Print by Louis Raemaekers
Altar piece design with wounded virgin, city being destroyed in background.
Information Written on Back: No. 21 / 129 / Our lady of Antwerp 1914.
Additional Information from "Raemaekers' Cartoons: With Accompanying Notes by Well-known English Writers" by Louis Raemaekers Copyright 1916 (http://www.gutenberg.org/files/19126/19126-h/19126-h.htm)
NOTE: "Here I and sorrows sit. This is my throne, bid Kings come worship it." Such seems to be an appropriate legend for Raemaekers' beautiful triptych which he has entitled "Our Lady of Antwerp." Full of compassion and sympathy for all the sufferings of her people, she sits with the Cathedral outlined behind her, her heart pierced with many agonies. On the left is one of the many widows who have lost their all in this war. On the right is a soldier stricken to death, who has done his utmost service for his country and brings the record of his gallantry to the feet of Our Lady of Antwerp.
Antwerp, as we know, was at the height of its prosperity in the sixteenth century. We have been told that no fewer than five hundred ships used to enter her port in the course of a day, while more than two thousand could be seen lying in her harbour at one time. Her people numbered as many as one million, her fairs attracted merchants from all parts of Europe, and at least five hundred million guilders were put into circulation every year. We know what followed. Its very prosperity proved a bait to the conqueror. In 1576 the city was captured by the Spaniards, who pillaged it for three days. Nine years later the Duke of Parma conquered it, and about the time when Queen Elizabeth was resisting the might of Spain Antwerp's glory had departed and its trade was ruined. At the close of the Napoleonic wars the city was handed over to the Belgians.
A place of many memories, whose geographical position was well calculated to arouse the cupidity of the Germans, was bound to be gallantly defended by the little nation to which it now belonged. Whether earlier help by the British might or might not have altered the course of history we cannot tell. Perhaps it was not soon enough realized how important it was to keep the Hun invader from the sacred soil. At all events we do not look back on the British Expedition in aid of Antwerp in 1914 with any satisfaction, because the assistance rendered was either not ample enough or else it was belated, or both. So that Our Lady of Antwerp has still to bewail the ruthless tyranny of Berlin, though perhaps she looks forward to the time when, once more in possession of her own cities, Belgium may enter upon a new course of prosperity. We are pledged to restore Belgium, doubly and trebly pledged, by the words of the Prime Minister, and justice will not be done until the great act of liberation is accomplished.
NOTE AUTHOR: W. L. Courtney
CARTOON CAPTION: Our Lady of Antwerp
World War 1
|Title||Our Lady of Antwerp|
|Image size||38 x 25.3 cm|