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Gillray print of the founder of the British Israel movement

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.165

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    Gillray print of the founder of the British Israel movement


    Brief Narrative
    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
    front, bottom left, black ink : Js. Gy. des. et fec.
    front, bottom right, publishing information, black ink : Pubd. March. 5th. 1795. by H. Humphrey. N. 37. New Bond Street
    front, bottom, title, black ink : The PROPHET of the HEBREWS, __ the PRINCE of PEACE, conducting the JEWS to the PROMIS’D – LAND.
    Compiler: Peter Ehrenthal
    Artist: James Gillray
    Publisher: Hannah Humphrey
    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

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    Physical Description
    Color print of an etching on paper of a cartoon of a bizarre looking man with golden rays shooting from his forehead leading a group of bedraggled Jewish people along a danger laden red path. He wears a red Phrygian liberty cap over wild hair and looks out with wide eyes, flushed cheeks, and a fixed grin. He wears a rumpled brown frock coat, with a paper labelled Assignats, no breeches, and torn stockings. His right arm is extended outward, pointing with disfigured fingers; in his left hand he carries a book marked REVELATION and a flaming sword. On his back is a sack titled "Bundle of the Elect", holding 4 men, Charles Fox, Richard Sheridan, Charles Stanhope, and William Petty, in red caps and torn stockings. His right foot steps on a dragonlike beast with 2 human heads, Pope Pius VI and King George III, and 5 monstrous ones. Near the heads, engulfed in flames, are London monuments, St. Paul's and Nelson's column in Trafalgar. The red stream leads to a wooden gate labelled Jerusalem, with 3 nooses. Behind it is a tower of flame and along the side is an ocean filled with sinking ships. Above it is a sun with a red cap labelled Libertas, glaring eyes and gritted teeth, dripping blood. To the left, above Brothers' head, hovers an owl holding an olive branch and a paper reading Peace. On the left, above the group of Jews, is a crescent moon ringed by demonic looking winged creatures. The Jews are led by a hook-nosed peddler with a walking stick and a box of trinkets and a buxom woman, with a goblet and bottle labelled Everlasting Life. A paper hanging from her skirt reads: "Isabell Wake a new Song to the tune of a Two penny Loaf." The closely packed group of men behind them are faintly colored. The caption is printed along the bottom.
    overall: Height: 11.875 inches (30.163 cm) | Width: 15.000 inches (38.1 cm)
    overall : paper, ink
    back, bottom right, pencil : J. Gilray / AL5/6/86/JR / X / Wink J ROSE 0820/3 EE

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The etching 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 18:30:19
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