Carte Symbolique de L'Europe. / Europe en 1914.
1915 (dated) 19 x 23 in (48.26 x 58.42 cm)
1 : 9500000
A scarce World War I era satirical map illustrating the political situation in Europe in c. 1914. This map was first issued in Poland where it was drawn by the Warsaw artist Vladislav Levinsky. Warsaw at the time being one of the largest cities in the Russian Empire, the 'Russian Perspective' is apparent. The image is dominated by the glorious and serene figure of Tzar Nicholas II who is poking Germany, illustrated as a raging bull focused on France, represented by Marianne, the symbol of the French Republic, riding a great Cockerel (from the Latin Gallus, meaning both 'Gaul' and 'Cockerel'). Behind the Tzar the endless armies of Russia mobilize – a reference to Tzar Nicholas II's July 1914 decision to mobilize the Russian army, this 'prodding' Germany to declare ware, which it swiftly did. Hapsburg Austria is depicted a dead field with grave markers and an upside down fallen crown. England, at sea, hides behind her Navy. Finland is full of wild animals. Norway and Sweden are stereotypically beautiful maidens. Turkey, wearing a fez in front of the Hagia Sophia, is beheading women with a sickle – doubtless a reference to the horrors of the Armenian Genocide. Italy has his backed turned on Austria, but is keeping a wary eye on events unfolding to the north. Spain and Portugal are Neutral, but Alfonso XIII, a known auto enthusiast is shown behind the wheel.
This map appeared in several additions with only minor changes. It was first drawn, as noted, by the Warsaw artist Validslav Levinsky. Editions were subsequent published in Poland and Paris. It is unclear which hold primacy or if they were published simultaneously. A second edition followed in both countries. The present example, identified as a 'Nouvelle Edition' was published by Delandre. All French editions were drawn by B. Crété, a known artist active in Paris during the early 19th century. All editions are quite rare.
Good. Even overall toning. Minor water stain bottom right margin. Minor repair, top margin, above the 'e' in 'Symbolique.' Backed on old linen.