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Watercolor of soldiers invading the home of a Jewish family

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.571

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    Watercolor of soldiers invading the home of a Jewish family


    Brief Narrative
    History painting by Herman ten Kate (1832-1891) depicting soldiers bursting into the home of a Jewish family. It is described as an episode in the history of the persecution of Jews in the Middle Ages, but the soldiers wear short skirted Roman uniforms and other details seem out of place. History painting was a popular genre which depicted a serious narrative, of real or imaginary events, often with a moral or noble message. History refers to the Italian istoria, narrative or story, and not a depiction of actual events. Pictures were often based on subjects from the Bible, mythology, or historical events. This painting is one of more than 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic visual materials.
    Artwork Title
    A Pogrom in the Middle Ages
    creation:  1863
    creation: Netherlands
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
    front, lower right corner, black paint : Herman ten Kate FC 1863
    Compiler: Peter Ehrenthal
    Artist: Herman F. ten Kate
    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

    Physical Description
    Painting in watercolor with charcoal(?) on paper attached to paper nailed to a wood panel. It depicts the interior of a large room with a Jewish family being confronted by soldiers. Just right of center stands a tall blond soldier in a short red tunic and breastplate. He holds a dagger behind his back and points with the index finger of his outstretched left arm at an infant on a raised bed. Two soldiers stand behind him; one points at the child; the other watches, swinging a raised mace, while a woman kneels at his feet, hands raised in supplication. A middle aged man in a brown robe, with dark unkempt hair, a large nose, and pointed beard, holds both hands up over the infant, pleading. An older boy, mouth open in alarm, stands in shadow at the head of the bed. A woman sits at the end of the bed gazing at the soldiers as a young girl clings to her lap, looking back with a frightened expression. An elderly man with a kippah kneels behind them, hands clasped in prayer. In the left background, 2 women have their hands raised in prayer. The woman wear white headscarves and long gowns. In the right foreground, a soldier kneels with his pole axe. Behind him, in front of the doorway, a soldier is grabbing a praying man kneeling before him. It is a large spacious room, with a central chandelier and a balcony with arched light filled doorways and 2-story windows. The colors are muted and the family is highlighted with a beam of light. Signed and dated by the artist.
    overall: Height: 17.000 inches (43.18 cm) | Width: 24.625 inches (62.548 cm) | Depth: 0.500 inches (1.27 cm)
    overall : paper, watercolor

    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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