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What time Ierusalem that Cittie faire, Was sieg'd and sackt by great Vespasians heire   Canaan's Calamitie, Jerusalem's Misery ; The dolefull destruction of faire Ierusalem by Tytus, the Sonne of Vaspasian Emperour of Rome, in the yeare of Christ's Incarnation 74  (1598) Wherein is shewed the woonderfull miseries which God brought upon that Citty for sinne, being utterly over-throwne and destroyed, by Sword, pestilence and famine. 


"Destruction of Jerusalem"
E. Lambert / B. West




Lambert, E., artist.
West, artist. (copy after)
Destruction of Jerusalem, (painting).
Object Type: 
Exhibition Catalog
Entry Note: 

"Diorama of Jerusalem; painted by Mr. E. Lambert. The subject of this picture, which has never before been exhibited, is painted from josephus's description of the Jewish wars. " Jerusalem, previous to its being beseiged by the Romans under vespasian, was rent by intestine faction and seditious broils. The opposing leaders were Simon and John, who, upon the coming of the Romans, allayed their civil contentions, and united their forces to resist the invasion of the common enemy. " The awful event which the painting is intended to represent, is one of those subjects that interest all classes and denominations of Christians, from the remarkable transactions which took place in Jerusalem, as recorded in the books of the old and new testament. Our lord foresaw and prophesied the destruction of the city of Jerusalem seventy years before it was overthrown and made desolate, its people carried into captivity, and the whole nation dispersed throughout the world, from which fatal overthrow the Jews have never recovered. " It is described as follows in St. Luke, Chap. XIX, ver. 43 and 44: - 'for the days shall come upon thee, . . . Thou knowest not the time of thy visitation.' The leaders of the rebellious faction, Simon and John, are near the centre of the picture, elevated on a heap of the slain, endeavouring to make good their retreat, being hard pressed by the Romans on all sides. Near and above them are vespasian and his son titus, ordering their troops to subdue the conflagration of the temple. On the right of the picture is a man, who, for three years went about the city prophesying its destruction, crying, 'woe, woe, to this city.' The Jewish family, together with others forming part of the group on the same side, are variously affected by the awful and prophetic denunciation of the prophet. Near him is a group of famished wretches, wresting a morsel of food from the gripe of a starving relative. The famine was so great, that the Jews became furious in the extreme, so that where any food appeared they fought to possess it and the dearest friends snatched from each other the most miserable supports of life. " The boys who have climbed up the Jewish monument are gazing on the appalling scene with the vacant thoughtless curiosity of youth. Above these, and in front of the portico of a public edifice, are groups of figures, some supplicating divine aid, and others fainting from terror and exhaustion. Roman soldiers puruing and carrying off Jewish women, and mothers fleeing with their children to a place of shelter and safety. In the centre of the picture is the battering ram - this military engine is of great power, used for breaking down the walls of fortresses, and is seen making a breach in the wall of the temple, the strenght of which was so great as to resist its force for six days. " The terrific carnage represented in the front of the holy of holies, the pollution of the sacred altar, by the immense slaughter of human life, the conflagration of the temple (which was the pride and glory of the Jews, and admiration of all the world,) was much increased by the flashes of fire from the heavens. In the heavens are represented various chariots and horses, with troops and soldiers in armour, fighting and running in the clouds, as described by Josephus. " The attacks on the walls by the Romans with their scaling ladders, were in many instances checked, and the ladders pushed from the walls, hurling the roman soldiers headlong to the earth; on one part of the wall a roman soldier has succeeded in mounting it with a roman ensign, encouraging and animating the Romans to follow, while the temple is assailed, and on fire in various parts. " To the left of the picture, in the foreground, and at the summit of a wall, where an immense breach has been made by a battering ram, are archers and slingers, with various Syrian, Arabian, and Roman soldiers, throwing stones from an engine, and firing their darts upon the terrified fugitives, who are endeavoring to escape from the scene of the action. " The spoils of the temple, and the holy vessels employed by the priests in the religious ceremonies, are laying on the left of the picture in the foreground. . . . " [P. 1-5; excerpted from a twelve page description of the picture. An elaborate discussion of the historical facts in question has not been reproduced here.]

West's Destruction of Jerusalem Diorama, Baltimore, Maryland, 1835
"This splendid painting is from one of the many sketches of the illustrations of scripture history, designed by the late B. West, Esq. for a gallery intended to have been formed by his late majesty, George the III, and has been exhibited in London for fifteen months to upwards of 80,000 visitors. The general effect of it is truly impressive and powerful, it is a scene of awful sublimity and grandeur, and shews the truth of the denunciations in the Bible against Jerusalem; as a work of art it must inspire every one with admiration at the prodigious efforts of human genius, and the gigantic ideas of the artist, and such is the extraordinary illusion with which it is painted, that the mind is led to contemplate it as a subject in reality." (cover)
Exhibition catalog is available at Ma/Boston/Boston Museum of Fine Arts
Exhibition catalog has been microfilmed by the Archives of American Art, reel no. MB501: 1437-1444.
Exhibition type: General-American/One Man
Catalog Title: 
Description of the Picture of the Destruction of Jerusalem, Designed by the late B. West, Esq. R.A. Painted on Two Thousand Feet of Canvass, now exhibiting at the Diorama. Open daily from nine until dusk. Admittance 25 cents. Baltimore: Printed by Wm. G. Warner, No. 1, South Gay Street. 1835.
The Pre-1877 Art Exhibition Catalogue Index is a historical record of artworks exhibited in the United States and Canada up through the Centennial year of 1876. Information is recorded as given in each exhibition catalog.
Pre-1877 Art Exhibition Catalogue Index, Smithsonian American Art Museum, P.O. Box 37012, MRC 970, Washington, D.C. 20013-7012
Control Number: 
AECI 07060001



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