(American, 1856-1925)
Two Heads of a Bearded Man (Study for Frieze of the Prophets, Boston Public Library)
ca. 1891-92, oil on canvas
estate stamp JSS, verso
23 1/4 x 34 1/4 in.; frame: 31 x 52 in.

Provenance: - Estate of John Singer Sargent
- Christie, Manson & Woods, Pictures and Water Colour Drawings by J.S. Sargent, R.A., July 24-25, 1925, cat. no. 21.
- C.J. Conway, Esq., 1925
- York City Art Gallery, April-May 1926
- Private Dealer
- A Boston Gentleman

Exhibitions: - Loan Exhibition of Works by the Late John. S. Sargent, York City Art Gallery, England, March 31 - May 8, 1926. Cat. no. 21
- 25th Anniversary Exhibition: Paris International 1865-1945: An Exhibition Showing the Influence of Painting in Paris on European and American Artists, Maxwell Galleries Fine Painting, San Francisco, CA, October 8 - 30, 1965. Illus. no. 32

Literature: - Ormond, Richard, and Elaine Kilmurray, John Singer Sargent: Complete Paintings Vol. 9: Figures and Landscapes, 1914-1925, New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1998-2016. Cat. no. 1787.
- Olivier, Katherine, Preparatory Oil Sketches and Scale Models, in John Singer Sargent's "Triumph of Religion" at the Boston Public Library, edited by Narayan Khandekar, Gianfranco Pocobene, and Kate Smith, Cambridge, MA: Harvard Art Museums, New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2009. pp. 145-6, illus. p. 142, illus. no. 6.21.
- Mount, Charles Merrill, John Singer Sargent: A Biography, W.W. Norton, NY: 1955. p. 357, no. 921

Other Notes: In 1890, Sargent was asked to create a program of murals for the Special Collections Hall of the Boston Public Library. The theme of the mural series was 'The Triumph of Religion,' to complement the Library's status as the city's 'shrine of letters.' This painting, an early oil study for the Library's 'Frieze of the Prophets,' gives the viewer insight into Sargent's artistic process, demonstrating how he used his strength as a portraitist to infuse a sense of humanity and emotion in the figures represented in the mural.

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