Very Rare Zoomorphic Map of Europe During WWII
"Mapa Humoristico da Europa Guerra-1939",
Subject: Europe, World War II
Period: 1939 (dated)
Color: Printed Color
25.4 x 17.9 inches
64.5 x 45.5 cm
This superb zoomorphic map of Europe was created by Antonio Soares, a Portuguese painter and caricaturist. Each European country is depicted as an animal, most of which are quite exotic and not native to that country. Many of the animals are shown as quite aggressive with sharp, bared teeth. At the center is a German tiger, lashing out at France (a lion), Austria (a camel), Czechoslovakia (a lynx) and Poland (a rhinoceros) with its paws. The Polish rhino is also being attacked from behind by a giant Russian polar bear. Several neutral countries are depicted as docile animals with their heads turned away from the war, such as the giraffes of Norway and Sweden, the lamb of Switzerland, and the cow of Spain. In contrast, Portugal, which was neutral during the war, is depicted as a white wolf baring its teeth towards Germany. Italy is a snake with its tongue flicking towards the lion of France and its tail strangling the goat-like Albania. Despite all of the aggression, only the German tiger and Russian polar bear have drawn blood on their enemies, with the poor Polish Rhino dripping in blood. Lithographed by Lit. Tejo, published by Livraria Franco in Lisbon, and "endorsed by the censorship commission" (as noted at bottom right).
This map is very rare, as we were only able to find two other examples listed for sale in the last 40 years - one of which was in our 17 April 2019 sale.
Lightly toned and trimmed to the neatlines with the edges of the sheet professionally reinforced with thin tissue on verso and some minor creasing. There are some small abrasions and a small chip at top left that have been professionally repaired with the image replaced in facsimile.