What is the story behind this picture being known as the image of the great Rabbi Yisrael Meir Kagan? Is it him in fact? Where does it come from?
The only true picture (that I am aware of) shows him sitting down, at a distance and is rather unclear:
This website mentions that the first image could be that of his Shamas or wagon driver. It describes the above photo (the second picture) as follows: "The above picture was taken in Radin and the Chofetz Chaim is seen speaking to his oldest son, Rabbi Leib Poupko who eventually became Rav in Radin and President of the Mizrachi in Poland. He passed away in 1939. The CC’s last Rebbetzin, also who was an adopted daughter, is standing behind him. There’s also a young woman in the picture standing next to the Chofetz Chaim. Rav Chaim Wolkin, the Mashgiach in Ateres, is seen posing (in a walking pose, which was apparently a popular thing in those days) in the street between the photographer and the house".
Are there any other photos of the Chofetz Chaim to which we can compare the first picture for authentication?