World War I Victory Parade at the Arch of Triumph

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The Great Parade on Bastille Day 1919, viewed from  the Arch of Triumph in Paris. 50 x 50 in., oil on linen canvas, signed and dated lower left: Frank Wright 2004.

"This  was unquestionably the greatest parade of the 20th Century. The Allied Army marched on the Champs-Elysee in celebration of the end of the "war to end all wars." All of the regiments of the Allied Army were present.  Wright's painting shows some of the American "doughboys" having just marched through the Arch, waving American flags. The depiction of the Arch of Triumph itself is possibly the most faithful rendition of this great architectural monument ever attempted.

The Arch of Triumph was commissioned by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1806 to celebrate his victories and the first stones were laid on August 15th of that year..  Because of subsequent political reversals, the Arch was not completed until 1836.

Wright's depiction of the parade was based on two gigantic photographs taken only minutes apart: one which appeared in a contemporary French pictorial magazine; and the second which appeared in the rotogravure section of the New York Times the Sunday following the event.  All of the people in the crowd, including the soldiers posted near cannons and motorized equipment at the Arch, are all shown exactly as they were at this great moment."

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