the cloth, and this would be definitive for cloth fresly taken from a tomb.
    The shroud has been hanmndled and even repaired for two milenia.

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    1. This reminded me right away of Wm Bouguereau's paintings. My favorite is The Virgin of the Lilies, http://www.bouguereau.org/La-Vierge-au-Lys-(The-Virgin-of-the-Lilies).html

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    2. Just to clarify, Bouguereau didn't paint this; the artist is Julien Lasbleiz, who painted it in the style of Bougereau using the shroud of Turin as a reference. I find it astonishing that it was painted digitally with Photoshop and not paint. For anyone interested, you can buy prints from his page: http://julienlasbleiz.deviantart.com/art/Maria-accurate-face-matching-the-Shroud-of-Turin-262151746

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    3. To clarify, the latest science shows that the samples taken from the shroud were from a patched area, thus the C14 tests are inaccurate for the date of the shroud 'proper'.

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  5. As little Red Riding Hood might have said, what a long nose!

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  6. Now the one thing you should never, ever do is to take the word, of science men or for that matter women, without due process of hypothesis, experiment etc.,. I speak as a scientist (Rtd).

    But you make a good point about the son taking after the mother, and it is a remarkable image!

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  7. Maybe. But of all my favorite "images" of the Blessed Mother, I prefer the colorful "self-portrait" she left us on the tilma of a Mexican peasant named Juan Diego (now "saint"). Our Lady of Guadalupe's full-length portrait contains profound symbolism. Carl Anderson's superb book "Our Lady of Guadalupe" describes how Our Lady's expectant mestiza image contains a message of hope, love, wonder and mystery for all peoples.

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    1. Yes, the image at Guadalupe, the icon not painted by human hands - these are holy images that have form, integrity, harmony.

      To me, this image is "pretty" - oh those lips, those eyes! The image of Christ from the Shroud of Turin shows strength to bear pain and suffering, nobility.

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  8. Wow! That is beautiful. Could it really be Her?

    ~Hannah

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  9. Compare this picture to the icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa, which legend says was painted by St. Luke. You will see a remarkable resemblance.

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  10. In the higher resolution,are there tears on her cheeks?

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  11. Anne Hathaway is our queen?? (sorry.. sort of looks like the actress to me)

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  12. My vote is also with the Our Lady of Guadalupe image, which is photographic in nature. Pere Lamy, who was very familiar with how Our Lady looked, said her eye color was periwinkle, not brown.

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  13. This is certainly a beautiful image and yes, I suppose she does have rather a long nose, but Our Lord has rather a long nose too. Is it characteristic of people from that area?
    I wonder where they got the full lips from. That is a very Western thing to like...
    Of course Our Lady was, and is, beautiful, but not all people who are externally beautiful necessarily conform to the looks that we typically consider beautiful.


    My only question is, wouldn't she have been a bit darker? I do understand people's frustrations when Our Lady is depicted as being very pale. It doesn't bother me, though the picture I have of her in my room is the image of Our Lady of Mercy (http://mercyimages.com/catalog/images/blessed-mother-images/our-lady-of-mercy/), which I could look at all day! She does have a long nose there too (which is not necessarily unattractive anyway), but of course she is beautiful in all her forms because whenever we look at her, we see someone who loved God perfectly.

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  14. In the days (rather brief) when I lived in Stamford Hill in North London (home to a large number of Hasidic Jews), I came to the conclusion that She must have looked rather like one of their somewhat beautiful young women. Mary, daughter of Israel and Queen of Heaven, ora pro nobis.

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  15. Strong, strong face, direct gaze. And of course, she looks Jewish.

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  16. It is a beautiful picture with an interesting story behind it. She does look like she has been crying. I think of Mary as in Our Lady of Guadalupe, but then that is the image I saw most often growing up. Of course she would look like Jesus. But she would also look like other people because she is everyone's mother.

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  17. She looks young, as of course, she would have been. Lovely.

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  18. I wouldn't read too much into this. A couple of years ago the History channel did a show on what Jesus may have looked like, using the Shroud as a reference. Remember the shrouds is essentially a 2-D representation of the 3-D face underneath, somewhat rounded because of it being draped over him. This means the image as you look at it is distorted. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNJPJ4JwHeE

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    1. jmcdhome, I think you misunderstood...the shroud is a 2-D image with a 3-D encoding...thers is NO distortion of the features or proportion as there SHOULD be if it was simply an image left from the draping over. It has the characteristics of a photograph, which is one of it's great mysteries.

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  19. jmcdhome - I would not worry too much about distortion, I think forensic computer aided science can cope with that but....please see David's comment. I was misinformed, the picture has been painted rather than digitally scanned by forensic science.

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  20. A quote from Pere Lamy who talked with the Blessed Virgin face to face, "The Virgin is very dark".

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  21. I find this stunning, though perhaps a bit too light-skinned. Thank you so much for posting it!

    As a Greek Orthodox Christian who has spent time on Mt. Athos, I am put in mind of Elder Paisios, who was granted the grace of visitation by the Most Holy Mother of God. He was adamant that the icon which in his experience most resembled her was the Ierousalimissa - the great Western-style icon which stands at the empty tomb in what the Orthodox traditionally believe is her place of burial on the Mt. of Olives. It is indeed remarkably similar to this painting.

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  22. Yanni, WOW! Thanks so much for this information....I just Bing imaged the Icon you reference and WOW!!!, what a likeness to the picture in this post indeed...both are truly, TRULY beautiful.

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  23. Dear Yanni - do you mean the lovely gigantic mosaic of Mary holding Jesus in the Church of the Dormition, Jerusalem? - Or the Orthodox Tomb of Mary?

    In the mid-80s on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land I saw the giant mosaic of Our Lady in the Dormition Church and was struck at how Jewish she looked there, it was a surprise! I had become so used to our western statues and Holy Card depictions of Mary.

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  24. Yanni and Susan
    Yes, I just looked up the Ierousalimissa and the Dormition mosaic, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Czestochowa and Ostra Brama and they all have the long elegant classical nose.

    I love it when it all comes together.

    Thank you for putting this great post up, Richard.

    I think I'll print off a copy of "Our Lady of the Shroud". Mother and Son from the same source, beautiful.

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  25. Much as I like this painting of Our Lady, my favourite representation has always been Michelangelo's Pieta which leaves me speechless and in tears every time I see a picture of it..as it did when I saw it many years ago.
    Sue

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  26. Hi, my name is Julien Lasbleiz, I am the creator of this Picture. Thanks a lot for sharing, you will find more information here as well. thank you very much ! :)
    http://www.bouguereau.net/a-moving-experiment-with-bouguereaus-madonna/comment-page-1/

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