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Satiric print about the emancipation of the Jews of Westphalia by King Jerome

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.174

In early July 1807, following Napoleon Bonaparte’s victories over the Prussians at Jena and Auerstädt, and the Russians at Friedland, France signed the Treaties of Tilsit with both nations in Tilsit, Prussia (now Sovetsk, Russia). France and Russia became allies, while Austria and Prussia were divided up between them. From part of the region, Napoleon created The Kingdom of Westphalia, where he installed his brother Jerome as King. The region was struggling financially, prompting Jerome to seek out financial support. He tried to win favor and support with the wealthy Jewish community in his Kingdom by removing many of the restrictions forced on the Jews of Westphalia. He officially removed these restrictions on January 27, 1808. The depicted image is from September 1807, during the time when he was trying to win favor with the community. The Jews are depicted with stereotypical features, like large, pointed noses, fleshy lips, and pointed beards, while the King is similarly depicted, though in reality he was considered to have more classical features. The image plays on the commonly mocked theme of Jewish people enjoying ham, which was forbidden to them. Furthermore, by having the King decree that the ham was now called venison, the artist is poking fun at the Jews and at the actions taken by the King to win their financial backing. The etching is one of the more than 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic artifacts and visual materials.

Artwork Title
King Jerry treating his Jewish subjects with Westphalia Venison!!
Date
publication/distribution:  1807 September 15
Geography
publication: London (England)
Language
English
Classification
Art
Category
Prints
Genre/Form
Etchings.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
 
Record last modified: 2020-06-30 09:24:08
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn538290