Frieze of Prophets, north wall, detail, left panel

Frieze of Prophets, north wall (continued)

The scroll held by Daniel, the fourth prophet from the left on the north wall, bears an inscription that emphasizes the idea of the Library as a shrine to intellectual and spiritual enlightenment: “They that be wise shall shine.” Sargent, like many of his contemporaries, believed that great books and great art would provide mental and spiritual illumination to the people of Boston. The “light” in the Library’s motto (“The Light of All Citizens”) thus implied more than a warm and passive glow: it was the active force of enlightenment.
Frieze of Prophets, detail, north wall, left panel
(1999 photo)
The Triumph of Religion