Liss Llewellyn Fine Art - 20th Century British Art

Lucien Jonas (1880-1947)   BIOGRAPHY

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Four Years in the Fight. The Women of France. We Owe Them Houses of Cheer, circa 1918
Unframed (ref: 5995)
Original lithographic poster
42 by 28 ins.

 


During World War I the rapidly expanding war industries led to fundamental changes in the roles played by women. In 1918 nearly three million new women workers were employed in food, textile and war industries. Taboos and restrictions were removed allowing women to work for the first time in large-scale production industries such as steel mills and logging camps.



Lucien Jonas (1880-1947)

Born in 1880 and awarded the Prix de Rome in 1905Jonas was appointed the official painter of the French Navy in 1916, and was already an accom­plished artist when the Banque de France asked him to design its notes in 1933.

By that time he had pro­duced a pro­lific and diverse body of work. His early com­pos­i­tions were very real­istic depic­tions of working life, notably of the mines in northern France where he was born. He also painted a number of por­traits, both official (for example, General Per­shing in 1917 – cur­rently in the Met­ro­politan Museum of New York – and Marshal Foch) and private, along with major murals in the north of France (the ceiling of the Chamber of Com­merce, the town hall in Valen­ciennes, for example) and in Paris (the Maison des Centraux building). Jonas’s work also included illus­tra­tions for major lit­erary works and paintings of intimate scenes such as land­scapes. In 1933, at the age of 53Lucien Jonas was recog­nized as a highly tal­ented artist.

In that year, the Banque de France decided to drop the alleg­orical themes that until then had illus­trated its bank­notes, and reduce them in size. It asked Lucien Jonas to produce sketches, and the artist went on to design France’s bank­notes for the last six years of the Third Republic, from the Occu­pation to the first months of Charles de Gaulle’s pro­vi­sional gov­ernment. His talents as a por­trait painter can clearly be seen in the notes depicting famous men from France’s history

While working for the Banque de France, Lucien Jonas con­tinued to paint until his death in 1947, notably pro­ducing mil­itary por­traits. In1944, he painted General Koenig, de Larminat and de Lattre de Tassigny (the first two por­traits are in the Musée de l’ordre de la Libération).

See all works by Lucien Jonas