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La Victoria de Franco hechos culminantes de la Guerra de Liberacion de Espana – 1936-1939

  • Author: LOPEZ RUBIO, Francisco (artist)
  • Publisher: Cartografia Hispanica - Serie Historica
  • Date: c1940
  • Dimensions: sheet: 98 x 70 cms


La Victoria de Franco: Striking pictorial map depicting the triumph of General Franco in the Spanish Civil War [1936-39]

About this piece:

La Victoria de Franco hechos culminantes de la Guerra de Liberacion de Espana – 1936-1939

Colour-printed map poster. Bright colours, unbacked. Some very light creasing to margins, mainly along bottom, otherwise a very well preserved example.

Striking & rare pictorial map poster designed in 1940 by Spanish caricaturist and artist, Francisco Lopez Rubio [1895-1965] for his Cartografia Hispanica collection, this being one of the so-called Serie Historica depicting the events of the Spanish Civil War [1936-1939]. Lopez Rubio outlines the conflict from the perspective of Nationalist leader & ultimate victor,  General Francisco Franco [1892-1975]. The conflict is described by Lopez Rubio as a “War of Spanish liberation”.

The whole of the Iberian peninsula is shown with Portugal and the Balearic Islands. Cities labelled in blue are denoted as those under the control of the fascist Alzamiento Nacional, whilst those cities labelled in red are “those subjected to Marxist control”.  The yellow & red hues of the Nationalist Spanish flag also denote the “date of liberation” of important cities and regional capitals. The progress of the war is outlined through colour coding each of the years – 1936 is denoted by yellow & white stripes ,1937 red & white, 1938 grey & white and 1939 blue & white.Within the map, pictorial vignettes vividly portray the principal cities and settlements alongside trains, tanks, artillery pieces, lorries, aircraft, battles & skirmishing groups of  soldiers.  Offshore Lopez Rubio illustrates several Nationalist naval vessels, including the cruisers Canarias and Almirante Cervera. A critical moment at the beginning of the war was the breaking of the Republican naval blockade of the Straits of the Gibraltar (with Italian and German air support) and the Nationalists’ shipment of some 2500 troops of the Spanish Army in Africa across the Straits to Southern Spain in August 1936.

The situation is further clarified by a sequence of eight smaller inset maps lower right which depict Franco’s rolling back of the “mancha roja” (red spot) over the 32 months of conflict. The maps reveal the predominant position of Republican and leftist forces in Spain in July 1936 and outline their progressive retreat & degradation prior to the final victory of Nationalist forces in April 1939.

In the upper left Lopez Rubio includes a large panel listing the “heroes of the Crusade”.

Francisco Lopez Rubio [1895-1965] was a renowned early 20th Century Spanish graphic designer, illustrator and cartoonist. He was born in Motril, Granada in 1895, moving to Madrid at the age of 20 to pursue a career as a professional caricaturist and illustrator. He quickly made a name for himself and held the first  exhibition of his own work at Madrid’s Salon Arte Moderno in 1916. His younger brother was the academic, dramatist & Hollywood film director, José Lopez Rubio [1903-1996]. Francisco was a regular contributor to Madrid’s satirical magazines during the interwar period, being perhaps most famous for his long association with the children’s magazine Gente Menuda (Little Kids) a supplement of Blanco y Negro, for whom he began to work in close collaboration with Elena Fortun in 1928. Through its pages he created an array of memorable characters, including the rabbit Roenueces, Don Oppas, the magician Pirulo, Professor Bismuto, and twins Lita & Lito – who together captivated & enlivened the childhoods of innumerable Spaniards. He also worked for Buen Humor, Muchas Gracias, Guttierez, La Voz, El Sol & ABC and other children’s magazines including Pinocho & Macaco. He collaborated in the production of the animated film Serenata in 1934. A pioneering master of the linea clara (soft line) and abiding always by the maxim “less is more”, his clear & minimalist style was well ahead of its time. After the war, his career declined though it witnessed a short-lived revival during the late 1950s when he began working for the magazine Don José. He died in Madrid in 1965.

At least another six or seven maps in this series, Cartografia Hispanica, all designed by Lopez Rubio, working in collaboration with Manuel L Ortega (Pichardo) [1888-1943], were published in the period between about 1940 & 1944. They comprise the entire Iberian Peninsula (Peninsula Iberica); the Province of Cadiz (Provincia de Cadiz); The Protectorate of Spanish Morocco (Marruecos Español); Spanish West Africa (Mapa de la Guinea Continental Española); the West African islands of Annobon with Corisco & Elobeyes (Mapa de Annobón, Corisco y Elobeyes); and the neighbouring Island of Fernando Po or Bioko (Mapa de la Isla de Fernando Poo). Additionally a fine map delineating the three voyages of Christopher Columbus (Las Rutas de Colón) has also been identified in this same series, but seemingly from a different set entitled Rutas Imperiales which follows a slightly more colourful design template.