Public Images: Art as Propaganda
Imagery in propaganda posters offer a powerful commentary on socio-political events. It offered a visual aid that would capture the attention of passersby. Such images would often be visually striking or inflammatory to capture the reader’s attention quickly like modern day clickbait thumbnails. But they also served as a means of conveying complex political messages without the need for dense walls of text which might alienate those with less reading comprehension. Furthermore, art could be used to convey scenes from the revolution to illustrate what it looked like from contemporary eyewitnesses. Art was used in the previous French Revolutions to beneficial effects and is duly common on posters from the 1848 Revolution as well. The following posters explore the interplay of words and imagery in propaganda posters from 1848 France. In these two examples we explore the visualization of the words while one example focuses instead on the significance of words and their impact on viewers.