What is this?
This is a patriotic illustration by British artist Joseph Simpson from the publication, Canada in Khaki
. It shows ‘the Motherland’ welcoming a colonial soldier back from the front (the German helmets on the backpack suggest a returning, and victorious, soldier). The image articulates the gratitude Britain should feel to its colonial territories, but it is the title rather than the image that suggests a mother welcoming the soldier home. Indeed, without the caption one would perhaps instead view the figure of Britannia as a girlfriend or wife of the returning soldier.
Where is it from?
The illustration is from Canada in Khaki
, a journal published to illustrate Canadians’ actions on the front and raise money for the Canadian War Memorial Fund
. Set up by Sir Max Aitken the fund set out to illustrate the contribution of Canadians mobilised for the war, a force in excess of 600,000 individuals. The Fund employed a number of artists and illustrators some of whom were members of Canada’s ‘Group of Seven’, a group of Canadian landscape painters active between the First and Second World Wars.