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ART16770

Image copyright: Copyright expired - public domain,
Public Domain Mark This image is in the Public Domain

ID number ART16770
Title The signing of the treaty of peace at Versailles, 28 June 1919
Collection Art
Object type Painting
Artist Finnemore, Joseph
Place made United Kingdom: England
Date made 1919
Medium oil on linen
Measurement overall: 117 x 184.5 cm

Description

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.