Friday, August 26, 2005

literary criticism

regensburgs gog, by altdorfer
Originally uploaded by mwc134.

so today i spent the day, like ive spent almost every day for the past few weeks, finishing up my dissertation and i realized i havent said word one about it to any of you - my sixteenth-century anti-judaic print starved readers...

well, im here to fill the void.

featured above is the interior of regensburgs synagogue which was demolished in 1519 because... well... people didnt like the jews.

why is this print important? well, many reasons, im arguing it belongs to a century-old body of anti-judaic prints produced around expulsions in 15th/16th century germany.

anyway, on to the good part.

the artist who made this print isnt horribly famous but a lot is know about his life. whats funny (to me) is that every author ive read who discusses this print tries to play it off like altdorfer wasnt a Jew hater DESPITE:

1) he was not only a member of the counil who decided to kick out the jews, he was one of the few who actually went to the ghetto and told them to pack their bags.

2) the latin inscription on this and another interior print which states it was through divine will that demolished the synagogue/jewish quarter

3) after the jews were thrown out, he paid someone to go dig up a few (jewish) gravestones which he used for the floor of his house.

how do they excuse him from all this?

1) everyone else was doing it, and maybe he was just following the crowd?

2) shhh! dont read too much into the print.

3) maybe he was trying to preserve them! some english clergyman 400 years later used abandoned (christian) gravestones for a walkway, the situations vaguly similar, why not!

theres other stuff too... i just dont want to get into it.

soooo, in conclusion... better not call a jew-hating artist whos been dead for 500 years a bigot because he may come back to haunt you.

art historys great.



At 9:48 PM, Blogger Chris said...

Just wandering around and found your blog.

Anyway, your dissertation is interesting, though it's not quite up my alley.

Good luck with it.

At 10:39 PM, Blogger The Good Mr. M____ of F____ said...



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