The signing of the treaty of peace at Versailles, 28 June 1919

Accession Number ART16770
Collection type Art
Measurement Framed: 164.5 cm x 247 cm x 18 cm; Unframed: 117 cm x 184.5 cm
Object type Painting
Physical description oil on linen
Maker Finnemore, Joseph
Place made United Kingdom: England
Date made 1919
Conflict Period 1910-1919
First World War, 1914-1918

Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain

Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain


This work was painted to commemorate the signing of the peace treaty in Versailles. It captures a moment of the signing ceremony which took place in the Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles. For all of its known imperfections, the Treaty was seen as a symbol of hope. It looked to the past and brought a formal end to the First World War. German representatives, led by the Foreign Minister Hermann Muller, had been required to sign first. President Woodrow Wilson of the United States was then the first representative of the victorious nations to sign. The British Prime Minister David Lloyd George can be seen seated at the table, adding his signature, and standing nearby is the Australian Prime Minister, William Hughes, waiting his turn amongst the other representatives of the British Empire. Hughes had been a vigorous participant at the Peace Conference, anxious that Australia make some territorial gain in the Pacific, in recognition of the sacrifices Australians had made. The French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau signed last. The rest of the long narrow room is packed with nearly a thousand invited spectators, whispering, clattering cameras, and jostling for a better view.

Presented by William Alfred Leopold Crowle in 1969 in memory of his brother, Herbert Walter Crowle, who died at Pozieres in August 1916.