Frieze of Prophets, west, north, and east walls
Frieze of Prophets, west, north, and east walls, installed 1895, oil on canvas (1999 photo)

Frieze of Prophets

The images of the Hebrew prophets provided the cycle’s first representation of the “more spiritual ideal” that Sargent wished to recommend: in the prophets religion first became “subjective.” Sargent and others of his time ranked these ancient seers high among civilization’s first democrats. In their distinctive individual personalities and their concern for the common person they were thus especially well suited to an American context.
The Triumph of Religion