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The poster shown here created by Achille Luciano Mauzan (1883‒1952) for the war loan campaign of the bank Credito Italiano (Italian Credit) is the most iconic propaganda image produced in Italy during World War I, analogous to Alfred Leete’s image of Lord Kitchener, pointing at the viewer with the caption “Your Country Needs You,” or to James Montgomery Flagg’s image of Uncle Sam exclaiming “I Want You for the U.S. Army.” Unlike these British and American posters, which use an authoritative figure to appeal to the populace, Mauzan has an ordinary Italian soldier point his finger at his fellow citizens, an approach better suited to the young Italian state that was still struggling to overcome regional and other differences and to forge a strong national identity. Mauzan’s illustration was reproduced in countless forms. His original work depicts the soldier in full, holding a rifle in his right hand, engaged in battle with the silhouettes of his comrades in the background. The poster presented here is an excerpt from the larger work, showing only the head, torso, and the left hand with the pointing finger. This latter poster was reproduced in a giant version 30 meters square and hung on the façade of public buildings in Italian cities and towns. Mauzan was born in France but moved to Italy in 1905, where he worked as an illustrator, designer, and publisher.
Casa Ricordi, Milan, Italy
Title in Original Language
Type of Item
1 print (poster) : lithograph, color ; 140 x 99 centimeters
- Mirande Carnevale-Mauzan, The Posters of Achille Mauzan, 1883–1952: Catalogue Raisonne (New York: Posters Please, 2001).
- Thomas Row, “Mobilizing the Nation: Italian Propaganda in the Great War,” Journal of Decorative and Propaganda Arts, Volume 24, Design, Culture, Identity (Miami Beach, FL: Florida International University Board of Trustees on behalf of The Wolfsonian-FIU, 2002).
Last updated: November 14, 2017