Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Painting on glass of Fagin with his toasting fork

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.89

Search this record's additional resources, such as finding aids, documents, or transcripts.

No results match this search term.
Check spelling and try again.

results are loading

0 results found for “keyward

    Painting on glass of Fagin with his toasting fork


    Brief Narrative
    Painting on glass of Fagin, the devil-like Jewish character from the novel, Oliver Twist, written by Charles Dickens in 1837-8. The image is based on an 1888 illustration by Kyd (Joseph Clayton Clarke.) The characterization is antisemitic and exploits many negative stereotypes. Referred to as The Jew, Fagin is introduced as "villainous and repulsive," with black nails and fanglike teeth. He is greedy and vicious, and kidnaps small children and trains them to be thieves. Dickens rationalized the issue, saying that if he had a character who was a fence, a dealer in stolen goods, he had to be a Jew because "that class of criminal almost invariably was a Jew." Later adaptations of the novel tried to sidestep the complications of Fagin's ethnic identity, or make him more of a comic figure, but his stereotypical Jewish traits are central to his depiction. This painting on glass is one of the more than 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic artifacts and visual materials.
    Artwork Title
    Fagin from Oliver Twist
    creation:  approximately 1940-1945
    creation: Great Britain
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
    Compiler: Peter Ehrenthal
    Artist: G.A. Sydenham
    The Katz Ehrenthal Collection is a collection of more than 900 objects depicting Jews and antisemitic and anti-Jewish propaganda from the medieval to the modern era, in Europe, Russia, and the United States. The collection was amassed by Peter Ehrenthal, a Romanian Holocaust survivor, to document the pervasive history of anti-Jewish hatred in Western art, politics and popular culture. It includes crude folk art as well as pieces created by Europe's finest craftsmen, prints and periodical illustrations, posters, paintings, decorative art, and toys and everyday household items decorated with depictions of stereotypical Jewish figures.

    Physical Details

    Physical Description
    Painting in oil on a rectangular offwhite glass panel made to resemble ivory of a cartoonlike caricature of a Jewish man with long red hair and beard, and a white kerchief tied around his head. He has dark eyes under thick brows and a large, hooked nose. He holds a large, 4-pronged toasting fork in his right hand, with his left hand extended, palm up, expecting some offering. He wears a long, dirty, patched green dressing gown with a dangling purple polka dot pocket handkerchief, a white and blue striped shirt, green vest, and blue breeches, stockings, and slippers. He stands on a green circle with the painter's name, G.A. Sydenham, in brown paint on the left. The caption, Fagin from Oliver Twist, is painted below. The glass has brown lines around the edges resembling cracks.
    overall: Height: 10.000 inches (25.4 cm) | Width: 8.000 inches (20.32 cm) | Depth: 0.375 inches (0.953 cm)
    overall : glass, oil paint

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    No restrictions on access
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The painting was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2016 by the Katz Family.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this artifact has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Special Collection
    Katz Ehrenthal Collection
    Record last modified:
    2022-07-28 18:12:36
    This page:

    Download & Licensing

    In-Person Research

    Contact Us