Ephraim Moses Lilien was a Galician-born Jugendstil artist (artistic style that arose in Germany, mid-1890s through the first decade of the 20th century, featuring Art Noveau designs). He was among a group of Eastern European artists who featured biblical material and the pious imagery of Jewish genre painting for the purpose of national revival. In his 1903 etching Le-metim ‘al kidush ha-shem be-Kishinov (dedicated to the martyrs of Kishinev), an erect figure of an old Jewish man is in the center, wrapped in a prayer shawl, tied to a burning stake and bound with rope across the chest and the feet. Positioned just behind and to his right is a winged angel, holding a Torah scroll and kissing the martyr on the forehead, a reference to resurrection. The feet of the angel, extending to the left, connect with the scroll on the right to form a diagonal line that resembles a cross. A Zionist crucifixion, Lilien’s image became a popular symbol of Jewish suffering in the exile of Eastern Europe.
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