“Judas défendu par ses frères,” (Judas defended by his brethren)
Item DescriptionAt the Impressionists’ fourth exhibition in 1879, Edgar Degas displayed his À la bourse which depicted two stockbrokers whispering conspiratorially—an allusion to stock-in-trade representations of Jewish financiers rapaciously feasting on the spoils of capitalist speculation. Degas’s anti-Semitism crystallized during the Affair that transformed friend into foe. Of the Impressionists, Pissarro and Monet supported the Captain’s acquittal; Cézanne, Renoir, and Degas, his condemnation.
Journals like La Libre Parole exacerbated these divisions within artistic and intellectual communities. The magazine’s illustrator here appropriates À la bourse and its conflation of moral corruption with physical deformation, replacing Degas’s traders with Dreyfusard traitors whose flabby bodies symbolize their moral turpitude. Dreyfus’s ideological and racial frères distribute Bernard Lazare’s leaflet Une erreur judiciaire--anathema to La Libre Parole’s staff, who preferred to crusade against France’s ethnic and cultural minorities rather than support jurisprudence--while Dreyfus himself furtively palms coins from an unidentified benefactor.