1916. Powerful World War I lithograph signed in pencil by the artist (and likely captioned by him), depicting French soldiers jammed into a small wood framed dugout as bombs explode around them. Five faces can be seen at the entrance to the dugout, each a study in human reaction to war, as a rat scampers by.
The location of this scene is the French village of Vauquois in the Meuse, where German and French forces held positions on either side of the village for an entire year, from October 1914 to October 1915. Each side dug miles of underground tunnels and planted tons of explosives. Mines planted underneath the German and French positions finally split the 290 meter hill in two, and the village was completely destroyed.
Jean Veber (1864 - 1928) was a French artist and illustrator recognized for his caricatures, many of which appeared in L'Assiette Au Beurre and Le Rire. At the age of 50 he volunteered to serve in World War I, where he was gassed and discharged in 1918.
References: Jean Veber : l'oeuvre lithographiée / Louis Lacroix ; Pierre Veber .- Paris : éditions Floury, 1931, cat. n° 197. The complete title as recorded by the Bibliotheque Nationale de France is ".... ! -..ça ne vas pas mieux -..ça ne desenfle pas! [la Cagna]".
18 x 11 1/2" tipped on to stiffer sheet. OCLC: 693297276 records only the Bibliotheque Nationale de France with a copy. Very good condition. Item #20755