The Exodus--1915 [L’exode – 1915]

Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen French, born Switzerland

Not on view

Steinlen, who moved to Paris from Brussels in 1881, had a lifelong concern with the plight of the working class and marginalized populations. The subject of displaced people appears frequently in his wartime work. Between 1914 and 1915 nearly two hundred thousand refugees fled Belgium; this print, also called The March of the Orphans, depicts an exodus after a German attack. A stoic mother holding an infant leads a sea of children. Individualized subjects in the foreground give way to faceless figures in the background, which Steinlen suggests with quick, sweeping lines that blend into the vast horizon. The mother’s eyes fixate with strength and despondence on the distant unknown, while the children’s expressions remain ambiguous and unsure. The landscape behind them is suggestive of their displacement and migration from home.

The Exodus--1915 [L’exode – 1915], Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen (French (born Switzerland), Lausanne 1859–1923 Paris), Lithograph

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