Szyk uses the national heroine of France, Joan of Arc (a 15th century saint and military leader), to symbolize another fierce struggle against an oppressive force: this time the Germans in World War II. With France an ally of the United States, the image of the young Maid of Orleans assumes a new significance with its message of bravery and faith. This illumination of Joan of Arc straddles several centuries at once, incorporating the earlier times of French history with the mirrored chaos of World War II. The French military tank and the modern airplanes in the upper right hand corner present an eerie sense of anachronism that Szyk explored several times before in his In Comradeship of Arms series: Queen Elizabeth [England], King Jagiello [Poland], and Peter the Great [Russia]. In addition Szyk provided two examples of anti-Nazi imagery within the illumination by secretively placing an empty German helmet in front of the tank and a hissing serpent covered in swastikas next to Joan’s helmet/crown.

<a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Arthur_Szyk_(1894-1951)._In_Comradeship_of_Arms_series,_Joan_of_Arc_(1942),_New_York.jpg" title="via Wikimedia Commons" target="_blank">Arthur Szyk</a> / <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0" target="_blank">CC BY-SA</a>

In Comradeship of Arms series, Joan of Arc - Arthur Szyk (1942)

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Szyk uses the national heroine of France, Joan of Arc (a 15th century saint and military leader), to symbolize another fierce struggle against an oppressive force: this time the Germans in World War II. With France an ally of the United States, the image of the young Maid of Orleans assumes a new significance with its message of bravery and faith. This illumination of Joan of Arc straddles several centuries at once, incorporating the earlier times of French history with the mirrored chaos of World War II. The French military tank and the modern airplanes in the upper right hand corner present an eerie sense of anachronism that Szyk explored several times before in his In Comradeship of Arms series: Queen Elizabeth [England], King Jagiello [Poland], and Peter the Great [Russia]. In addition Szyk provided two examples of anti-Nazi imagery within the illumination by secretively placing an empty German helmet in front of the tank and a hissing serpent covered in swastikas next to Joan’s helmet/crown.

Arthur Szyk / CC BY-SA



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