Ars Judaica

Striped Jews: The Offering of the Jews in the Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum

Ars Judaica (1970), 15, (1), 29–46.

Abstract

This article investigates the semantics of striped clothes in their religious, social, historical, and artistic contexts. Various stripes decorate the clothes of the Israelites conducting the offering of Passover lamb in the altarpiece panel (ca. 1465–1470) attributed to the Netherlandish Master of the Gathering of the Manna. The artist implies that the Jews who have established the ritual do not understand its true meaning. The painting refrains from scenes of violent, bloody animal offering. We propose that this unusual interpretation of the offering of the Jews responds to the renewed approach to the Blessed Sacrament in the spirit of the Devotio moderna religious movement that flourished in the fifteenth-century Netherlands. Striped robes and headgear as well as reliably rendered tallitot distinguish the Jews as strangers, but also play a role in the visual narrative interpreting the ritual performed by biblical Israelites as a prefiguration of the nonviolent Christian sacrament.

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Details

Author details

Harman, Dilshat