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Poster, S.E. el generalisimo (S.E. the supreme commander)

This is a Poster. It was designed by Antonio Cañavate and made for (as the client) Council for the Defense of Madrid. It is dated 1937 and we acquired it in 1997. Its medium is lithograph on paper. It is a part of the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department.

Approximately three percent of posters produced in Republican Spain satirize themes and political figures of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). This poster is included in a small group of illustrations that specifically target General Francisco Franco, the leader of Nationalist Spain. Franco is portrayed as a caricature, stout, authoritative, and elaborately dressed in colorful costume. Generally during this time, Spanish Republican artists conveyed characteristics of political figures through symbolism and cultural associations, adding elements of wit and satire. For example, picturing Franco on a horse in this particular pose emulates famous depictions of Napoleon Crossing the Alps and Don Quixote. Likewise the symbols seen in the poster’s background – cacti, a swastika, images of Hitler on Franco’s medals, bombs falling through the clouds—intend to echo Franco’s hostile dictatorship and highlight Franco’s relationship with Nazi Germany.

This object was donated by William P. Mangold. It is credited Gift of William P. Mangold.

Cite this object as

Poster, S.E. el generalisimo (S.E. the supreme commander); Designed by Antonio Cañavate Gomez (Spanish); Client: Council for the Defense of Madrid (Spain); lithograph on paper; Gift of William P. Mangold; 1997-21-14

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Poster, S.E. el generalisimo (S.E. the supreme commander) |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=8 June 2023 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>