La Grande Guerre: French prints of the First World War
20 May – 28 September 2014
Free to all
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.