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Comic painting of two Orthodox Jewish men fighting

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.634

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    Comic painting of two Orthodox Jewish men fighting

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    Brief Narrative
    Oil painting with a caricature of two Orthodox Jewish men fighting in public. This painting is a parody of an extremely popular genre of nature paintings, many also titled Fighting Stags, which presented romanticized visions of magnificent antlered stags fighting in a clearing. There was also a popular photograph published by Oscar Kramer (1835-1892), of Vienna, titled, Kampfende Hirsche, Zwei polnische Juden in e. Balgerei [Fighting Stags: Two Polish Jews in a Tussle], which may have been known by the unknown artist. The painting presents the Jewish men as subjects of ridicule for their repellant physical appearance, their ineptness as fighters, and their undignified public behavior. Antisemitism was an increasingly popular topic in Austria at the time. This painting is one of more than 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic visual materials.
    Artwork Title
    Kampfende Hirsche
    Alternate Title
    Fighting Stags
    creation:  1887
    creation: Austria
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
    front, upper left, red paint : "Kampfende Hirsche" / freie Copie nach Krämer C.G. 87. [Fighting Stags / Free Copy from Krämer C.G. 87]
    Compiler: Peter Ehrenthal
    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 oil on canvas with a comic depiction of 2 Orthodox Jewish men, bald with long, black curly sidelocks and beards, furiously grappling with each other. The man on the left has grabbed his opponent's very large nose with his left hand and and his lapel with his right. He is being pulled forward by his opponent who pulls a sidelock with the right hand and claws his head with the left. They have caricatured facial features: large ears, bushy eyebrows, and thick lips with missing and snaggly teeth. Both wear white shirts and long black overcoats with holes under the arms. Their legs are splayed as both struggle to keep their balance. Their crumpled black top hats have fallen off: the left to the ground; the right is mid-air. A large, open red umbrella rests, handle upward, on the ground near their feet. A group of spectators is outlined on the right. The background is gray/green with the title and signature in the upper left. The paint is applied in a single smooth layer. It is in a black painted frame with ornate carved gilt borders on the inner and outer edges. See 2016.184.145 for a small plate with this image.
    overall: Height: 17.625 inches (44.768 cm) | Width: 20.500 inches (52.07 cm) | Depth: 1.500 inches (3.81 cm)
    pictorial area: Height: 13.750 inches (34.925 cm) | Width: 16.375 inches (41.593 cm)
    overall : canvas, oil paint, wood, metal

    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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