One of a group of oil sketches associated with John Singer Sargent’s travels to Egypt in 1891, this painting represents the Mosque of Sulayman Pasha al-Khadim in Cairo’s citadel complex. Built in 1528, it is considered the first Ottoman-style mosque in Egypt. Using quick brushstrokes and an array of muted colors, Sargent captures the interior courtyard at a tranquil moment. A wooden door on the far wall leads to the mosque’s prayer hall; marble wall panels are visible on either side of the doorway together with a grilled window. Sargent chose a low vantage point to highlight the intricate stonework of the inlaid marble floor. The Gallery’s collection includes other works from the artist’s extensive travels abroad, including Street in Venice (1882) and Valdemosa, Majorca: Thistles and Herbage on a Hillside (1908).
Marks and Labels
The artist's sister, Mrs. Francis Ormond [1870-1955, née Violet Sargent], London; gift to Sir Alec Martin [1884-1971], London, after 1926; sold 1966 through (Sutch and Martin, London) to Joseph F. McCrindle [1923-2008], New York; gift 2006 to NGA.
- Exhibition of Works by the Late John S. Sargent, R.A. Winter Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1926, no. 310, as Pavement, Jerusalem.
- Opening Exhibition of the Sargent Gallery, National Gallery, London (now Tate Britian), 1926, unnumbered catalogue, as Pavement, Jerusalem.
- Charteris, Evan. John Sargent. New York, 1927: 288, as Pavement, Jerusalem.
- Mount, Charles Merrill. John Singer Sargent: A Biography. Rev. ed. (originally published 1955). New York, 1969: 448, as Pavement, Jerusalem.
- Grasselli, Margaret M., and Arthur K. Wheelock, Jr., eds. The McCrindle Gift: A Distinguished Collection of Drawings and Watercolors. Exh. cat. National Gallery of Art. Washington, 2012: 3, 19, 20 fig. 9, repro. 185.