ABOUT THE SERIES

the real face of jesus, researchers, shroud of Turin, history

What did Jesus look like? Artists, scholars and millions of Christians around the world have been pondering the question for centuries.

The Real Face of Jesus? follows a team of graphic experts as they use cutting-edge 3D software to bring a holy relic known as the Shroud of Turin to life. Many believe Jesus Christ was buried in this ancient linen cloth, which bears traces of blood and the faint, ghostly image of a man. With the help of modern technology, can HISTORY finally unlock the secrets of one of the world’s most scrutinized and controversial artifacts?

To attempt this feat, HISTORY turned to computer graphics artist Ray Downing of Studio Macbeth, who used photographs and digital animation to reconstruct Abraham Lincoln in 2009. As Ray and his team grapple with the task, we delve into the Shroud of Turin’s long history, along with the many perplexing questions that centuries of scientific research have failed to settle. How, for instance, did the figure’s imprint appear on the cloth? And how can we extract 3D information from a two-dimensional piece of linen?

In The Real Face of Jesus?, HISTORY unveils the fruit of many months of labor, made possible by sophisticated computer tools in very capable hands: an accurate depiction of the man many believe to be Jesus Christ. For the devout and curious alike, this is a compelling story of transformation—a fascinating journey from the realm of creativity and imagination into the domain of science and technology.