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Het Committé van Financie

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.372

This etching of the Committee of Finance is the fourth in the twenty plate series, Hollandia Regenerata. The series was originally illustrated by Swiss soldier and caricaturist, David Hess, as a satirical commentary on the newly created, French-supported Batavian Republic. The images were refined and etched by James Gillray, and published in 1796, likely by Hannah Humphrey of London, England. In December 1792, the French Republic decreed that it would declare the sovereignty of the people in nations it helped liberate. The Batavian Republic (now the Netherlands) was one such country, formed in January 1795. While Batavia had many leaders and committees, it was subject to governance by France, which had supported the nation’s liberation. France expected repayment from liberated nations for expenses incurred while participating in “common defense.” This etching depicts the outcome of this financial burden, with Committee of Finance members looking at coffers drained to repay the French, and an excess of worthless paper currency forced on them. In search of money to run the nation, one committee member discusses a questionable scheme to produce hard currency with a Jewish man. The man is heavily bearded with a hooked nose, and wears a fur hat and long-coat; all stereotypical features and clothing commonly attributed to Jews. The transaction also furthers the antisemitic stereotypes of the greedy Jew who exploits Gentiles for their own economic advantage, and Jewish control of finance. These stereotypes originate from the economic and professional restrictions placed on early European Jews, which forced many into occupations such as money changing or money lending. They were perceived as morally deficient and willing to engage in unethical business practices. The etching is one of more than 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic artifacts and visual materials.

Alternate Title
The Committee of Finance
Series Title
Hollandia Regenerata
Date
publication/distribution:  1796
Geography
publication: London (England)
depiction: Netherlands
Language
Dutch
French
Classification
Art
Category
Prints
Object Type
Etching (lcsh)
Genre/Form
Prints.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
 
Record last modified: 2021-04-08 12:05:36
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn543902