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Lehi Blessing His Posterity/Family
|Lehi Blessing His Posterity/Family
|Year of Publication
|Unsigned, painted for the Deseret Sunday School Union, no date (1890), oil on composition board, 24 3/4" x 18 5/6".
|Jacob (Son of Lehi); Joseph (Son of Lehi); Laman (Son of Lehi); Lehi (Prophet); Lemuel (Son of Lehi); Nephi (Son of Lehi); Patriarchal Blessing; Sam (Son of Lehi); Zoram (Servant of Laban)
Shortly before his death, Lehi called his posterity together and gave them final exhortations and blessings.
The contrast between this painting and the subsequent lithograph helps make clear some of Christensen's style in painting people. The lithograph, which is a redrawing of Christensen's original, shows greater drawing skill. But it also shows the weakness of the academic tradition in depicting life. Contrast the three small children closest to Lehi in the lower right. The little girl is Christensen's painting is burying her face in her grandfather's lap. In the lithograph she is primly standing in a graceful pose. The chubby little boy in the blue skirt standing flat-footed is slimmed down in the lithograph and placed in a graceful, dance-like pose. To the left of the woman in white, Christensen shows a small child bowing his neck and back as he strains to escape from his mother. In the lithograph the child has been changed into a graceful little cherub, much less childlike. What Christensen lacked in drawing skill, he more than made up in keen observation and real humility. His people are not just collections of academic types learned in art school.
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