Artist Unknown: We Have Just Begun to Fight! 1943.


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Artist Unknown We Have Just Begun to Fight! 1943.  Figure adapted from a well-known French World War I poster On les Aura is revived to show a GI urging his comrades forward as they charge an enemy position.  The figure in turn was adapted from the Arch de Triomphe in Paris.  Title is John Paul Jones’ famous quote when he refused the offer of a British Commander to surrender. Ten battles listed below the soldier include combat action from ’41 to ’43. Harper notes “The U.S. was still losing the war in 1943. Allied troops had lands in North Africa and were readying themselves for landings in France and Italy. The difference between the French poster and the American – one of a confident and graceful youth and the other of a toughened and desperate man-is a measure of the distance between innocence and dreadful initiation.” 28×22 near mint, conservation backed $245; 40×28 near mint, conservation backed $345.

Bibliography: Will J. Bird, Jr. & Harry R. Rubinstein Design for Victory World War II Posters on the American Home Front page 33, Denis Judd Posters of World War II illustration 2-26, Derek Nelson The Posters That Won the War page 134, Peter Paret et al. Persuasive Images page 287.