(77cm x 120cm)
This poster by Theophile Alexandre Steinlen is an expressive image commemorating Journee Serbe (Serbia Day). The poster shows a group a Serbian citizens and soldiers as they head into the mountain regions of Albania and Montenegro, a tragic result of the 1915 invasion from Austria-Hungary and German forces.
Journee Serbe or Serbia Day is known as the anniversary of the Battle of Kosovo in 1389, when Serbian Prince Lazar Hrebeljanović went to battle with an invading army of the Ottoman empire and consequently lost Serbian independence. The event became an important symbol of Serbian nationalism in the 19th century.
During World War I, Serbia was an ally of Britain, France, and Russia. Serbia was an enemy of Austria-Hungary, which blamed Serbian conspirators for the murder of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, and was determined to punish the Serbs for the assassination. (World Digital Library).
Born in Lausanne, Switzerland, Theophile Alexandre Steinlen (1859 – 1923) was a prolific artist known for his Art Nouveau paintings and posters. Before gaining traction as an Art Nouveau connoisseur, Steinlen studied design at the University of Lausanne and worked as a designer trainee at a textile mill in France. A lover of cats, one of Steinlen’s most iconic images is the Le Chat Noir, a club in Montmartre where Steinlen met artists Henri Matisse, Adolphe Willette, Felix Vallotton and Henri de Toulouse Lautrec. The works of Steinlein paintings were frequently displayed at the Salon des Indépendants and he worked for magazines such as Le Rire and Gil Blas. Today, his works can be found in the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
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