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You are hereHarvey-LeeHomeHarvey-LeeWeb ExhibitionsHarvey-LeeWilliam Walcot Intro Harvey-Leel'Arc de Triomphe, Paris

William Walcot R.E., Hon.R.I.B.A.  
(Odessa 1874 – 1943 Ditchling, Sussex)

L’Arc de Triomphe, Paris

l'Arc de Triomphe, Paris | William Walcot | Etching & Aquatint | Elizabeth harvey-Lee | E H-L 57

L’Arc de Triomphe, Paris
E H-L 57. 556 x 454 mm. Etching and aquatint, a reverse copy of Walcot's watercolour
The Arch
of Triumph, exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1917.
Signed in pencil. Published by H C Dickins 1917. Edition of 65. A fine impression printed in dark brown ink on stout cream wove paper. One tiny touched-in pinprick.


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Additional Information about the Print

Included in Walcot’s 1918 one-man show at James Connell.

The second largest triumphal arch in the world, L’Arc de Triomphe was commissioned to the glory of the Grande Armée by Napoleon in 1805, after his victory at Austerlitz. Inspired by the ancient Roman Arch of Titus, the building was begun by the architect Jean Chalgrin but due to the ensuing changing political situation it was not completed until 1836.

Walcot concentrates on a close-up detail of the arch opening, with the two temporary standards lettered with the Latin words PAX and LABOR (unusually Walcot has not reversed the subject onto the plate, so it reads in mirror image of his watercolour), the flags, procession and crowds, he gives it very much an imperial character and anticipation of the allied victory to come. Perhaps he was inspired by a Bastille Day celebration march in wartime Paris and the morale boost given by the Americans entering the War.

The Americans declared war on Germany in April and the first troops arrived in France in June 1917.