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Caricature of Baron Alphonse de Rothschild as an octopus with an eyepatch

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.324

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    Caricature of Baron Alphonse de Rothschild as an octopus with an eyepatch
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    Overview

    Brief Narrative
    Poster with a caricature of Baron Mayer Alphonse de Rothschild with his head on the body of an octopus. It was part of Musee des Horreurs, an antisemitic series featuring 52 vicious caricatures of well known Jews and others involved in the Dreyfus Affair. It was produced in 1899-1900 by an artist under the pseudonym V. Lenepveu. The Rothschild family was not involved in the scandal, but their prominence made them targets of the anti-Jewish fanaticism engulfing France. The Dreyfus Affair was a political scandal revolving around antisemitism that inflamed France in the late 19th century. Alfred Dreyfus was an army captain found guilty of treason in 1894 for selling French military secrets to the Germans. Antisemitic publications used Dreyfus as a symbol of the disloyalty of all French Jews. In 1896, another man was tried and acquitted of the same crime. Emile Zola, a prominent author and journalist, wrote a letter to protest the verdict, titled "J'Accuse," in which he accused the French Army of covering up its unjust conviction of Dreyfus. Zola was charged with libel and the Dreyfus Affair grew into a national political crisis. An Army intelligence officer was found to have forged the document proving Dreyfus's guilt. But in a second trial at Rennes, despite the confession of the traitor, Esterhazy, the Army again convicted Dreyfus. On September 9, he was sentenced to prison for another ten years. The verdict was met with outrage around the world, and there were threats to boycott the World's Fair in Paris in 1900. Dreyfus was offered a pardon by the president to end the crisis, which he accepted September 19. The poster is one of the more than 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic artifacts and visual materials.
    Title
    N'a qu'un oeil, No. 2
    Series Title
    Musee des Horreurs
    Date
    publication:  1899-1900
    Geography
    publication: Paris (France)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
    Markings
    front, top left, black ink : MUSÉE / DES / HORREURS
    front, top right, black ink : No. 2 / N’a qu’un oeil / Banquier-brocanteur [Has only one eye / Banker-dealer]]
    front, bottom left, black ink : pour paraître prochainement: / Le TRAITRE! / TROU de BALLE! [To be published soon: / The Traitor! / Bullet Hole!]
    front, bottom left, within image, black ink : V. Lenepveu
    front, bottom right, black ink : Le ROI des PORCS! etc,etc. / Impr. Gérant: LENEPVEU, (?) rue Dulong, PARIS [King of the Pigs!, etc., etc.]
    Contributor
    Compiler: Peter Ehrenthal
    Publisher: Imprimerie Lenepveu
    Artist: V. Lenepveu
    Biography
    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

    Language
    French
    Classification
    Posters
    Physical Description
    Poster in black ink on light brown paper with handcolored details depicting a caricature of an elderly man wearing a black eyepatch, his head on the body of an octopus. He has a bald crown, furrowed forehead, and stereotypical Jewish features: thick, eyebrows, a hooded eye, a hooked nose, and a fleshy lower lip. He has wavy, white hair, a mustache, and long, bushy mutton chops. His peach colored face is in quarter right profile at the center of his body. On either side of his head, there are 4 sinuous arms tinted light green with suckers along the bottom, the tapered ends extending toward the edges of the poster. There is French text over the ends of several arms at the top and bottom. The edges are torn and it is adhered to a slightly larger linen backing.
    Dimensions
    overall: Height: 26.000 inches (66.04 cm) | Width: 20.000 inches (50.8 cm)
    Materials
    overall : paper, ink, linen, adhesive

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Provenance
    The poster 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 18:30:24
    This page:
    https:​/​/collections.ushmm.org​/search​/catalog​/irn539589

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