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    Claims about the Tilma and the Image

    CLAIM
    Scientific studies have not succeeded in discovering the origin of the coloration of the Image or the way in which it was painted, and there are no detectable traces of brushstrokes from any known painting technique.

    TRUTH
    This is true. The origin of the coloration and “the way the fabric was painted” has not been discovered. As there are no detectable brush marks, one should say “the way in which the Image was captured or printed on the tilma” rather than “the way the image appears on the fabric.”

    There is nothing definitive regarding the technique or techniques of the impression of the Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. In his 1756 book Maravilla Americana, however, the great Oaxacan painter Miguel Cabrera thought there were four painting techniques used on the image: oil, tempera, watercolor and carved tempera. However, there is no convincing proof in this regard, and, as we know, there are not even brush marks to back up Cabrera’s claim.

    Here is one especially surprising detail about the Image, though: the Virgin’s shoe, which appears over the moon, has no color, but is simply the raw tilma. This is inexplicable.

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