Artwork of the Week: February 2018 (Week 9)
C. C. A. Christensen (1831-1912), Crossing the Mississippi on the Ice, c.1878, tempera on muslin, 77 7/8 x 114 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, gift of the Grandchildren of C. C. A. Christensen, 1970.
The Nauvoo Temple was not completed before the Prophet Joseph Smith’s martyrdom, but faithful, grieving saints tirelessly pushed the work forward. Certain rooms were dedicated as they were finished, and in January and February of 1846, ordinances were administered day and night. By the time they were forced to leave by mob violence, 6,000 saints had received their Endowments. C.C.A. Christensen portrays the saints departing from their “City Beautiful” for parts unknown in a climate so cold that the Mississippi River froze over, forming a bridge of ice. Temple ordinances were a great blessing to the refugees as they endured the difficult trials of the following years.