There are three categories of pictures associated with war. There are photographs, paintings/drawings, and posters. The first category, photographs, first became most notably during the American Civil War. The second category featured artists who travelled with the military and drew scenes from the front lines and have done so over the millennia. These photographers and artists put their lives at risk, and sometimes paid the ultimate price in order to bring viewers up to date with battles that involved the warriors representing their countries and citizens.
The third category of artists and photographers created their contributions to their countries war effort far from the front, but were perhaps of greater importance to the war efforts for they served three critical roles – 1) they helped to recruit citizens to fight for their countries; 2) they helped to raise funds, most often through war bonds, in order to fund the war effort; and 3) for propaganda purposes, they bolstered support for their side and depicted the brutes and monsters that fought for the opposition.
Here is the description of this book that we posted on the internet:
From the blurb – Very little has been written about Canadian war posters, largely because until recent years poster art has had little recognition in Canada. However, as early as 1916, war posters have been collected by private collectors and public institutions. The 270 eye-catching posters featured in this book tell an important part of the history of Canada, and of Canadians, during the First and Second World Wars. Posters were used in a variety of ways – as an appeal to patriotism in aid of recruitment, as warnings to maintain national security against spies and saboteurs, and as pleas to aid the war effort. They were also responsible for arousing a wide range of sentiments, including hatred, paranoia, pride, and nationalism. Significant both as historical objects and as artworks, these posters reveal how the artists of the day used their skills to contribute to the war effort, marking a major chapter in the history of design and propaganda.
And here are a couple of posters from my personal collection of war posters. The first, you can see, was one of the posters featured in the above book and focuses on recruitment and the second on funding.
The third British, and very scarce, poster is very much of a propaganda nature, featuring Hitler and his minions as apes sitting on the skulls of their victims.
But, this poster does have a Canadian context – embodied at the bottom of the graphic.