Le Juif Errant

Imagerie d’Epinal
French Print House

Le Juif-Errant
France
1875
Stencil-colored lithograph, with gilding


Imagerie Nouvelle
French Print House

Veritable Complainte du Juif-Errant
Planche No. 593
France
1880
Stencil-colored lithograph, with gilding

Both pieces on permanent loan from the Friedman family – Edward, Judith, Benjamin, and Jacob

“The Wandering Jew” is a myth about a man doomed to be homeless because he taunted Jesus as he bore the cross. This story first emerged in Christian legend in the Middle Ages. This stereotyped how non-citizen Jews “wandered” as they faced frequent resettlement. 

“Le Juif Errant” is “The Wandering Jew” in French. These broadsheets are from Imagerie d’ Epinal and Imagerie Nouvelle, two French printing houses. Broadsheets, or broadsides, are large, single-sided printed pages. In the 18th and 19th centuries, they were used for posters,  announcements, and for sharing political or social views. They were intended for mass distribution and easy consumption. It was not unusual for publishers to print broadsheets containing antisemitic messages and images.

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