Serbia Day. June 25, 1916


This World War I poster, published in Paris in 1916, shows a group of Serbian civilians and soldiers as they head into the mountains. When invading forces from Austria-Hungary and Germany pushed into Serbia in 1915, they occupied the capital city of Belgrade, and drove the remnants of the Serbian army and accompanying civilian refugees across the borders into Montenegro and Albania. One of the major engagements of the campaign took place at Kosovo, the scene of a battle in 1389 between a medieval Serbian army and an invading Ottoman force. The first Battle of Kosovo led to Serbia’s loss of independence and became an important symbol of Serb nationalism in the 19th century. Serbia Day was celebrated in June, to coincide with the approximate date of that battle. During World War I, Serbia was an ally of Britain, France, and Russia. Serbia was a bitter enemy of Austria-Hungary, which blamed Serb conspirators for the murder of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, and was determined to punish the Serbs for the assassination. This poster is by Théophile Alexandre Steinlen (1859–1923), a Swiss-born French painter who was one of the leading poster artists in the period of the Belle Époque (1871–1914) in France. He is best known for his Chat Noir (black cat) advertisements for the cabaret of that name frequented by many avant-garde artists.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Lapina, Paris


Title in Original Language

Journée Serbe. 25 Juin 1916

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 print (poster) : lithograph, color ; 117 x 81 centimeters



  1. Stanley Appelbaum, French Satirical Drawings from “L’Assiette au Beurre” (New York: Dover, 1978).
  2. John Keegan, The First World War (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1999).

Last updated: February 10, 2014