barber institute of fine arts
university of birmingham

Édouard Manet (1832-1883)

La guerre civile 

France, 1871


Plate: 39.5 x 50.9 cm; mount: 68.3 x 77.1 cm


The lithograph protests against the massacre of Parisian Communards in 1871 by French government forces.

This marked the end of the tumultuous Franco-German War and the Seige of Paris. The central dead Communard is dressed in National Guard uniform. The cloth in his hand suggests he waved a white flag of surrender before being shot. A civilian’s legs, in striped trousers, adds to the poignancy of the scene. This print was published in 1874 by Lemercier & Cie; Manet’s other civil war prints were considered unsuitable and only published posthumously.

Purchased 1946 (No. 46.13)

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