La Grande Guerre: French prints of the First World War

The first seven months of World War I are dramatically illustrated in the colour lithographs and woodcuts of the series La Grande Guerre.

Scenes of action in the form of battles, sieges and airstrikes are punctuated by moments of relative repose, including commemorations, award ceremonies and depictions of the Allied forces, such as the English and Scottish taking five o’clock tea and Indian soldiers at prayer.

Each print has a lengthy description below the image, following the individual trials and triumphs of the soldiers and creating a sense of visual reportage. Although not official propaganda material the prints are nevertheless deeply patriotic. The numbered series format encouraged the public, who were eager to commemorate the war, to continue collecting the set.

The prints will be shown in chronological order, so that visitors to the gallery can experience a retelling of events from the perspective of France, from the taking of the first flag during the Battle of Saint-Blaise La Roche (14 August 1914) to the Fall of Przemysl (22 March 1915).

Tuesday 20 May 2014 to Sunday 28 September 2014
 Shiba Gallery (14)
 Free entry

Allied flags fly on the forts of the Dardanelles  by Eduardo Garcia Benito

Image: Eduardo Garcia Benito (1891-1981) 
Notre artillerie lourde…
Allied flags fly on the forts of the Dardanelles 
Woodcut with hand colouring through stencils. Publisher: Tolmer & Co. 1915.
Given by Sophie Gurney 1994

No. 52 from the 2nd series La Grande Guerre..

(Information taken from The Fitzwilliam Museum website)