A propaganda bullseye by one of France’s most beloved cartoonist and poster artists to publicize the National Day of the Poilu (January 25 & 26, 1915, two days!), which was the affectionate term for France’s soldiers during the war, akin to the British “Tommy” and the American “Doughboy”, although the French word “poilu” is even more familiar, meaning shaggy, to convey how rough the conditions the men had to endure, and how rough they ended up looking. And pride in that.
31 1/8″ x 37 1/2″. Mounted on canvas a while ago, has incurred some damage to its edges since (see photos). Rare.
Price on request,
Francisque Poulbot (6 February 1879, Saint-Denis – 16 September 1946, Paris) was a French affichiste (literally, “poster designer”), draughtsman and illustrator.
He was born in a family of teachers with parents who were lecturers. Francisque Poulbot, the oldest of seven children, was a gifted draughtsman who shied away from the École des Beaux-Arts. Following 1900, his drawings started to appear in the press. He moved to Montmartre where, in February 1914, he married Léona Ondernard, before leaving for the Front; he was however sent back the following year. During the First World War, his patriotic posters and postcards led him to house arrest under the German occupation of France during World War II.
Between 1920 and 1921, Poulbot became involved with the creation of the République de Montmartre together with his friends Adolphe Willette, Jean-Louis Forain and Maurice Neumont. In 1923, he opened a dispensary on Rue Lepic to help needy children of Montmartre.
He died in Paris on September 16, 1946 and was buried in Montmartre Cemetery.
Poulbot probably brought up his brother Paul’s daughter Paulette, known as Zozo, who lost her mother before she was three years old. She is often described as his adopted daughter. Paulette married the artist Jean Cheval, the son of Adrien Cheval, one of Poulbot’s friends. Among other collaborations there is a postcard series by Poulbot and Cheval.
The French neologism poulbot refers to illustrations representing Parisian “titis“: street children. A perfect example is an illustration of Gavroche, the famous character from the novel Les Misérables by Victor Hugo.