Concert of the Allies


This World War I poster from Italy advertises a concert at the Augusteo Theater in Rome in February 1918, given by military bands of the Allied countries. The poster features a winged victory, with partial views of the flags of Italy, France, Great Britain, and the United States in the background. The text explains that the concert is for the benefit of the Red Cross organizations of the participating countries. Italian war propaganda in late 1917 and 1918 frequently highlighted the importance of the Allies and the fact that Italy was not alone but was part of a grand alliance of democracies fighting to make the world safe for democracy. The intention was to counter war weariness and possible defeatism in the Italian population by underlining both the strength of the alliance and the righteousness of the Allied cause. Association with the United States was especially important to Italian propagandists. Following its entry into the war in April 1917, the United States brought vast new resources to the Allied side. President Woodrow Wilson’s rhetoric and his promise to create a new and more just postwar international order also resonated with many people in Italy. The poster is by Vittorio Grassi (1878–1958), an illustrator, painter, and designer who early in his career worked for the Banca d'Italia. Grassi later co-founded the Architecture Department at the University of Rome. He created drawings and illustrations for prestigious architectural publications, as well as designed furniture, glasswork, and ceramics. He also produced posters and prints for various public agencies, including the Italian Government Tourist Board and the Italian railroad system.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Bestetti and Tumminelli, Milan, Italy


Title in Original Language

Concerto degli alleati : Roma, Augusteo, febbraio 1918, a beneficio della Croce rossa dei Paesi partecipanti

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 print (poster) : lithograph, color ; 240 x 140 centimeters



  1. Matteo Ermacora, “Civilian Morale,” in 1914‒1918-online. International Encyclopedia of the First World War, edited by Ute Daniel, Peter Gatrell, Oliver Janz, Heather Jones, Jennifer Keene, Alan Kramer, and Bill Nasson (Berlin: Freie Universität Berlin, 2014).
  2. 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