Negative images of Judaism in Christian Art
Ecclesia and Synagoga
|Ecclesia and Synagoga at the double-portal of the south entrance to the Strasbourg cathedral (around 1230)
Here both, the Church and the Synagogue, are symbolized as related to each other in the sense of the concordia veteris et novi testamenti, the unity of the Old and New Testaments. Both figures are of noble character. However, the Church is depicted as triumphant with crown and imperial robe on her shoulders, with staff and chalice in her hands, symbolizing her divine authority. She looks ahead assured of her mission in the world. The Synagogue is symbolized as defeated, her staff broken more than once, the Torah is slipping from her hands, a veil is covering her eyes and her head is bowed.
Wood carving at the choir benches of the Erfurt cathedral, Thuringia, Germany (about 1400-1410)
Ecclesia on a horse is attacking the Synagogue with a lance. Her shield carries the Christian symbol of a fish. The Synagogue is symbolized as riding a pig. Her eyes are closed and with her left hand she holds on to a branch. One of many depictions of the "Judensau" in the art work of European churches.
|See also Heinz Schreckenberg: The Jews in Christian Art: An Illustrated History
Franz Böhmisch: Synagoga et Ecclesia, Exegese einer Beziehung in Wort und Bild
Positive images of Judaism in Christian Art
Anti-Judaism in Christian Art. Some examples of anti-Judaic Christian art. Ecclesia and Synagoga