Sistine Chapel, Prophet Jeremiah, Study for Israel and the Law

Israel and the Law (continued)

Sargent’s interest in the individual’s interior relationship to religion led him to choose Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel Prophet Jeremiah as the primary source for his representation of Jehovah. Many of Sargent’s contemporaries saw Jeremiah as the prophet of the “new covenant,” the one who recommended a law written on the heart rather than on tablets of stone (Jeremiah 31:33-34). A comparison of Michelangelo’s Prophet Jeremiah with one of Sargent’s sketches for Israel and the Law demonstrates the connection between the two figures.
1. Michelangelo Buonarroti, Prophet Jeremiah,
1509–10, Fresco, Sistine Ceiling, Vatican, Rome
2. Study for “Israel and the Law”
Charcoal on paper, 47.5 x 62.5 cm
Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University Art Museums*
The Triumph of Religion