Bernard Picart’s Etchings of Amsterdam’s Jews
Jewish Social Studies
This article examines the Frenchman Bernard Picart's etchings of Amsterdam's Jewish community, published in 1723 in the initial volume of Cérémonies et coutumes religieuses de tous les peuples du monde. It is here, for one of the first times, that ‘the Jew’ was not understood as a singular type, nor was the Jew acquired by the colonizer. We can only understand why Picart was so interested in portraying the Jew as two separate types by considering his work in the context of extra-aesthetic factors. Picart's imagery functions as a critique of the mass influx of a second ‘type’ of Jew, the Ashkenazi or east European Jew, who dominated Amsterdam by the eighteenth century.
© 2007 Indiana University Press
Samantha Baskind, “Bernard Picart’s Etchings of Amsterdam’s Jews,” Jewish Social Studies, 13, no. 2 (Winter 2007): 40–64.