Description: From Roger Lowless
For people who are interested in Holy image phenomena, you may be interested in an experience I came across many years ago before computers came into general use, the mid 1970s actually. I was a college student then at Bournemouth College of Art in Dorset, England, U.K., and I was preparing for an exam which included illustrative architecture. We had a hint that it could possibly include marble textures; it turned out not to be so. However in preparation I went to a local builder's merchant and asked if they had any brochures showing different types of marble. They did and I took a brochure back to the college with me.
I sat down in the classroom, letting my eyes roam over the varied colored marbles advertised within the brochure, when I came across a blue marble texture called Vatican Blue. Letting my eyes rest on this image, I noticed with surprise an image of a child's head sleeping. Looking more intently, I could also make out vaguely the body of the child lying on its back within what seemed a cradle. Then to my absolute astonishment I noticed an image of a cloaked lady from the waist up looking down toward the child. I was stunned for a while as I realized that here was an image within a marble tile called Vatican Blue. An image of the Madonna and Child? The image came together in scale and tonal values, with even the light seemingly shining down from the top right of the tile high-lighting the child's face.
I wrote to the manufacturer, explaining with photo-copies taken from the image what I had discovered. I asked if the tile still existed, could I purchase that tile from which the printing plate was made, but the unfortunate reply was that all the tiles were discarded after the print negatives were created. So it is very sad to relate, all I have as proof of the image ever existed are the photocopies I took at the time and the original brochure.