Church and Synagogue

Synagogue and Church

Sargent’s paired images retain many of the attributes of their medieval Christian prototypes: Synagogue is dethroned and blindfolded, having failed to “see” the new religious truth in Christianity’s messiah; Church remains upright, her authority resting on the foundation of the prophets and the vision of the evangelists. In Sargent’s view, however, both institutions belonged to the religious past. Painted in a receding palette, bounded by their architectural frames, neither signaled the advanced spirituality and discernment that he believed would characterize the modern age.
1. Synagogue
2. Church, installed 1919
framed panels, east wall (1999 photos)
The Triumph of Religion