This French colour lithographic poster advertises the fourth war loan issued by the French government in October-November 1918. War loan posters were the largest category of posters issued between 1914 and 1918 as the French government appealed to the civilian population to help finance the war. This poster was commissioned by the Crédit Foncier d’Algérie et de Tunisie, a building society based in North Africa, albeit with its head office in Paris. Algeria was then administered as an integral part of France, while Tunisia was a French protectorate.
The poster shows an army of North African troops on horseback, sporting the French tricolour and the Islamic green flag, charging from left to right through a desert landscape. They are led by a charismatic warrior brandishing a scimitar in his raised arm, urging his comrades on. 294,000 North African troops fought for France principally on the Western Front and in the Balkans. The text, using the imperative ‘souscrivez’ (‘subscribe’), appeals to the patriotism of the civilian population to help finance the war effort ‘for the sake of our country’ (‘pour la patrie’).
Georges Clairin (1843-1919) was a French painter specialising in Oriental subjects. He made several journeys to Morocco and to Egypt in the 19th century.