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Joseph Smith Life Paintings

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1842 Sketch of JSjr.HEIC

Unknown Artist, July 1842

Left image I found in a book, "Joseph Smith Portraits, A Search for Joseph's Likeness",  by Ephraim Hatch; it is from an unknown artist, however, the date of July 1842 suggests that it is from life. This image is showing just Joseph Smith's left profile, thus his left eyebrow is shown, something that I was excited to find, as it is curious whether art showed a similar thinner, SHORTER left eyebrow, the similarities to 1840s Illinois Man's left eyebrow is uncanny, the sharp line just at the top and bottom and ending before the edge of his eye.


Above is 1840s Illinois Man's left eyebrow highlighted, the similarities are evident: the left side of his hair is brushed straight forward, and both have LONG eyelashes. 

Video above has  no sound, so nothing is broken, I just wanted it to be a short video pointing out similarities between the unknown 1842 life sketch of Joseph Smith and the Carte de Visite I and two forensic scientists believe is likely the guy. 

Sutcliffe Maudsley, B&W of his 1842 Painting 

sutcliffe maudsley profile of Joseph Smith.HEIC

Left is a profile portrait of Joseph Smith, by Sutcliffe Maudsley, showing his right profile, and thus his right eyebrow is visible. I can see clearly his long eyelashes, thicker right eyebrow, then his left, and the swoop (I call it that, common with very straight eyebrows) from the corner of his right eye. 


In his journal, Joseph Smith Jr. notes he sat for his profile drawing, June 25, 1842.


Above is 1840s Illinois Guy, with his thicker right eyebrow, the goes higher up, and thickens towards the outer edge, note the matching upward line of his right brow, swooping in a unique curve upward.

Bathsheba Smith Sketch


Bathsheba Smith was not as skill as artist as Maudsley, yet she was quite good compared to the average person and has some skill, capturing details, interestingly I notice his left ear seems to droop. My mother and I noticed this in my CDV, wondering if that was the ear his mother pulled on if he was a "bad boy", growing up? Or, he made fun of his own ears and pulled on his left ear to be funny? Either way, in my CDV, below, his left ear is not level with his right, and is a longer lobe. 


Sutcliffe Maudsley Sketch


Video above has  no sound, so nothing is broken, I just wanted it to be a short video pointing out similarities between the unknown 1842 sketch by Sutcliffe Maudsley, of Joseph Smith and the Carte de Visite I and two forensic scientists believe is likely the guy. 

Above is another comparison, I did a few year ago, with a Maudsley sketch, where I am highlighting various similar wrinkles, facial features. Red line shows the matching straight angle of his thick brows, that both angle down. The Purple line shows the already mentioned "swoop", barely visible- but in green is a deep wrinkle coming downward from the corner of their right eyes, in blue is a matching deep mid eye wrinkle, in yellow is a curved wrinkle coming from the same location, and in orange is the lines showing marionette wrinkles, that start and end in similar locations. 

David Rogers Painting 1842

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David Roger's painting above has been photographed, by Joseph Smith III, then copied to the March 1910 Salt Lake Tribune, and although missing fine details, it highlights the shape of Joseph Smith's face, very high cheekbones, narrow jawline, honestly this version is almost the most attractive versions of this painting, appearing realist, the nose appears more normal, as does his mouth, showing the tubercle is thicker in the middle and dramatically curves upward toward the corners of his mouth. NOTE- his eyebrows are not thin at all. 

David Rogers, Profile Painting


The painting above is hung in the Beehive House, where Brigham Young resided, and was said to have been done by David Rogers, as well. Considering the four days Joseph spent with Rogers, it is likely he could have done a forward facing and a profile painting. This painting, however, shows different hairstyle, instead of a brushed backwards, the hair is brushed forward and flipped up right on his forehead, showing his hairline is mid-ear, just like in my CDV. Someone likely took a hair of scissors to Joseph's hairline, is my belief (leading to the thick tuft of hair that seems to be blunt cut and coming towards you, and somewhat on a part). 

The Duplicate Oil Painting, by Victor Kress

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The above oil painting, by Victor Kress, is housed in the Iowa Historical Society (just as Joseph Smith III mentioned in his letter to the Salt Lake Tribune, clearly he was very proud of it, as he said that it was based on two things, the David Rogers 1842 painting and the daguerreotype, in his possession); although it was not from life, it is from a life painting and a life- daguerreotype, so it is of great importance to also use for comparison. Joseph Smith III was seeking for a more authentic image of his father, asymmetry and all. I point out several similarities, above. Firstly, the right eyebrow is pretty thick, the shapes are almost exactly the same thickness, narrowing towards the inner eye, with some of his brow bone, possibly a scar caused hair to not grow in this exact spot on his right eyebrow. The shape of their left eyes are uniquely the same, a sharp curve, and only on this duplicate oil painting do I see a hint of a scar, or line coming down from the corner of the two men's left eye. The biggest evidence that Joseph Smith III had a real daguerreotype of his father, is THIS painting. 

Did David Roger's Start painting Joseph Smith's "real hairline", but change half way through? New evidence suggests as much! See below!

David Rogers was said to be a comedian, per Junius F. Wells:

"The painting from which it was made has a history… Mr. Rogers from New York, almost despaired of getting a portrait that would be satisfactory. He was considerable of an actor, however, and also something of a wit, and he resorted to his drollery to cheer up his subject…Joseph... looks as though he were just going to laugh. When it was finished his opinion was asked of it, and he said:


“It is a pretty good likeness of a silly boy, but not much like the Prophet of the Lord.”

(The Contributor, " Representing the Young Men's and Young Ladies ..., Volume 7", pg. 34)

I would imagine any artist being afraid to make the prophet NOT look good, the task of painting the first prophet of the Restoration was monumental. We know that David Rogers resorted to "drollery" to get Joseph cheer up, I imagine him starting to paint the unique bald patch to left of Joseph's forehead, and his receding hairline, but finding he could get Joseph to laugh by doing "old school photoshop", maybe... he said something like, 

"Joseph, let's give your old hairline back! Big hair, make you look like you will in the resurrection!" and alas, we get the huge bouffant, missing from all the past 1842- earlier and later artwork from life, because Rogers was NOT taking the sesh all that seriously and neither was Joseph who could not stop laughing (see above- and ruminated on it a little bit). Taking this into account, it makes sense why Joseph said that he looked like "silly boy"! Emma too said it was "not a good likeness"- implying again- Rogers took artistic LIBERTIES, folks!

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