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August 6, 2008 7:39 PM   Subscribe

Satirical maps of Europe from 1914-15.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane (25 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite

 
Het Gekkenhuis is very interesting art. Thanks gnfti.
posted by netbros at 7:47 PM on August 6, 2008


Any larger versions? These are fantastic but tiny.
posted by cowbellemoo at 8:05 PM on August 6, 2008


Originally from a recent BibliOdyssey post by MeFi's very own Peacay. With links to larger versions.
posted by Razzle Bathbone at 8:06 PM on August 6, 2008 [3 favorites]


(Do I get 2 more wishes, Razzle? Or just the one granted?)
posted by cowbellemoo at 8:18 PM on August 6, 2008


Just the one cowbellmoo, but the account resets to zero at midnight, PST
posted by Razzle Bathbone at 8:25 PM on August 6, 2008


[Replaced with better link.]
posted by cortex at 8:30 PM on August 6, 2008


You're right! Payday is tomorrow!
posted by cowbellemoo at 8:30 PM on August 6, 2008


I like how Russia is represented almost invariably by a gigantic unkempt drunken bum, complete with vodka bottle. A lot of the caricatures are incomprehensible to a modern audience, as with most old political cartoons, but the drunken Russian is a universal archetype.
posted by DecemberBoy at 8:30 PM on August 6, 2008


These are excellent. Looks like that was a popular idea that year, eh? Wonder who came up with it first.
posted by echo target at 8:31 PM on August 6, 2008


I think this was a popular motif at the turn of the last century. I remember seeing a late-Victorian history book on Rome that depicted a map the empire like this (Gauls, Huns, Persians etc). I also remember seeing a cartoon once (Punch?) of a map of the Russo-Japanese War also in this manner.
posted by Razzle Bathbone at 8:39 PM on August 6, 2008


If you look at it wrong, England looks like a hamster instead of a bulldog.
posted by smackfu at 8:44 PM on August 6, 2008


Darn you Reddit cross-posters! I was going to post this. Higher rez versions are available at the original site they came from. Not sure if you can download them completely though.
posted by GuyZero at 8:55 PM on August 6, 2008


Interesting--wish I had time to read it. Gives me a hankerin' to play Diplomacy.
posted by neuron at 9:09 PM on August 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Any larger versions? These are fantastic but tiny.

Click on the photo. That will take you to flickr. Click on "All Sizes" above the photo for the full version.
posted by damn dirty ape at 9:31 PM on August 6, 2008


Love these. I love fun map. I love maps.

These pack in a lot of info and are mischievously witty at the same time. Brilliantly collected and elegantly offered by Peacay. The writing accompanying each map helps me understand some of the less obvious meanings.

The following seems typical of Peacay's dedicated and meticulous eye for detail:
Just as a technical note: The images above are by far the most difficult I've ever put together: the magnification has a habit of changing ever so slightly as the print is moved around the grid in the zoom interface. So, although it won't be noticeable I'm sure, even with side-by-side comparison, the above images have very minor 'modifications' to their appearance; for instance a hand might be a tiny bit larger or smaller: that sort of thing. But the splices themselves remain invisible and nothing of importance has been disturbed.

The Het Gekkenhuis one is my faves. So cleverly drawn and visually appealing, while expressing some intense feelings/realities about pre-war and World War I Europe. They are complex and entertaining cultural/political snapshots of that time in history.

On Bibliodyssey it says:
All the above maps were spliced together from screencaps. They were obtained from the University of Amsterdam website where you can zoom in to high magnification.
posted by nickyskye at 10:00 PM on August 6, 2008


*smacks forehead. I love fun map. ach. I love fun maps.
posted by nickyskye at 10:01 PM on August 6, 2008


Great post.
posted by painquale at 10:09 PM on August 6, 2008


Thanks!

Just to clarify some stuff...

You won't find complete and downloadable high res versions of these maps on the web beyond what I have hand-spliced (so to speak) together, which are fairly big (~2000px wide from memory).

If you go to the source site (University of Amsterdam) and click on a map it opens a new window {from here you can see high-res versions, but only a sub-section of a map at a time}. At the top, click on 'beschrijving' and then click on 'de Kaartenzaal' to contact the university if you want to purchase prints.

The splicing took a loooong time (see quote nickyskye posted [Hi Nicky!]) and required splicing from about thirty five to sixty individual screen captures per map. It was actually a good learning experience and I wish I had understood from the beginning just how much compression artifact was introduced by saving the final product as a jpeg image (all the text is still readable however and it looks ok I reckon). Consequently only 2 of the maps were saved as png files, which are quite a bit larger - maybe 4Mb - but are better quality outcomes. Oh well, I won't forget this in the future anyways.

As I understand it, this genre first began with the Munster Queen map - Europe depicted as a Queen - which was designed by Johannes Putsch (Bucius) in 1537 but made popular through Sebastian Munster's famous work from 1542: 'Cosmographia'.

If you take at look at this post - Asia on the World - there is a Japanese 1914 satirical map (which may actually have been made or influenced by Chinese intellectuals who had fled their homeland) but in that post there are links to other satirical maps.

One of the major reasons that this style became popular in the mid-19th century was because Italy and Germany became nation states. Before that there were all those principalities and nobility homelands. So regional stereotypes - the mainstay foundation for satrical maps - could then be applied individually to all the countries of Europe.
posted by peacay at 10:57 PM on August 6, 2008


How to draw political cartoons
posted by Anything at 11:15 PM on August 6, 2008


One of the major reasons that this style became popular in the mid-19th century was because Italy and Germany became nation states. Before that there were all those principalities and nobility homelands. So regional stereotypes - the mainstay foundation for satrical maps - could then be applied individually to all the countries of Europe.

That's so interesting. *waves and smiles at Peacay.

I'd love to see a satirical map of Italy when it was divided into principalities.

You create incredibly beautiful collections of rare and wonderful images on Bibliodyssey. It's truly a work of art in itself.

Adding to the satyrical maps theme: The Tory Atlas of the World. A Western Hemisphere map. Fantasy cartography. How Japan Sees America. How New Yorkers see the world.
posted by nickyskye at 12:07 AM on August 7, 2008


If you look at it wrong, England looks like a hamster instead of a bulldog.

When I was young, before I recognised the outline of Great Britain, the weather forecast on TV was the strangest thing around. There was a pig being ridden by a man with an enormous misshapen head, and to the left there was a Yorkshire Terrier jumping in the air. Also, you'd get this guy in thick rimmed glasses with an endless supply of rain clouds that he could sometimes make stick to it but which would often fall on the floor.

I think I was about 16 before I realised what was going on.
posted by vbfg at 1:55 AM on August 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Leave it to the Germans to label their humorous map as "Humorous Map."
posted by kittyprecious at 6:59 AM on August 7, 2008


This is also a very nice illustration of memes existing long before the internet.
posted by ymgve at 7:06 AM on August 7, 2008


These maps are fascinating - I just spent about an hour going through them (with my husband who, knowing more about the period, explained more of their subtext - but we wish we read German). Some are just national stereotypes, but others are saying interesting things about the various international relations of the period, like referring to France's use of African soldiers, and Britain's struggles with Irish nationalism. And I wasn't aware of how rich Britain was seen to have been at the time - I knew that they had very significant financial markets, but John Bull is repeatedly depicted by others as sitting on money bags. The Balkans are mixing it up too - sometimes being crushed by Austria, other times stabbing from below, depending what side of the war the image is from. And in one map, it looks like Turkey is trying to set off a keg of gunpowder under Russia - I wonder what that is about?

-------------------
somewhat off-topic:
I don't know if this has been linked here before, but I just found it exploring the other map links - metafilter map.
posted by jb at 8:27 AM on August 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Ah, The Isle of Meta. I think there was a thread in the grey about that'n, yeah; good stuff. I'd always wanted to have a go at it myself and get really details—down to counties and landmarks and the occasional high-profile mefite's hut.
posted by cortex at 8:44 AM on August 7, 2008


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