Synagogue, showing damage In 1924, two months before the repeal of the legislature’s bill, an unidentified individual splattered Sargent’s Synagogue with ink. In response, the Library stationed a guard by the contested image. Sargent himself assisted Herbert Thompson from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, with the restoration; they were able to repair the damage done. Though Sargent kept his thoughts to himself, and although other factors contributed to his decision, the controversy appears to have been the main reason that he abandoned Triumph of Religion before painting the planned keynote image, Sermon on the Mount.
Photograph of damaged Synagogue, 1924
Boston Public Library
The Triumph of Religion