“A propos de Judas Dreyfus,” (Concerning Judas Dreyfus)

Item Description

Chanteclair’s caricature, the original of which appeared in Edmond Drumot’s virulently anti-Dreyfusard weekly La Libre Parole illustrée, was published shortly after Dreyfus’s original arrest for treason in October 1894. Since the publication of La France Juive in 1886, Drumont had kept up a barrage of anti-Semitic polemic, as the stack of volumes at his side here suggests. In 1889, Drumont founded the Ligue Nationale antisémitique de France and promoted caricaturist Adolphe Willette as a candidate for Montmartre in that year’s elections.

Chanteclair’s illustration represents Drumont as a colossus whose intellectual and physical prowess dwarfs the powerless Dreyfus. Rather than touch the Captain and so contaminate himself, Drumont uses pinchers to push Dreyfus, here a guttersnipe or piece of refuse wearing a German pickelhaube helmet, into the drain. Behind them stands a proud soldier bathed in sunlight: a symbol for the nation’s new dawn.