Sketch of Obadiah Sargent depicted the prophets in attitudes of deep conviction. The figures were meant to portray the essence of Jewish prophetic tradition, in which courageous seers forecast the consequences of Jewish events. Sargent carefully studied the contributions of specific prophets. Powerful sketchbook studies record his efforts to capture, for example, the depth of Obadiah’s shame or Joel’s passionate despair.
Sketch of Obadiah, ca. 1891–95
Charcoal on paper, 36.7 x 25.4 cm
Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University Art
Museums, Gift of Mrs. Francis Ormond
The Triumph of Religion