Sunday, February 21, 2010

Europe at War

I found prints and drawings by Walter Trier at the AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario) this past weekend. Unfortunately, since museum curators aren’t particularly fond of overeager students and their digital cameras, I was politely commanded to never take pictures of the art work. Sadly, I could not seem to find the same print on the internet, but I did find another. The Europe Map (note: I’m only calling it this because I was incapable of finding its actual title) illustrated by Trier, was drawn in 1914, right around the time that World War I began. The artist draws stereotypes of the types of people found in each country/empire in the continent, and shapes them to the basic outline of the country. The most obvious of these is the yelling man drawn to represent Russia. Considering the time that the illustration took place, it is also important not to overlook how tense and warlike all of the “people” appear. For example, the Ottoman empire has his rifle pointed straight down Russia’s mouth. Germany looks as though it is trying to fight everyone at once. Meanwhile, countries that stayed predominantly neutral during the war remain countries.

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