French WW1 Propaganda

When used in a political context, the word "propaganda" often conjures up negative images, reverberating with judgments of various movements, campaigns, or ideologies. Applied to the promotion of a cause such as World War I, however, propaganda carries with it an entirely different connotation. A cause that touched the French populace and indeed the world as nothing had before, the war evoked a response that became especially evident in 1914, when the French government selected the poster as a positive instrument of war propaganda. The poster became a new weapon on the home front and on the battlefield.

Despite their military defeat in the Franco Prussian war of 1870-71, the French became world leaders in commercial art in the following two decades. This time of industrialization brought both technological innovation and other changes, one of which was the development of the modern illustrated poster, which French artists introduced as a new art form in the 1880s and 1890s. With the outbreak of World War I, artists were called upon for the first time to play a specialized role in a war. They created some of the finest aesthetic images and most effective posters on such important and emotional topics as war finance, support for the "poilu," women and the war effort, and war entertainment.
The poster became an effective propaganda tool, altering the functions of men and women in wartime and changing so ciety’s perspective on the war, leaving as well a visual heritage for the next generation and future historians.
1 2 3 6 Next »

Our brands