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This scene illustrates the Biblical story of the Exile of the Jews in Psalm 137: 'By the waters of Babylon, there we sat down and wept, when we remembered Zion. On the willows there, we hung up our lyres For there our captors required of us songs, And our tormentors, mirth, saying “Sing us one of the Songs of Zion How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?"' Grosvenor Gallery list wording as 'we hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof'.
oil on canvas
H 89.5 x W 167 cm