Artwork of the Week: November 29, 2020
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.
Born November 28, 1831, C.C.A. Christensen studied painting at the Danish Royal Academy before becoming a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He migrated to the United States, arriving in the Salt Lake Valley in 1857. This large painting from his Mormon Panorama uses simple, primitive forms to accentuate the importance of the story. Christensen portrays the 1846 forced winter exodus of the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from Nauvoo, Illinois, the pastoral home they created on the American frontier. The small image of the Nauvoo Temple on the horizon symbolizes the struggle of the saints to establish a paradise on earth.