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We do not know who the woman is depicted in this illustration but the illustrator is Paul Iribe. The page is a centerfold from the now obscure French satirical publication “La Baionette” printed on newspaper type paper between 1915 and 1918, the period of the First World War. The text below the figure not pictured here says (translated from French into English) we are not all in Biarritz or Deauville, France! Referring to the two famous upper class resort towns where one could flee from the chaotic life during the war. It refers obviously to the heroic role women played not in the trenches but, in this case, in the factories keeping work flowing. Another centerfold, more poignant is the one shown below that says,” while merchants gain they give their blood“.

prop2Paul Iribe went on to become a leading illustrator working for numerous couturiers particularly illustrating fashion for Paul Poiret in the years following the war. He tried to revive a fledgling career with Coco Chanel’s money in the 1930’s by publishing a magazine which was fervently patriotic but also anti-semitic! This does not take anything away, however, from his great work during the First World War where again for “La Baionette” he did another centerfold with a German eating sauerkraut and pork, implying subtlely the diner was a pig!

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