WORLD WAR I PROPAGANDA
“Une eleve de l’ecole de guerre” (student of the school of war), drawing in pen and watercolor made by Emilio circa 1918, signed at the lower right. Size (paper): 32.2 x 26 cm.
During World War I, soldiers were reminded through propaganda that the war was not just misery. Cartoons were created depicting ladies in frivolous attire and were distributed among the troops in trenches and barracks, attempting to provoke a smile amidst the war. This design for a cartoon also reflects that effort.
Soldiers held these light-hearted and humorous depictions dear to their hearts. They served as a welcome distraction from the daily horrors of the front and helped make life as a soldier more bearable. The cartoons brought a sense of hope and optimism, serving as a reminder of those they had left behind and the reasons they were fighting for.
Although the war was a time of deep hardship and sorrow, these cartoons demonstrated that even in the darkest times, the human spirit is capable of resilience and humor. They offered solace to the soldiers and reminded them that, someday, there would be a time when they could return home and rediscover the joy of life.
In November 1918, the guns would fall silent, and the war would come to an end. Until then, cartoons like this provided resilience and hope.
Provenance: Arnold Leclercq “Aquarelles & Encadrements,” Brussels.