1. An Embroidered Torah Mantle, Austria, 1889
  2. Emperor of Austria from 1848 – 1916, Franz Josef I of Hapsburg won the popularity of Jews in his empire and abroad. The start of his reign marks the Jewish renaissance in Vienna, partially due to their participation in the 1848 civil war. The emperor appreciated the loyalty of the Jewish sector and in 1867 signed a decree granting them full citizenship rights. Under his leadership, Jews prospered and became predominant in all spheres of life, contributing to Vienna’s cultural and scientific achievements. Synagogues were well attended for services held on his birthday. Franz Josef visited Jerusalem in 1869 where he met with Jewish representatives and contributed to the completion of the Nisan Bak Synagogue. Upon his death, the Austrian Zionists described him as “the donor of civil rights and equality before the law, and their ever benevolent protector”. (see: Encyclopeadia Judaica vol 4:59)
  3. An embroidered velvet Torah mantle, Eastern Europe or United States, early 20th century (The Jewish Museum, New York)

Japanese map of Africa, 1869.

Source: appears to be from a work by Fukuzawa Yukichi called “Sekai Kuni-zukushi” (世界国尽), which was a world geography textbook written in verse and aimed at children (perhaps why so many of the labels are in hiragana). A scan of the whole thing can be found here for anyone interesting exploring further.

The giant yellow area in the middle is labeled ゑちとぴや echitopiya (presumably “Ethiopia”).

Large (Wikimedia)

I bet you didn’t picture this when you read Plato’s Symposium, dear reader.

Apparently Anselm Feuerbach did, though, in 1869.

In Feuerbach’s interpretation, the late and drunken Alcibiades arrives to Agathon’s celebration with an entourage in tow, gesturing broadly as Agathon stands to greet him.

Interestingly, Feuerbach’s elaborate attempts at decoration look nothing like the few examples of Greek wall painting that remain. Instead, he seems to have drawn from Roman traditions for a few center panel paintings.

Bashi-Bazouk by Jean-Leon Gerome


This arresting picture was made after Gérôme returned to Paris from a twelve-week journey to the Near East in early 1868. He was at the height of his career when he dressed a model in his studio with textiles he had acquired during the expedition. The artist’s Turkish title for this picture—which translates as “headless"—evokes the unpaid irregular soldiers who fought ferociously for plunder under Ottoman leadership, although it is difficult to imagine this man charging into battle wearing such an exquisite silk tunic. Gérôme’s virtuosic treatment of textures provides a sumptuous counterpoint to the figure’s dignified bearing. (MET)


1869 wedding portrait of Mathilda Taylor Beasley, a free woman of color who risked her own safety by opening her door to local Savannah, Georgia children of color to teach them to read and write. After the death of her husband in 1877, she donated all of her assets to fund an orphanage and became the first African-American nun in the state of Georgia.