Jerusalem from the Environs

Charles-Théodore Frère (French, Paris 1814–1888 Paris)

possibly 1881
Oil on canvas
29 1/2 x 43 1/2 in. (74.9 x 110.5 cm)
Credit Line:
Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Collection, Bequest of Catharine Lorillard Wolfe, 1887
Accession Number:
  • Gallery Label

    This painting is thought to have been exhibited by Frère at the Salon of 1881 as View of Jerusalem from the Valley of Jehoshaphat. Because the artist had not been to the Holy Land for twenty years—he last traveled there as part of Empress Eugénie’s retinue in 1861—the composition must be based on one or more earlier studies or photographs. Frère’s meticulous style derives from his training under the academician Léon Cogniet, whose ceiling decorations devoted to Napoleon’s Egyptian campaign (Musée du Louvre, Paris) were completed two years before the younger painter’s first trip to Algeria, in 1837.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: Signed and inscribed (lower right): TH. FRERE. / JÉRUSALEM. TERRE SAINTE. (Holy Land)

  • Provenance

    Catharine Lorillard Wolfe, New York (until d. 1887)

  • Exhibition History

    Paris. Salon. May 2–?, 1881, no. 925bis (as "Jérusalem, vue prise de la vallée de Josaphat," possibly this picture).

    Phoenix Art Museum. "Aspects of the Desert: The Dedication of the Phoenix Art Museum," November 14, 1959–January 31, 1960, no. 27.

    Hempstead, N.Y. Emily Lowe Gallery, Hofstra University. "Art Pompier: Anti-Impressionism, 19th Century French Salon Painting," October 22–December 15, 1974, no. 42.

    London. Royal Academy of Arts. "The Orientalists: Delacroix to Matisse: European Painters in North Africa and the Near East," March 24–May 27, 1984, no. 23 (as "Jerusalem, View from the Valley of Jehoshaphat").

    Washington. National Gallery of Art. "The Orientalists: Delacroix to Matisse: The Allure of North Africa and the Near East," July 1–October 28, 1984, no. 23 (as "Jerusalem, View from the Valley of Jehoshaphat").

  • References

    The Art Treasures of America. reprint, 1977. New York, 1879, vol. 1, p. 134, as "Jerusalem, from Mount of Olives".

    Catalogue of the Paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1898, p. 152, no. 496, states that it was painted to order.

    Charles Sterling and Margaretta M. Salinger. "XIX Century." French Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 2, New York, 1966, p. 146, ill., note that it was possibly exhibited at the Salon of 1881.

    David L. Shirey. "'Art Pompier' Revived at Hofstra." New York Times (November 3, 1974), p. 134.

    Donald A. Rosenthal. Orientalism: The Near East in French Painting 1800–1880. Exh. cat., Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester. Rochester, N.Y., 1982, pp. 104, 121, fig. 104, comments that it may be based on photographs by Frère or others.

    Jane Munro in The Orientalists: Delacroix to Matisse, The Allure of North Africa and the Near East. Exh. cat., Royal Academy of Arts, London. New York, 1984, p. 133, no. 23, ill. [British edition, "The Orientalists: Delacroix to Matisse, European Painters in North Africa and the Near East," London, 1984, p. 131, no. 21], calls it "Jerusalem, View from the Valley of Jehoshaphat" and dates it 1881; notes that it was possibly exhibited at the Salon of 1881; suggests that it was painted from the Mount of Olives to the northeast of the city and identifies the Golden Gate, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Hamra minaret, and the Turkish wall.

  • See also
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History