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Arthur Szyk Cartoons

Discussion in 'History of Poland during World War II' started by Jim, Aug 4, 2007.

  1. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    Polish born Arthur Szyk attended art school in Paris and studied Islamic art in the middle east before enlisting in the Russian Army in 1914. He served for six months and saw front-line action. After World War I he fought as an officer in a Polish guerilla regiment against the Bolsheviks and eventually located in Paris with his new wife. His work was often politically themed, concentrating on such subjects as the life of Simon Bolivar, a series of miniatures titled "Washington and His Times" that was eventually presented to Franklin Roosevelt, and a commission to illuminate the League of Nations Covenant. With the outbreak of war in Europe in 1939 he began producing cartoons and eventually moved to New York City. During the war he created numerous covers for Collier's magazine. With the exception of the Collier's cover, the following cartoons were selected from The New Order, published in the summer of 1941 by G.P. Putnam's Sons, New York.

    The New Order This title page illustration for Szyk's collection combines the images of an Italian Fascist, a German Nazi, and a Japanese Ultranationalist. The fine rendering of details betrays Szyk's fascination for Islamic miniatures.


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    Enemies of the Third Reich Hitler rants and raves about the poor Jews cradling their dead sons. The portrayal of the Jewish mother is reminiscent of a Pieta.



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    The Invaders As a Bobby watches from the background a pair of Tommies (British soldiers) escort an unrepentant group of German prisoners including an SS officer, Luftwaffe fliers, a soldier and a naval officer.


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    The Four Horsemen (l to r) Hitler, Mussolini, a Japanese Ultranationalist and a Bolshevik are potrayed as the four horsemen of the apocalypse.The inclusion of the Boshevik tells us that this was done before the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union. A survey of Allied propaganda art from the period shows that westerners generally did not use an actual individual to represent Japan (as Hitler and Mussolini are used to represent Germany and Italy), but rather, a generic Japanese soldier or sailor. Szyk's portrayal of the Ultranationlaist here is sinister. Compare this to the buck-tooth, bow-legged potrayal found in animated cartoons from Warner Brothers (Bugs Bunny, Private Snafu) and King (Popeye).


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    Nordic Hero Szyk dressed a grim image of death in a German soldier's uniform.


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    December 7, 1941 Again, Szyk's portayal of the Japanese is decidedly sinister. The Berlin/Tokyo connection is made apparent by swastikas prominently displayed on the epaulettes.


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    Source
     
  2. Dave War44

    Dave War44 Member

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    Ah-ha ! NIce Jim, this certainly fleshes out my interest from a week or two back. :thumb:
     
  3. Reid1986

    Reid1986 New Member

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    That's a really great collection of pictures there. I had never heard of Szyk before but I've always kept a folder of propaganda posters and art from the World Wars and these were extremely interesting to look through. The Islamic miniature influence makes the art really unique.
     

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