Amsterdam Haggadah, 1695

This is the first illustrated haggadah to arrange pictures of the four children in one series. The artist is a convert from Christianity named Abraham ben Jacob. These copper-plate engravings are copied from various paintings of the Swiss Christian artist Matthaeus Merian. The wise child is a copy of Hannibal the general of Carthage as he swears to conquer Rome. The wicked child is simply a Roman soldier. The simple child is Merian's King Saul as a bashful young man about to be anointed by the prophet Samuel. The youngest child is another version of Hannibal.

As in many medieval haggadot, the children are represented by adult types. The wicked stereotype is as usual the soldier who represents evil in two senses: the spilling of blood and the anti-type to the medieval Jewry with its scholarly and merchant traditions. The body position of the soldier reflects dynamism though a lack of stability, while the wise "Hannibal" stands confidently and commands attention. The simple "Saul" is closed within himself as he relies on the staff for support. The child who does not know how to ask is childlike only in the sense that he is the smallest of the four figures, although his hands open as if asking a question.

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