Ernest Peixotto illustration from Scribner's, 1896 Through his mural cycle, Sargent took up a subject of intense scholarly interest. Contemporary experts in many fields charted the evolution or “progress” of Western civilization in terms similar to Sargent’s, drawing parallels between type of religious observance and level of cultural development. The thinking of such scholars as Ernest Renan, James Frazer, and William James helped shape Sargent’s conceptual framework for Triumph of Religion.
Ernest Peixotto, “The Sargent Decoration in the Staircase Hall,” 1895
Scribner’s Magazine, January 1896, p. 91
The Triumph of Religion