With the fighting over, those countries that had fought through the war now had to turn to managing the peace. The Treaty of Versailles was one of five treaties formulated at the Paris Peace Conference, and imposed major sanctions on Germany. Not only was the defeated nation required to pay reparations, surrender territory, and demilitarise the Rhineland, but Germany was also forced to admit full responsibility for the war itself.
Joseph Finnemore’s work captures a moment during the ceremonial signing of the treaty at the Palace of Versailles in France. The British Prime Minister David Lloyd George can be seen seated at the table, adding his signature, while Australian Prime Minister William Hughes stands nearby, waiting his turn along with other representatives of the British Empire.
- What words would you use to describe the mood in this painting?