Paris, Lapina, imp., circa 1918. Original color lithograph. 79 x 58 cm. Very good. Normal fold marks. Mounted on archival paper.
image: In the foreground beneath a pine tree, three French soldiers (poilus) gaze across a sunlit rural valley beyond a post and wire border fence. In the sky, beyond a barrage balloon and airplane, rises the splendid vision of Strasbourg cathedral, flying the French tricolor. A quotation appears upper left, and top and bottom are decorative bands of tricolor flowers and laurel leaves. text: ...Ce ciel est notre azur Ce champ est notre terre! Cette Lorraine et cette Alsace, c'est à Nous! Victor Hugo [...This heaven is our blue sky, this field is our land. This Lorraine and this Alsace are ours!]
Jean-Jacques Waltz, 'Hansi', was born in Colmar, part of the German occupied Haut Rhin. He was a fierce French patriot. After studying at the Ecole des Beaux Arts, Lyons, he returned to Colmar where he began to write and illustrate articles and books ridiculing the German authorities in Alsace and Lorraine. He was condemned for high treason in Leipzig in 1914 but jumped bail and fled to France via Switzerland. He joined the French army as a private but was transferred to propaganda work. His style blends caricature with popular images in the style of Epinal. ‘Images d’Epinal’ were coloured woodcuts of contemporary subjects widely distributed in France. Hansi’s portrait of Alsace under French rule is represented as though it were a fairytale land, with the Cathedral literally glowing on the horizon. Item #51-3754