Is This What Joseph Smith Really Looked Like?
A daguerreotype has been found that may well be an image of Joseph Smith.
Joseph was 38 years old when he died; I suppose the photo looks like someone about that age, if they’d had a hard life. The man in the photo doesn’t look all that charismatic or appealing to me, but others disagree, as this article in the Deseret News reveals:
Early Latter-day Saint apostle Parley P. Pratt once described the power of Joseph Smith’s gaze.
“There was something connected with the serene and steady penetrating glance of his eye, as if he would penetrate the deepest abyss of the human heart, gaze into eternity, penetrate the heavens, and comprehend all worlds,” Pratt wrote.
The eyes of the man in the daguerreotype evoke similar feelings for Mackay.
“It’s the eyes that really capture me,” he said. “As I look into the eyes of this person captured in this image, I think I can see why people would choose to follow him.”
You can also read about the daguerreotype in an article in the Salt Lake Tribune.
The one portrait we have of him (the oil painting, left) looks more like a cartoon than like a serious likeness of a person. And since the painting was meant as a flattering portrait, I wouldn’t be surprised if the model actually looked like the newly-found daguerreotype.