Today’s guest post is another from favorite commenter Hedgehog. Many of us are familiar with the apocryphal tale of Leonardo da Vinci and the painting of the last supper, in which it transpires that the same model was used for both Christ and Judas, many years apart. I heard it in a lesson at church, from a, hopefully, now obsolete manual. The story is unlikely to be true, see this Snopes debunking.
Artists often do use models, from whom they will make sketches, before constructing a picture. More than ten years ago some members of the ward in which we then lived had been models for some of the paintings by the LDS artist Simon Dewey. I like his paintings. However, recognising some of the faces does have an effect on the way I am able to view those particular pictures.
The LDS church uses many, many illustrations; at one point employing the Seventh-day Adventist illustrator Harry Anderson to produce pictures based on scriptural themes and stories. Illustrations are used in lesson materials, on the walls of our chapels and temples, in church magazines. The church is busy building a media library, including photographs and video, where members can submit material for the church to use. More of us will be seeing faces we recognise looking out at us in our church magazines. How do you feel about that?
And then there are the scripture stories books. Chock full of illustrations. And for most of the characters we have no idea what they really looked like. In our family we have read ‘Book of Mormon Stories’ (in addition to the scriptures proper), with our children every day, since the eldest was only 2 years old. Now they’re in their teens, we do it in Japanese. The book was illustrated by Jerry Thompson (seemingly, a not uncommon name for an artist) and Robert T. Barrett. The more I have read the book, the more attention I have given the illustrations, and some of the faces have jumped out as familiar.
In the third picture of Chapter 33 and the last picture on the second page of Chapter 35, there are characters who resemble those from Star Trek. It’s very old Star Trek, and I didn’t get to see it much, but that a character in that second image does look a lot like Mr Spock (or the actor who played him), and in the first, his father (or some other Vulcan), who are playing the parts of king-men. However, the face that really stands out for me is Zeezrom in Chapter 22. Is that really Neil Tennant? Or just a coincidence?
This set me wondering: I grew up without a television. We don’t have one now. There are many well-known faces I am not familiar with. How many have I missed? Which faces do you recognise?