Help Us Win!
The most iconic propaganda image produced in Italy during World War I was the poster created by Achille Luciano Mauzan (1883‒1952) for the war-loan campaign of bank Credito Italiano (Italian Credit). Like the British artist Alfred Leete’s image of Lord Kitchener, pointing at the viewer with the caption “Your Country Needs You,” or the American artist James Montgomery Flagg’s image of Uncle Sam exclaiming “I Want You for the U.S. Army,” Mauzan had an individual—in his case an ordinary Italian soldier—pointing his finger at his fellow citizens and urging them to contribute to the war effort. Mauzan’s poster inspired numerous imitations, including the poster shown here by the artist Anselmo Barchi. Created to promote war loans sold by the Banca Commerciale (Commercial Bank), the chief competitor of Credito Italiano, the poster also features an ordinary soldier pointing at the observer, with the caption “Aiutateci a vincere!” (Help us win!). Details of the loan are written below the title. Unlike Mauzan’s carefully crafted poster, Barchi’s effort was a propagandistic failure, as critics noted at the time. The soldier is disheveled and his collar undone. Unlike Mauzan’s soldier, who conveys calm and determination, Barchi’s soldier seems to convey panic and desperation. Before and after the war, Barchi worked primarily as a painter.
S.A.I.G.A. Armanino, Milan, Italy
Title in Original Language
Aiutateci a vincere!
Type of Item
1 print (poster) : lithograph, color ; 141 x 100 centimeters
- 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: September 11, 2017