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Gillray print of the founder of the British Israel movement

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.165

Satirical print by James Gillray of a crazed looking Richard Brothers leading the Jews to the Promised Land. This print was published the day after his March 4, 1795, arrest for interference with state politics, for which he was charged with treasonable practices. Brothers (1757-1824) was the founder of the British Israel movement, self styled Nephew of the Almighty, descendent of David, who claimed he was chosen to return the Jews to the Promised Land. He is shown wearing a red Phrygian cap and no pants, a reference to his opposition to the British war against France, and his support of the sans culottes of the French Revolution, who he viewed as chosen people. The men in his sack are members of Parliament who opposed the war. Brothers claimed to have prophetic visions, such as the destruction of the city of London and the collapse of the monarchy. During his arrest in 1792, Isabella Wake brought him bread weekly, and he foresaw a great role for her in his new Kingdom. After this 1795 arrest, he was found to be a criminal lunatic and sent to an insane asylum. The etching is one of the more than 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic artifacts and visual materials.

Artwork Title
The Prophet of the Hebrews, the Prince of Peace, conducting the Jews to the Promised Land
publication/distribution:  1795 March 05
publication: London (England)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
Record last modified: 2021-02-10 08:50:34
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