Beyond the Yellow Badge

Anti-Judaism and Antisemitism in Medieval and Early Modern Visual Culture


In thirteen essays by leading art historians, and a critical introduction by the editor, Beyond the Yellow Badge seeks to reframe the relationship between European visual culture and the changing aspect of the Christian majority’s negative conceptions of Jews and Judaism during the Middle Ages and early modern periods. By situating their subjects within a broad continuum of historical and critical issues, the authors inquire into such questions as the shifting politics of toleration and intoleration; the role played by anti-Judaic legends in the formation of Christian cults; the role of positive evaluations of Hebrew, Jewish learning and Christian hopes for Jewish conversion; and the transformation of religious anti-Judaism into its modern racial and nationalistic counterparts. The book will be of special interest to art historians, cultural historians, students of Christian theology and Jewish history, and to educated general readers.

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Mitchell B. Merback, Ph.D. (1995), University of Chicago, is Associate Professor of Art History at DePauw University and author of The Thief, the Cross and the Wheel: Pain and the Spectacle of Punishment in Medieval and Renaissance Europe (London and Chicago, 1999).
Chapter One ‘Fair and Friendly, Sweet and Beautiful’: Hopes for Jewish Conversion in Synagoga’s Song of Songs Imagery
Elizabeth Monroe
Chapter Two Disputation in Stone: Jews Imagined on the Saint Stephen Portal of Paris Cathedral
Kara Ann Morrow
Chapter Three Taking Little Jesus to School in Two Thirteenth-Century Latin Psalters from South Germany
Eva Frojmovic
Chapter Four The Performative Terms of Jewish Iconoclasm and Conversion in Two Saint Nicholas Windows at Chartres Cathedral
Anne F. Harris
Chapter Five The Passion, the Jews, and the Crisis of the Individual on the Naumburg West Choir Screen
Jacqueline E. Jung37:23 PM
Chapter Six Idealization and Subjection at the South Façade of Strasbourg Cathedral
Nina Rowe
Chapter Seven The Jews, Leviticus, and the Unclean in Medieval English Bestiaries
Debra Higgs Strickland
Chapter Eight Constructing the Inimical Jew in the Cantigas de Santa Maria: Theophilus’s Magician in Text and Image
Pamela A. Patton
Chapter Nine Images of ‘Jud Süss’ Oppenheimer, an Early Modern Jew
Vivian B. Mann
Chapter Ten Old Testament Heroes in Venetian High Renaissance Art
Paul D. Kaplan
Chapter Eleven Cleansing the Temple: The Munich Gruftkirche as Converted Synagogue
Mitchell B. Merback
Chapter Twelve New Attitudes towards the Jews in the Era of Reformation and Counter-Reformation: The Patronage of Bishop Echter von Mespelbrunn
Annette Weber
Chapter Thirteen Between Calvinists and Jews: Hebrew Script in Rembrandt’s Art
Shalom Sabar
All those interested in Christian-Jewish relations, anti-Judaism and antisemitism, the history of Christianity, European art of the Middle Ages, Renaissance and Baroque periods, as well as general cultural history.