Sunday, November 11, 2018

Commemorating 100 years since the end of the Great War by La Vie Parisienne

There are many serious commemorations of the end of the Great War happening at present so, instead, I will present this rather lighter tribute from the French magazine La Vie Parisienne. This issue appeared on November 10th 1918; the day before the Armistice was signed. The ‘elite troop’ type illustrated is a grenadier, in this picture by Georges Léonnec (1881-1940). She is holding a pomegranate (grenade in French) which, of course, engendered the name of the hand held explosive device due to its shape. In addition, split pomegranates are symbols of suffering and rebirth, as well as being fertility symbols.

It is typical of an illustration from La Vie Parisienne that it gets all this symbolism into what otherwise looks like a pin up (American troops were banned from buying the magazine in case paintings of ladies in a state of déshabillé overcame their moral sense). France lost over 4% of its population in the war, mainly young men, of course, and the magazine seems to be saying that the ‘elite troop’ ladies of France would have to help repopulate the country to contribute to its rebirth.


  1. A welcome and timely antidote to much of the cant clogging the airwaves today. Thank you!

  2. "Une belle et prometteuse illustration!"