Victoria hoy más que nunca
Today more than ever, VICTORY
- Creation Date
Poster of a cheering aviator in foreground with the V in "Victoria" composed of plane silhouettes
This poster was issued by the Subsecretaría de Propaganda (Undersecretariat of Propaganda), an office of the central government which was headed by the renowned architect Manuel Sánchez Arcas. It was printed in Barcelona, where the government of the Republic had moved after leaving Valencia on October 31, 1937. The poster is an homage to the Republican Air Force, which remained loyal to the government to a larger degree than other sections of the military after the rebellion of July 1936. In the image, the planes in the "V" formation display the flag of the Republic on their wings. This is different from the red-yellow-red flag of the Spanish monarchy, which was used before and after the Republic and remains the flag of Spain to this day. Because of its close relationship with the Soviet Union, which supplied it with planes and provided training throughout the war, the Republican Air Force had strong communist sympathies. The poster may reflect the need to boost morale in Barcelona, which was heavily bombarded by the Nationalist airforces in the latter stages of the war.
Born in Valencia in 1907, Josep Renau was one of the artists most heavily involved in the Civil War. In 1931 he became a member of the Spanish Communist Party (PCE), and in 1934 he was arrested for taking part in a revolutionary strike. On September 7, 1936, he was named Director General of Fine Arts by a fellow communist, Jesús Hernández, who was Minister of Public Instruction in the government of Largo Caballero. Renau remained in that post until April 1938 and continued to be involved in the propaganda effort until he left Spain for exile early in 1939. As Director General of Fine Arts, Renau's duties included the safeguarding of the artistic heritage of Spain. He was in charge of evacuating from Madrid to Valencia the paintings in the Prado Museum, which were threatened by the bombings. He was also one of the organizers of the Spanish Pavilion in the International Exhibition held in Paris in 1937, where he was instrumental in securing Picasso's commission to paint a mural for the pavilion, which resulted in Guernica. Renau was also an important force behind the conferring upon Picasso of the largely symbolic appointment as director of the Prado Museum. During the war, Renau designed numerous posters; as an artist, he specialized in painting and graphic design, and gradually became interested in photography. He was successful as a poster artist in the 1920s, winning numerous prizes and working on the design of billboards for the film industry.
The gleaming image of the pilot in this poster may be a reflection of this aspect of Renau's career. In 1929, he was one of the first artists to use the technique of photomontage in Spain. He studied the work of John Heartfield, who became his favorite artist because of his active political stance and also because he favored photography over the more traditional medium of painting. On one occasion Renau said, "Yesterday Goya, today John Heartfield." In 1933, Renau participated in the first Exhibition of Revolutionary Art held in Madrid (which included works by other artists present in this exhibition: Monleón, Rodríguez Luna and Pérez Mateo). That year he also founded an important organization of left-wing writers and artists, the Unión de Escritores y Artistas Proletarios (Union of Proletarian Writers and Artists). In 1935 he founded and directed the magazine Nueva Cultura, where in 1936 he published an important theoretical
- Physical Description
1 print (2 sheets) mounted on linen : lithograph, 7 cols. ; full sheet 99 x 138 cm
- Related Resource
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- Digital Object Made Available By
Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego, La Jolla, 92093-0175 (https://lib.ucsd.edu/sca)
- Publication Information
Spain, SubPro (sp)
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