Hart's earliest painting on Jewish subject matter, 'Interior of a Polish Synagogue at the Moment when the Manuscript of the Law is Elevated' (Tate), was begun in 1829, completed in 1830 and exhibited at the Suffolk Street Gallery. 'The Writing on the Wall', dated to approximately 1837-38 (on the grounds of its similarity to other watercolours), is one of the earliest watercolours of a synagogue interior to be painted in Britain.

The synagogue depicted in both paintings, variously known as the “Polish” Synagogue or Cutler Street or Carter Street Synagogue, was situated on the first floor of a building on the corner of these two streets. Established between 1790 and 1802, it was one of three minor congregations reputedly established in London in the eighteenth century and served a predominantly lower-middle class Ashkenazi Orthodox Jewish community.


  • Title: The Writing on the Wall
  • Creator: Solomon Alexander Hart
  • Date Created: 1837/1838
  • Physical Dimensions: 40 x 28 cm
  • Type: painting
  • Medium: watercolour
  • Art Form: painting
  • Support: paper

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