UK National Gallery removes painting containing anti-Semitic tropes from website

1506 Dürer artwork displayed in upcoming exhibit will feature a guide that addresses the "anti-Semitic portrayal in the painting."

Dan Verbin ,

London (archive)
London (archive)
Nati Shohat/FLASH90

The British National Gallery has taken down an image of a painting from a future exhibition from its website over complaints of its anti-Semitic depiction of Jews, the UK Jewish News reported.

“Christ Among the Doctors” by Albrecht Dürer is a 1506 work that depicts the story from the New Testament’s Gospel of Luke of a young Jesus making a pilgrimage to Jerusalem for Passover next to caricatures of Jewish “theologians” who were debating him, according to the National Gallery.

The National Gallery had originally placed an image of the painting on its website as part of advertising the new exhibition, with no mention of the artwork’s anti-Semitic overtones, the UK Jewish News reported.

After receiving complaints from the Jewish community, the gallery took down the image and noted that the painting in its gallery portrayed Jews in an offensive manner.

“We are aware that the representation of the Doctors may cause offence and both the wall texts and the audio guide in the exhibition will acknowledge and address caricature and anti-Semitic portrayal in the painting,” a gallery spokesperson told the Jewish News.

The National Gallery also promised to review any texts discussing Dürer paintings in the exhibition. “We monitor on an ongoing basis our texts both online and in the gallery relating to pictures in our temporary displays and exhibitions and permanent collection.”

The National Gallery’s Dürer exhibition will be the first exhibit of the artist's work the UK in nearly 20 years.



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