Give Your Money for Victory: Victory Means Peace

Description

This 1917 poster advertises war bonds sold by the Banca Italiana di Sconto (Italian Discount Bank). It depicts a large artillery piece submerged in a field of gold coins. As in many Italian posters made during World War I, the gun points toward the mountains in the distance, a reference to the long stretch of mainly mountainous terrain along the border with Austria-Hungary, where most of Italy’s battles were fought. Italy, which entered World War I on May 23, 1915, by declaring war on Austria-Hungary, financed its war effort primarily through domestic and international loans, along with some increases in taxation. Between December 1914 and the beginning of 1916 the Italian government issued three national loans to support the war effort. The war was not popular in Italy, and these loans were not greeted with particular enthusiasm by domestic investors. Posters were used to advertise Italian government bonds, which were sold predominantly in northern Italy to lower-middle-class buyers. The Banca Italiana di Sconto went bankrupt in 1921, amid the national financial crisis that followed the war, and partly because of bad loans the bank had made to the Italian armaments manufacturer Ansaldo. The artist has signed the poster as “Girus,” a shortening of the name of Giuseppe Russo (1888‒1960), a caricaturist and illustrator who had a long career working for various Italian periodicals specializing in humor and political satire.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

L'impresa Moderna, Milan, Italy

Language

Title in Original Language

Date denaro per la vittoria: la vittoria è la pace

Place

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 print (poster) : lithograph, color ; 141 x 101 centimeters

Collection

References

  1. Fabio Degli Esposti, “War Finance (Italy),” 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: Free University of Berlin, 2015). http://encyclopedia.1914-1918-online.net/article/war_finance_italy.
  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: September 11, 2017