Honoring WWI and the Strasbourg Statue
November 11, 2012 § 1 Comment
In honor of Veterans Day, still known as Armistice Day in France, we decided to take a look at our collection of WWI posters. This particular poster, designed by the prolific poster artist Andre Galland, celebrates the unveiling of the Strasbourg Statue on Armistice Day 1918. The Strasbourg Statue depicts a woman as the personification of Strasbourg, the capital of the Alsace region in France. It is located in the Place de la Concorde, the largest public square in Paris, and is accompanied by personifications of the seven other capital cities: Bordeaux, Brest, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Nantes, and Rouen.
The Alsace region was lost was lost to Germany in 1871 at the end of the Franco-Prussian War, and was only returned to France at the end of WWI. On Armistice Day November 11, 1918, when Alsace and her capital Strasbourg were once again united with France, the French people honored her statue in the Place de la Concorde. In celebration of the end of the war, and the return of the Alsace region, she was draped in French Tricolor flags and garlands, which we can see in Galland’s poster.
The inscription at the bottom of the poster reads:
The Statue of Strasbourg, erected like the other cities of France on the Place de la Concorde in Paris, was piously decorated with tricolor flags by the people of Paris … On the evening of the armistice, she shines in the light of the party victory!
The artist, Andre Galland, continued to be a successful poster artist in the decades after WWI, designing posters for the French National Lottery, and several French fertilizer companies like the one below.
Like Galland’s Strasbourg Armistice Day poster, there were many posters, French, British, and American alike, that were printed to celebrate the end of such a devastating tragedy. Now, almost a century later, we still remember the end of the war, and remember those soldiers who have fought in wars around the world.
This post was written by Emily Jackson, UC Berkeley Art History Student and Gallery Assistant, and edited by Elizabeth Norris, Owner Vintage European Posters www.vepca.com
Vintage European Posters was established in 1997. We are the West Coast’s Largest Dealer in Original Vintage Posters from France and the United States. See us online anytime at www.vepca.com and at our Berkeley Showroom OUTPOST 2201 Fourth Street, Tuesdays and Thursdays
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