Portrait of Joseph Smith (artist unknown), circa 1842. Oil on canvas, Community of Christ archives, Independence, Missouri.
The artist of this 1842 portrait of the American religious figure Joseph Smith is unknown. The founder of the Latter-day Saints sat for this portrait shortly after he had established a new city—Nauvoo, Illinois—in hopes of building Zion there. The year, 1842, is significant because it was a moment when popular opinion turned against the movement and Smith went into hiding after being accused of attempting to assassinate the governor of Missouri. The portrait is typical of American formal portraiture in the 19th century, with Smith seated before a window.