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Map, Military, WWI, Satirical Map of Europe, Antonio Soares, Antique Print, Portugal, c. 1916

António Soares (1894-1978) (after)
Mappa Humoristico da Europa
[Humorous Map of Europe]
Lisbon: c. 1916 (2nd edition)
Signed in the matrix lower right, “A. Soares”
12.5 x 18.75 inches, image
13.75 x 20.5 inches, overall

Satirical map of Europe making a pointed commentary on the conflict that had erupted into World War I by depicting the countries as a melee of animals. The major powers are represented as aggressive predators, notably the outsized polar bear symbolizing Russia, drawing blood from the wolf representing the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the tiger representing Germany. Meanwhile, the German tiger has swallowed half of the stag representing Belgium, while the lion representing France gnaws on the tiger’s bloody paw and a leopard representing the United Kingdom appears poised to strike. The Ottoman Empire is depicted as a sinister crocodile. Smaller countries, many of which were neutral in the conflict, are depicted as passive onlookers, disproportionately small in scale, for example a Swiss lamb. The map was designed and published in Portugal, represented as a dog with neck craned to look over the Spanish bull, both watching the action from afar. The countries are identified in a numbered key on the left.

Product description continues below.


The map is part of a genre of allegorical satirical war maps popularized in 1870 when the French caricaturist Paul Hadol published his Comic Map of Europe, which similarly satirized the Franco-Prussian War by depicting the countries as animals and allegorical caricatured humans. Hadol’s map was published in Paris, but spawned Dutch, German, and British versions.

António Soares was a Portuguese painter, caricaturist, architect, decorator, and set designer. Born in Lisbon, he began his career as an illustrator for books, posters, and magazines, including Ilustração, Magazine Bertrand and ABC. As a young man in his early twenties, he produced Mappa Humoristico da Europa, a satirical allegorical map depicting European countries during World War I as animals, which was popular enough to be republished during the war in a second edition. He later updated the map at the beginning of World War II in 1939. In the 1920s, Soares began receiving notice on the Portuguese art scene as a modernist painter of portraits and landscapes, winning a prize in 1929 at the salon of the Sociedade Nacional de Belas-Artes for his portrait Natacha, which is now in the collection of the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum in Lisbon. He also won the Grand Prix at the Paris International Exposition in 1937, and received the Columbano Prize twice, in the Salon of the Secretariado de Propaganda Nacional exhibitions of 1935 and 1948. In 1958 he was honored with the rank of officer of the Ordem Militar de Sant’Iago da Espada, and in 1962 received the Diário de Notícias Prize.

Full publication information, lower right: “A Editora L’da” — Lisboa. 2’a Ediçao. Registada nos Termos da Lei. [The Publishing House, Limited — Lisbon. 2nd Edition. Registered pursuant to law.]

Condition: Generally very good. Recently professionally cleaned and deacidified, and backed on Japanese tissue, with some minor remaining toning, soft creases, wear, occasional small stray marks and pale discoloration patches.


“1939 Portuguese and Chinese Manuscript Satirical Map of Europe in 1939 (WWII).” Geographicus. 2019. (23 August 2019).

“Comic Map of Europe.” George Glazer Gallery. 29 June 2006. (23 August 2019).

“Humorous Map of Europe.” World Digital Library. 14 November 2017. (23 August 2019).

Silveira, André. “António Soares.” Calouste Gulbenkian Museum. May 2010. (23 August 2019).

Additional information


20th Century