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Painting of a Jewish pawnbroker and customer with a violin

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.567

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    Painting of a Jewish pawnbroker and customer with a violin


    Brief Narrative
    Picturesque painting of a Jewish pawnbroker by Swedish artist, Johan Christoffer Boklund (1817-1880.) Boklund was a naturalistic painter, specializing in history, genre, and portrait paintings. There were few Jews in Sweden, but Boklund also studied and worked in Germany for eight years. He may have used those memories to create this scene which was painted soon after his return to Sweden. Boklund later became director of the Royal Swedish Academy of Arts. This painting is one of the more than 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic artifacts and visual materials.
    Artwork Title
    The Pawnbroker
    creation:  1856
    creation: Stockholm (Sweden)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
    front, bottom left corner, black paint : Boklund Johan / 1856
    Compiler: Peter Ehrenthal
    Artist: Johan Christoffer Boklund
    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

    Object Type
    Genre painting (lcsh)
    Physical Description
    Painting in oil on canvas of a pawnbroker holding up and examining a violin pulled from a large light brown sack held open by an older man, with a subdued, watchful expression. The seller wears a white fur edged cap over longish white hair and a worn golden brown jacket and pants. A small brown dog sits close behind, staring up at him. The pawnbroker is Jewish, with dark sidecurls and a long beard. He wears wire rim glasses, a dark brown jacket and pants, with a brown and red swirled apron tied around his waist. The men stand in an outdoor stall on light brown ground amid a table, armchair, and a desk; a white vessel lies broken in the front center. The background continues the contrasting play of light and dark with a sun dappled offwhite building on the right and a dark green and black center doorway and curtain on the left. It is signed and dated by the artist. It is in a gilt and lacquered wooden frame with ornately carved foliage and an open back.
    overall: Height: 25.500 inches (64.77 cm) | Width: 21.750 inches (55.245 cm) | Depth: 3.500 inches (8.89 cm)
    pictorial area: Height: 19.500 inches (49.53 cm) | Width: 15.500 inches (39.37 cm)
    overall : canvas, oil paint, wood

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The painting 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 18:30:38
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