April 13, 2016

Oh My God! They Told Me that the Mansion Was Not Guarded!

This satirical watercolor by the Italian artist Raffaello Jonni is part of a series of 79 original drawings by Jonni preserved at the Alessandrina Library in Rome. It portrays Franz Joseph I (1830–1916), the aged emperor of Austria-Hungary, as a thief who is being bitten by a guard dog at the gates of a mansion labeled “Villa Italia.” The emperor exclaims, in a combination of German and Italian, “Oh My God!...  They Told Me that the Mansion Was Not Guarded!” Italy was initially neutral during World War I. It waited on the sidelines for some time to see how the war progressed. After breaking up the Triple Alliance that had bound it to Austria and Germany for 30 years, Italy finalized secret negotiations with the Triple Entente (France, United Kingdom, and the Russian Empire) in the Treaty of London signed on April 26, 1915. It declared war on the Austro-Hungarian Empire on May 23, 1915, entering the war on the side of the entente.

No! Not this One!

This satirical watercolor by the Italian artist Raffaello Jonni is part of a series of 79 original drawings by Jonni preserved at the Alessandrina Library in Rome. It portrays a hand trying to grab a safe labeled “Trieste” that is carried by Franz Joseph I (1830–1916), the aged emperor of Austria-Hungary. The hand represents a powerful Italy that is seeking to acquire Trieste, historically part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and, during World War I, its main point of access to the sea. The Italian irredentist movement had been campaigning for the city's annexation since at least the last two decades of the 19th century. The breakup of the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the end of the war rendered moot its dispute with Italy over control of the city, but it led to tensions with the newly-established Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes, which was formed in part out of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and pressed its territorial claims. At the end of the war, in November 1918, the Royal Italian Army entered Trieste to the applause of the part of the population that favored the Italian cause. The status of Trieste as an Italian city was affirmed by the 1920 Treaty of Rapallo. Annexation poisoned relations between the Italian and the Slovene populations, which at times boiled over into armed combat.

Why Don’t You Use Both Your Hands for Defending Yourself? It’s Impossible! My Left Hand is for My People!

This satirical watercolor by the Italian artist Raffaello Jonni is part of a series of 79 original drawings by Jonni preserved at the Alessandrina Library in Rome. The image shows the ruling monarchs of Italy’s two main enemies in World War I, Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany and Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria-Hungary. Franz Josef holds a sword in one hand and a rope connected to a gibbet in the other. In the background, a member of an Italian rifle regiment is seen waving an Italian flag and bravely charging at the two emperors. The portrait of the Austrian ruler reflects and aims to further reinforce the portrayal of him in Italian propaganda as both weak and an oppressor of his own people. In such propaganda, Franz Josef was often called l’Impiccatore (The Hangman).

Women of America Proudly Carry Their Holy Cross, and Join Their Italian Sisters in Strengthening the Common Pious Action on the Battlefield

This print shows a parade of American Red Cross nurses marching down an avenue flanked by jubilant crowds. Flags of the Red Cross, the United States, the Kingdom of Italy, the United Kingdom, and the French Republic hang from buildings and lampposts and are waved by the spectators. During World War I, the American Red Cross organized a commission that created a storage facility in Rome provided with large amounts of hospital supplies and fully equipped ambulances, along with blankets and sanitary supplies. The commission also gave funds to purchase clothes for refugees. It delivered 1 million lire to the Roman committee of civil organization in order to help the families of soldiers killed in the war as well as refugees. In the aftermath of the war, a permanent commission of the American Red Cross arrived in Italy in November 1918. Over the course of the next few months it extended its service throughout the country, from the Alps to Sicily.

Officers of the 9th Cavalry

This image is from the John C.H. Grabill Collection at the Library of Congress. The 188 photographs that Grabill sent to the Library for copyright protection between 1887 and 1892 are thought to be the largest surviving collection of this gifted early Western photographer’s work. The images document frontier life in Colorado, South Dakota, and Wyoming and include views of hunters, prospectors, cowboys, Chinese immigrants, and U.S. Army personnel, as well as of cattle and sheep ranches, mining operations, towns, natural landmarks, forts, railroads, mills, stagecoaches, and wagons. The collection includes a visual record of railroad development; coaches and wagons; mining, smelting, and milling; freighting; emerging cities and towns; parades; cattle roundups and branding; sheepherding; prospecting; and hunting. A number of the images portray the Lakota Sioux living on or near the Cheyenne River and the Pine Ridge reservations and their contact with U.S. military and government agents, and with William “Buffalo Bill” Cody. Notable Lakota depicted include the chiefs Red Cloud, American Horse, and Standing Elk, and the warrior Plenty Horses. Some of the photographs were taken only days after the 1890 massacre at Wounded Knee near Pine Ridge. Very little is known about Grabill. He arrived in Sturgis, South Dakota, in 1886, where he set up a photographic studio. Information printed on the photographic mounts indicates that he also had studios in Deadwood, Lead City, and Hot Springs, South Dakota, in Colorado, and possibly in Chicago, and that he was the “official photographer of the Black Hills and F.P. [Fort Pierre] R.R. and Home Stake Mining Co.”

Corporal Paul Weinert and Gunners of Battery E, 1st Artillery

This image is from the John C.H. Grabill Collection at the Library of Congress. The 188 photographs that Grabill sent to the Library for copyright protection between 1887 and 1892 are thought to be the largest surviving collection of this gifted early Western photographer’s work. The images document frontier life in Colorado, South Dakota, and Wyoming and include views of hunters, prospectors, cowboys, Chinese immigrants, and U.S. Army personnel, as well as of cattle and sheep ranches, mining operations, towns, natural landmarks, forts, railroads, mills, stagecoaches, and wagons. The collection includes a visual record of railroad development; coaches and wagons; mining, smelting, and milling; freighting; emerging cities and towns; parades; cattle roundups and branding; sheepherding; prospecting; and hunting. A number of the images portray the Lakota Sioux living on or near the Cheyenne River and the Pine Ridge reservations and their contact with U.S. military and government agents, and with William “Buffalo Bill” Cody. Notable Lakota depicted include the chiefs Red Cloud, American Horse, and Standing Elk, and the warrior Plenty Horses. Some of the photographs were taken only days after the 1890 massacre at Wounded Knee near Pine Ridge. Very little is known about Grabill. He arrived in Sturgis, South Dakota, in 1886, where he set up a photographic studio. Information printed on the photographic mounts indicates that he also had studios in Deadwood, Lead City, and Hot Springs, South Dakota, in Colorado, and possibly in Chicago, and that he was the “official photographer of the Black Hills and F.P. [Fort Pierre] R.R. and Home Stake Mining Co.”