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L’Europe Nouvelle 1918 par Griff

  • Author: GRIFF
  • Publisher: Imp. Savigny, Paris (Printers)
  • Date: 1918
  • Dimensions: Sheet: 45 x 28 cms.


Rare satirical map of Europe by by French postcard artist “Griff”, one of few published in immediate aftermath of World War One

About this piece:

L’Europe Nouvelle 1918 par Griff

Coloured. Lower left corner of printed image previously lacking/torn away and now newly reinstated with new old paper. The missing areas of the printed image have also been expertly reinstated in manuscript, including part of the publisher’s imprint lower left, the first letters of which have been surmised from imprints found on similar contemporary (postcard) publications by the same publisher, Imp.Savigny

Exceedingly scarce French satirical map, presumably published soon after the conclusion of wartime hostilities in November 1918.

The map was designed by the well-known early 20th Century French postcard artist known simply as “Griff”. Despite extensive research, Griff’s real identity still appears to be unknown. His postcard output was certainly prolific and he produced several series of popular patriotic cards during the wartime period: one set of zoomorphic cards showed French soldiers in the guise of proud rabbits, offering words of mutual support & patriotic encouragement; another depicted the resilient smiling French poilu and exploited the inherent humour of Army life. A third highly-popular series examined the timeless world of the French paysanatt, in which wholesome, clog-wearing provincial folk exchange pithy aphorisms & humorous reflections on life, love and marriage.

In this seemingly unique foray into satirical cartography, Griff depicts the celebrating victorious nations of the New Europe at the War’s end.

An American doughboy strides across the Atlantic, long spear in hand, its tip threatening a ragged & prostrate German soldier. A British soldier watches the surrendering German fleet as he plants a new Belgian flag across the Channel by the ear of the newly-liberated country. An equally ecstatic French poilu re-plants the French flag in the reclaimed regions of Alsace & Lorraine. A smiling Italian bersaglieri reaches out to grasp Trieste & Carniola. The Austrian Empire is a land stalked by Death, upon whom the Sun is fast setting. Her Balkan neighbours include a new Yugoslavian kingdom. Albania & her exiled monarch, William, smile in anticipation of imminent restoration. Turkey lies prostrate, an Allied flag planted squarely in his back. Newly independent former Russian dependencies in Poland, the Baltic & Ukraine, look out with mixed emotions, perhaps aware of the unstable character of their new Bolshevik neighbour, here depicted as a drunken revolutionary, whose capital, we are informed, is Charenton, a well-known French asylum!