James Thiriar (1889 - 1965) was a Belgian illustrator, draughtsman, painter, and costume designer. Born in Ixelles, Belgium, Thiriar was a member of the Belgian Civil Guard, a group tasked with the maintenance of civil law and order, at the outbreak of World War I. Wounded while fighting with the Civil Guards against the German invasion, he joined the Belgian Army in London. His first job for the Belgian Army was with the Topographic Service creating detailed maps and sketches of the front line. Then, Thiriar was transferred to the artistic section, where he produced drawings of the everyday lives of soldiers, many of which were published in The Illustrated London News. He organized exhibitions of his drawings in La Panne and London in 1917 and, under the pseudonym Uilenspiegel, his work appeared in the Belgian French-language magazine L'Yser : Journal hebdomadaire du front belge. His work was also published in the bi-monthly French magazine La Guerre des Nations under the title La guerre sur l'Yser dessinée. He also illustrated Jacques Pirenne's 1917 book Les Vainqueurs de l'Yser. He published his own memoirs about the war, which he also illustrated, entitled Gloire et Misère au Front de Flandres 1914 - 1918. He opened his own studio in Brussels shortly after the war and worked as a costume designer for the Théàtre royal de la Monnaie and worked for several other theater companies. He also worked on set designs and created advertisements for the SNCF. Thiriar participated in the 1932 Belgian exploratory mission to Ruwenzori and painted several notable watercolors and gouaches of vegetation in Congo and Sudan. He provided 232 illustrations for Fernand Gendarme's the three-volume work Croquis Congolais in 1942.

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