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First World War
This photograph from the archives of the League of Nations shows a soldier killed in World War I. The war raged for more than four years, from August 1914 to November 1918, and resulted in the deaths of more than nine million combatants. As many as seven million civilians also were killed in the war or died as a consequence of it. In the hope of ensuring that such a destructive conflict would never recur, U.S. president Woodrow Wilson and other leaders established, at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference ...
For the Country, My Eyes. For Peace, Your Money
This World War I poster, published in Turin, shows a blinded Italian soldier with bloodstained bandages wrapped around his eyes. Like most belligerents in World War I, Italy had to raise funds to support its war effort by issuing war bonds, which were essentially interest-bearing loans that citizens made to the government. The appeals to patriotism and to the sacrifices by the soldiers at the front are typical of war bond posters produced in Italy and other countries. This poster was created by artist Alfredo Ortelli and advertises the Consolidated ...
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A Woman Stands Disconsolate, as Another Bends over a Dead Soldier; A House Burns in the Background
This 1915 poster by Welsh artist Gerald Spencer Pryse (1882–1956) depicts a disconsolate woman, a second woman bending over a dead soldier, and a house burning in the background, all before a colorless, empty sky. Pryse created many lithographic posters based on his experiences in the British army in France and Belgium during World War I, where he served as a dispatch rider and became a decorated British officer. He later gained an official appointment as a war artist, although he had been producing lithographs all along. Pryse witnessed ...
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Historical Concert for the Benefit of Widows and Orphans
This poster by the Hungarian designer and graphic artist Josef von Divéky (1887–1951) advertises a January 1918 concert for the benefit of the widows and orphans of Austro-Hungarian soldiers killed in World War I. It shows five military musicians in uniforms from different historical periods; the coat of arms of Austria-Hungary is at the top. The emperor and empress of the Austro-Hungarian Empire are listed as patrons of the concert, which was organized with the support of the Ministry of War. Austria-Hungary suffered an estimated 1,100,000 killed ...
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Learn to Adjust Your Respirator Correct and Quick. Don't Breathe While Doing It, and This Won't Happen to You
One of the most gruesome aspects of World War I was the use of poison gas as a weapon, which the German army first introduced on a large scale at the second battle of Ypres, in Flanders, Belgium, in April 1915. Armies soon adopted gas masks and respirators as protective measures. This poster shows a soldier on the battlefield, collapsing and clutching his throat as a result of exposure to poison gas. The poster was used to instruct soldiers in the proper use of gas masks, and it was also ...
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The Y.M.C.A. Service for Relatives of Dangerously Wounded
This 1915 British poster shows a woman visiting a wounded soldier in a hospital, as a doctor and a Red Cross nurse look on. During World War I, the YMCA provided many services to troops at the front, to those on home leave, and to their families. The illustration is by British artist Edgar Wright, who created a series of posters depicting the YMCA’s wartime work. Wright was also one of the main illustrators of the book, The Romance of the Red Triangle: The Story of the Coming of ...
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The Tsar Sees His Forces Returning
The Russo-Japanese War (1904–5) was documented in various forms of media, such as woodblock prints, photographs, and illustrations. The victories of the Japanese military in the early stages of the war inspired propaganda prints by Japanese artists. Kobayashi Kiyochika (1847–1915) contributed this farcical single-sheet print to the series, Nihon banzai hyakusen hyakushō (Long live Japan: 100 victories, 100 laughs). Kiyochika, known for producing woodblock prints using Western painting methods, had been under the brief tutelage of Charles Wirgman (1832–91), an English cartoonist for the Illustrated London News ...
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Kuropatkin is Surprised at his Dinner by Wounded from the Front
The Russo-Japanese War (1904–5) was documented in various forms of media, such as woodblock prints, photographs, and illustrations. The victories of the Japanese military in the early stages of the war inspired propaganda prints by Japanese artists. Kobayashi Kiyochika (1847–1915) contributed this farcical single-sheet print to the series, Nihon banzai hyakusen hyakushō (Long live Japan: 100 victories, 100 laughs). Kiyochika, known for producing woodblock prints using Western painting methods, had been under the brief tutelage of Charles Wirgman (1832–91), an English cartoonist for the Illustrated London News ...
Contributed by Library of Congress