Del Parson

Del Parson
Born 1948
Ogden, Utah
Nationality United States
Works Christ in Red Robe (1983)

Delwin Oliver "Del" Parson (born 1948) is an American painter who is well known for his Latter-day Saint (LDS) themed paintings.[1] His painting of Jesus, "Christ in Red Robe,"[2] is recognizable from its wide use by the LDS Church.[3][4]



Parson was born in Ogden, Utah and grew up in Rexburg, Idaho, where his father was an art professor at Ricks College.[5] He is one of nine children, three of whom became professional artists.[6]

Parson attended Ricks College and later Brigham Young University (BYU), where he received a B.A. in Life Sciences[6] in 1972 and a Master of Fine Arts in drawing and painting in 1975.[1] Parson was a gallery and portrait artist[5] before becoming a professor of art at Dixie College in 1988.[1] There he was awarded the Teaching Excellence Award from the Utah College Council in 1990.[7]

After the death of his wife Joycel and youngest daughter in a 1978 car accident, Parson felt inspired to begin painting primarily religious subjects.[6]

In 1983, he was commissioned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) to paint "Christ in Red Robe," his first portrait of Jesus, which has since been used in many church materials.[3] A popular urban legend claims Parson produced the work under the direction of church general authorities, who suggested how to make it more accurate, until it was deemed the closest resemblance of Jesus Christ.[6][8][9][10] Parson denies this, stating the work's commission and revisions were according to the needs of the church curriculum department.[4]

In April 2011 the biographical film "Del Parson: Portraits of Love" premiered on BYU-TV.

Parson lives in Cedar City, Utah[1] with his wife Lynette, and has six children.

Artistic work

Parson is a traditional realist artist and creates mostly LDS art, but also works on other themes, such as landscapes. The LDS Church has commissioned Parson to paint over 240 works,[3] many of which are of Jesus Christ. One painting in particular, of the resurrected Christ exiting the tomb, is found in many LDS chapels and LDS homes.[citation needed]

Parson has received regional and national awards for his work. His work has been displayed at the Allied Artists of America, National Academy of Design, Knickerbocker Artist, American Artists Professional League, the Amarillo Rotary Show,[5] the Springville Museum of Art,[1] the Morrison-Knudsen corporate headquarters, the LDS Church Art Museum, and the National Center for Constitutional Studies.[7] His work has been the sole subject of exhibits at Dixie College, BYU, Ricks College, the Las Vegas Art Museum, and the James M. Haney Art Gallery in Amarillo, Texas.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Del Parson". Utah Artists Project. University of Utah. Retrieved 2009-02-17. 
  2. ^ The name "Christ in Red Robe" is not to be confused with Minerva Teichert's "Christ in a Red Robe" (1945). Parson's painting is called "Christ in Red Robe" by Deseret Book, the LDS Church publisher. ("Del Parson". Deseret Book. Retrieved 2010-04-01. ) It has also been referred to as "The Lord Jesus Christ", at Parson's online gallery. (Parson, Del. "He is Risen". Del Parson Studio. Retrieved 2010-04-01. ) It is also called "Jesus the Christ" by the LDS Church's distribution services. ("Jesus the Christ, 20" x 24"". DistributionServices. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Retrieved 2010-04-01. )
  3. ^ a b c Larson, Lisa (December 1, 2008). "St. George artist inspired to paint Christ". St. George Magazine. Retrieved 2009-02-17. 
  4. ^ a b "LDS Hoaxes and Myths". Scholarly & Historical Information Exchange for Latter-Day Saints. Retrieved 2009-02-17. 
  5. ^ a b c "About the Artist". Del Parson Studio. 2007. Retrieved 2009-02-17. 
  6. ^ a b c d Jackson, Dave (April 2005). "The Artist: Del Parson" (PDF). Desert Saints Magazine (Las Vegas, Nevada: Ellis Ink, Inc.) 5 (4): 12–13. Retrieved 2009-02-17. 
  7. ^ a b "Del Parson". Art Courses @ Dixie State College. Dixie State College of Utah. Retrieved 2009-02-17. [dead link]
  8. ^ "ID#: 4846". 100 Hour Board. BYU NewsNet. April 13, 2004. Retrieved 2009-02-17. 
  9. ^ "ID#: 862". 100 Hour Board. BYU NewsNet. October 6, 2003. Retrieved 2009-02-17. 
  10. ^ "ID#: 46490". 100 Hour Board. BYU NewsNet. July 21, 2008. Retrieved 2009-02-17. 

External links

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