La Grande Guerre: French prints of the First World War

Fitzwilliam Museum

20 May – 28 September 2014

The first seven months of the First World War are dramatically illustrated in a series of colour lithographs and woodcuts.

Shown in chronological order the prints document events from a French perspective, starting with the taking of the first flag during the Battle of Saint-Blaise La Roche in 1914 to the Fall of Przemysl in 1915. They include scenes of sieges, airstrikes and military attack, but also award ceremonies and commemorations, the English and Scottish taking five o’clock tea and Indian soldiers at prayer.

Although not official propaganda material, they are still deeply patriotic. Printed in a numbered series format, the public were encouraged to collect the entire set. Each has a lengthy description below the image, detailing the trials and triumphs of the soldiers and creating a sense of visual reportage.

Venue information

Opening times

Tue – Sat, 10am – 5pm Sun & Bank Holidays 12noon – 5pm Closed Mon, 24 – 26, 31 Dec and 1 Jan

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