postcard reproduction of IsaiahIn 1899 Henry Turner Bailey, writing on pictorial education, asserted that the “ultimate question is, ‘What does the picture say to me?’” If, from Sargent’s perspective, Triumph of Religion exalted the privatization of religion, from Bailey's, the privatization of art was a similarly logical step: “While no scripture is of private interpretation, in one sense; in another its only true interpretation is a private one. So it is with a great work of art. We may read about it…but we shall not know it until it has spoken to each of us directly, until it has brought to our spirit a personal message too tender for words.”
Postcard reproduction of Isaiah
Boston Public Library
The Triumph of Religion