Dating jewish new
Hebrew prophets wearing distinctive-looking pointed caps began appearing in the pages of richly illuminated Bibles and on the carved facades of the Romanesque churches that were then rising across western Christendom.The prophets’ headgear had nothing to do with actual Jewish clothing (there is no evidence that Jews at the time wore such hats, or any hats at all, for that matter—religious Jews did not regularly cover their heads until the sixteenth century).(As with the hats, the beards have little to do with actual Jewish appearances or religious practices.Jewish men were by no means uniformly bearded at this time.) But the appearance and meaning of Jews in Western art would change over time, as Christian concerns and devotional needs changed. Marking Hebrews in art influenced the way Christians imagined and thought about Jews; Christian attitudes and policies toward Jews consequently transformed as well.
The designer of the film’s poster evidently agreed, avoiding more obvious symbols of Jewish identity (skull-cap, sidecurls, Star of David) in favor of a single dark, hook-nosed, fleshy face.Failure to be properly moved by portrayals of Christ’s affliction was identified with “Jewish” hard-hearted ways of looking.In this and many other images, then, the Jew’s prominent nose serves primarily to draw attention to the angle of his head, turned ostentatiously away from the sight of Christ, and so links the Jew’s misbegotten flesh to his misdirected gaze.Indeed, the poster hardly needed the accompanying title.In Europe in 1940, this representation of Jewishness was widespread: similar depictions of Jews could be seen on posters and in pamphlets, newspapers, even children’s books.