"I'm sure I don't know, dahling. Luck favors the prepared." -Edna Mode, "The Incredibles"
Question #46490 posted on 07/26/2008 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I have a question about Del Parson's painting "Christ in Red Robe". From what I've read, the Church commissioned Del Parson to create a portrait of the Savior that would be used world-wide.

Brother Parson's first attempt was not accepted by the General Authorities who had commissioned him to make the painting and he tried again. His second attempt was likewise turned down. Then, after much fasting and prayer, Brother Parson attempted a third painting which was accepted by the Brethren.

What I want to know is: who were these Brethren?

We've all heard the story about how Del Parson took the first painting to Spencer W. Kimball himself (or a different prophet), who said that it didn't look enough like the Savior, and then gave Brother Parson further instructions until he was finally able to produce a painting that looked enough like the Savior to be appropriate.

I've heard that the story involving the President of the Church is not accurate, but I would still like to know who the General Authorities were that Del Parsons worked with.

I suppose my real question would be: does the painting of Christ in the Red Robe accurately depict the Savior?

But I suppose the answer to that would depend on which General Authorities Del Parson was working with, and whether it was their intention to have him paint 1) a portrait of Christ that was suitably respectful for world-wide dissemination, or 2) a portrait of Christ that was intended to look like the Savior, based at least in part on the instructions of someone who had personally witnessed Him.

- Curious

A: Dear Ethel,

Did you know there is a site for LDS hoaxes and myths? I didn't. But we both do now. It can be found here.

The information they have on the Del Parson painting is:

According to Bro. Parson, the painting was indeed commissioned by the Church, but he worked with the curriculum department to create a painting suitable for their needs. There were several revisions in the process to develop a picture suitable for their needs; there was never an indication that the revisions were to make the portrait "more accurate."

I guess it's acceptable for a world-wide distribution.

For what it's worth, the June Ensign insert on Pres. Monson written by Elder Holland says:

Over the course of his many callings in the Church, President Thomas S. Monson has moved from office to office, location to location. With every move he has carefully taken with him a particular painting. He has had it since he was a bishop in the 1950s. He took it with him when he presided over the Canadian Mission, headquartered in Toronto. It now hangs in the office he occupies as President of the Church. The painting is a striking image of the Lord Jesus Christ by famed artist Heinrich Hofmann.

So who's to say that one isn't the most like Christ? I think painting preference is just that, and not some secret knowledge.

-Polly Esther