Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives

Charles-Théodore Frère (French, Paris 1814–1888 Paris)
by 1880
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:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 804
This panoramic view was commissioned from Frère by the New York collector Catharine Lorillard Wolfe by 1880, when it was first described as being in her possession. Because the artist had not been to the Holy Land for twenty years—he had 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.
Inscription: Signed and inscribed (lower right): TH. FRERE. / JÉRUSALEM. TERRE SAINTE. (Holy Land)
Catharine Lorillard Wolfe, New York (by 1880–d. 1887; commissioned from the artist)
Phoenix Art Museum. "Aspects of the Desert: The Dedication of the Phoenix Art Museum," November 14, 1959–January 31, 1960, no. 27 (as "Jerusalem from the Environs").

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

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: European Painters in North Africa and the Near East," July 1–October 28, 1984, no. 23.

Edward Strahan [Earl Shinn], ed. The Art Treasures of America. Philadelphia, [1880], 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, calls it "Jerusalem from the Environs" and states that it was "painted to order".

Charles Sterling and Margaretta M. Salinger. French Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vol. 2, XIX Century. New York, 1966, p. 146, ill., call it "Jerusalem from the Environs" and 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, calls it "Jerusalem from the Environs," states that it may have been shown at the Salon of 1881, and 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. Ed. Mary Anne Stevens. 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; states 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.

This work was first published while it was in the collection of New Yorker Catharine Lorillard Wolfe (1828–1887) as "Jerusalem, from Mount of Olives" (Strahan 1880). It entered The Met as part of the Wolfe bequest in 1887, whereupon it was called "Jerusalem, from the Environs." Scholars from Sterling and Salinger (1966) onward, notably including Munro (1984), have considered the possibility that the painting was exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1881 (as no. 925bis, "Jérusalem, vue prise de la vallée de Josaphat"), but there is no known documentation to confirm this suggestion.
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