What are the Vignon markings?
Paul Vignon, a French art scholar and early student of the Shroud, identified several common characteristics of early artistic pictures of Jesus. These characteristics emerged starting in the sixth century, about the time that the Image of Edessa was found hidden high in a wall of the city. These are all, to some degree, found on the Shroud of Turin. The Vignon Markings, as they have come to be called, all appear on the Shroud as part of the image of the man or as anomalies in the cloth. They include:
- Two wisps of hair in the center of the forehead.
- Hair on one side of the head shorter than on the other side.
- A U-shape, between the eyebrows, often square-bottomed.
- A downward pointing triangle or V on the bridge of the nose.
- One raised eyebrow.
- Large round eyes.
- Accents on both cheeks, somewhat lower on the right cheek.
- A forked beard.
- A gap in the beard below the lower lip.
- An enlarged left nostril.
- An accent line below the nose.
- A dark line just below the lower lip.
In this picture of Christ Pantocrator, ca. 1100, from the dome of a church at Daphni, near Athens, notice the sweep of hair on right and left is like the Shroud's face. So, too are beard characteristics as well as the large eyes.
The theory is that the Shroud of Turin, then the Image of Edessa, was the original inspiration for various works of art with these markings.