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Images of 'Jud Süss' Oppenheimer, an early modern jew

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Chapter Summary

Joseph Oppenheimer (1698/9–1738) had spent most of his life in relative obscurity, but during the final years of his career he was the extraordinarily wealthy and powerful Privy Financial Adviser and Cabinet Fiscal Officer to Carl Alexander, the Duke of Württemberg (r. 1733–7). This ruler’s death allowed the opposition to arrest and charge Oppenheimer with various “crimes,” none of which could be substantiated. The geographical spread of the prints and the magnitude of the corpus are extraordinary, and give rise to a number of questions: What attitudes toward the subject are expressed in the prints and their texts? What does the large number of compositions devoted to Jud Süss signify? Who was the audience for these prints? The purpose of this chapter is to understand the historical and art historical context of the large print corpus devoted to Oppenheimer.

Keywords: Carl Alexander; Joseph Oppenheimer; Jud Süss; Württemberg



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