Israel and the Law, detail, and Sketch for Sermon on the Mount

Sermon on the Mount (continued)

In the case of both Israel and the Law and Sermon on the Mount, Sargent’s introduction of the figure of a child transformed the activity represented. God became a teacher rather than a stern dispenser of regulations; Jesus would appear below God, not as preacher but as teacher too. In the educational space of the library, this alteration was especially significant. By depicting both God and Jesus as teachers, Sargent elevated education to a sacred ideal.
1. Israel and the Law, detail (1999 photo)
2. Sketch for “Sermon on the Mount,” detail
Graphite on paper, 25.4 x 33 cm
Boston Public Library, Print Department
Gift of Miss Emily Sargent and Mrs. Francis Ormond
The Triumph of Religion