Kaiser and Germania

Accession Number ART02292
Collection type Art
Measurement sheet: 51.6 x 44.6 cm; image: 49.2 x 42 cm
Object type Drawing
Physical description pen, brush and ink, pencil and blue pencil on paper
Place made United Kingdom: England
Date made c 1916
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain

Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain


Depicts two figures, either Kaiser Wilhelm II and Emperor Franz Josef or 'Germania' and Wilhelm. The thin, elderly figure on the right may also represent the declining Austro-Hungarian empire gazing at the location where the Allied powers met on 26 March 1916 (the Allied Paris conference) during which time they declared their unity and agreed to form a Permanent Committee of International Economic Action. A number of Dyson's caricatures were published in 1915 and are characterised by his response to Germany's military monarchy. Using a figure loosely based on the Kaiser, Dyson identified the 'common enemy' and attacked it with vigour.

Will Dyson was the first Australian official war artist to visit the front during the First World War, travelling to France in December 1916, remaining there until May 1917, making records of the Australian involvement in the war. He was formally appointed as an official war artist, attached to the AIF, in May 1917, working in France and London throughout the war. His commission was terminated in March 1920.