Jon McNaughton is a Mormon artist whose most recent paintings have caused a stir. Since members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe that the U.S. Constitution was divinely inspired, and that the Founding Fathers were raised up to bring it to fruition, McNaughton painted Jesus Christ holding the document and historical figures surrounding Him, either sincerely trying to uphold it, or not. The painting is titled, "One Nation Under God." Even more recently, McNaughton has painted Christ carrying His cross down the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem with historical religious figures surrounding Him.
McNaughton was born and raised in Mesa, Arizona. His family moved to Utah when he was 14, and McNaughton studied art on scholarship at Brigham Young University. He switched from the art department to the design department in order to skirt modernist leanings and trend toward classical training. He graduated with a BFA in Design with an emphasis on Illustration. He has enhanced his skills by studying the masters and engaging in pure practice out in nature. He paints using a method called French Barbizon Impressionism, a school of style popular from about 1830 to 1875, which influenced many of the most famous impressionists. It is named after a town south of Paris. The technique employs subtle tones and colors, with softness in the landscapes portrayed. Few people today are painting using this technique, and McNaughton is considered by some to be the premiere French Barbizon Impressionist.
McNaughton lives in Spanish Fork, Utah, with his wife and six children.