Arnold Friberg chose to portray Washington at Valley Forge as well as Book of
Mormon characters. To me that tells me that he was a patriotic man and a devout
LDS member. The fact that he also graciously accepted a commission to paint the
current figurehead of the British Empire, tells me that his was not a petty
nationalism but a true patriotism to the ideals of freedom, rather than
hostility to an old enemy and now a longtime ally. I wish more would enjoy that
largeness of spirit.As to the largeness of his Book of Mormon men,
perhaps that was based on the dimensions of the breastplate, a relic of Book of
Mormon history, and described as that of "a man of extraordinary size".
He built his own view of Nephite manhood, at least, as one in which the Nephite
male physique was that of today's professional body builder. Be that as
it may or may not be, his seems to have been a view of muscular Christianity and
patriotism. I would like to see other views emphasizing other
aspects and I am sure that they will be forthcoming, but Friberg will be
The fact that Arnold Friberg chose to depict Washington at Valley Forge as well
as Book of Mormon characters tells me that he was a patriot and a devout LDS
man.The fact that he also graciously accepted a commission to depict
the current symbolic head of the British Empire also tells me that his is not a
vitriolic or narrow nationalism. Would that others had his largeness of
vision.Though some may not see the old Nephites as having the
physiques of modern body builders, his seems to have been a view of a muscular
patriotism and genuine devotion to Jesus Christ. The breastplate, a relic of
Book of Mormon times, was that of "a man of extraordinary size" so you
could extrapolate from that a nation of large, muscular men, though this is not
a foregone conclusion.Be that as it may, Arnold Friberg will be
honorably remembered for many years yet. There will doubtless be other artists
with other emphases and their works will be forthcoming. Whether they will be
as highly regarded as Mr Friberg remains to be seen.
Gee, I wish I could doodle as poorly as he did. What kind of comment
I'm not a Forensic Anthropologist nor do I play one on TV, but... Portraying people from the Near East/Mediterranean as Anglo-Saxon Caucasians
is erroneous and downright silly.
Sorry about the two near duplicates above under my name. The first one, or the
first half sentence of it appeared under "top comment" when there was
only one other comment. It did not appear in the actual postings for some time
so I tried to repeat it. DesNews graciously, or accidentally, after at time,
posted both.Anyhow, seeing as I am here, I would point out that
European Jewry does not appear out of place among the generality of white
Caucasians. It does usually have white skin, so far as I have observed, and
have, I am told, a greater number of red-haired individuals among them than any
other people. There are also many dark-haired among them and Friberg actually
does display in his Book of Mormon pictures both dark-haired and red-haired
Nephites with white skins (check it out). That seems to me to be
well-researched.Everyone in the Middle East does not have the same
physical features. Although many are interrelated, Iranians, for example, see
themselves as Caucasians. Middle easterners are a bit of a mix, not Negroid
certainly and unlike most Orientals.
Many years ago my father, a graphic and retouch artist, ran into Bro. Friberg in
the Visitor's Center on Temple Square. Bro. Friberg was evaluating a new
frame or something for one of his paintings. They chatted about art
for a time, until my dad finally got up the guts to say to the renowned artist
what had been bothering him for years: "Bro. Friberg, while I admire your
technique, I must say you don't always have a grasp of perspective. The
dimensions on that figure are all wrong."Bro. Friberg delivered
my father a withering look and said, "I painted it how it SHOULD have
looked!" While much of what Bro. Friberg may not strike others
as "historically accurate" (and my goodness were those Nephites and
Lamanites beefy men!), I wholeheartedly agree that he painted the stories as
they SHOULD appear. He gave life to the scriptures, and many other
figures, and made them feel real.
These sketches must be of the Scandinavian cast.
I enjoyed Friberg's paintings and remember pouring over them when I was
young. The idea that each man was clearly a world class weight lifter (except
Abinadi and King Noah and maybe the Brother of Jared, though he wasn't
small) never bothered me. Nor was it particularly important to me
what color their eyes or skin were. It wasn't forensic art. He's an artist. He was free to interpret. Free to depict the soul and
spirit into the flesh in any way he saw fit. And he did. But I guess, "haters gonna hate."I liked it.
Anyone that's an artist knows that sketches are supposed to look rough, and
somewhat sloppy. Sketches are the rough draft of a final piece.
Here at "Lost Book of Mormon Sketches" we thank you all for your
comments. Whether you have positive or constructive comments, we welcome them
all. I know Arnold Friberg was an inspired illustrator and the Lord directed his
hand, especially while sketching and painting the Book of Mormon art. I continue
daily to be blessed with a stronger love and testimony of the Book of Mormon. In
part because of this wonderful man. He also has a wonderful family and I am
privileged to know them. Please visit our website and enjoy it as I have in
I enjoyed all the comments and critics. That's life...not all is positive
and not all if negative. It's a good mix, as for Arnold Friberg - I think
he was a genius at his talent. Not everyone agrees with art on
canvas..that's what makes it wonderful is that is it different.
Wouldn't it be boring if all art was the same dimension? My father was a
incredible and humble artist who created masterpieces in my opinion. We
can't all be the same because that is not the way the Lord planned it.