Le Juif-Errant and Veritable Complainte du Juif-Errant
The Wandering Jew is a myth about a man who is doomed to walk the earth until the second coming because he taunted Jesus as he bore the cross. First emerging in Christian legend in the Middle Ages, “The Wandering Jew” is also a personification of the Jewish diaspora, Jews frequently “wandering” as they faced statelessness and frequent resettlement.
These broadsheets depicting the Wandering Jew, or Le Juif Errant, are from Imagerie d’ Epinal and Imagerie Nouvelle, two French printing houses. In the 18th and 19th centuries, broadsides or broadsheets,large, single-sided printed pages, were used for posters, announcing events or proclamations, giving political views, commentary in the form of ballads, or advertisements. They were intended for mass distribution and easy consumption. It was not unusual for publishers to print broadsheets containing antisemitic messages and images.