FUNNY TIMES for the humorous cartoonist Fabien Fabiano: in 1915, in the first months of this terrible world conflict, the urgency was no longer with the frivolity of Montmartre cabarets and fashion journals but with military mobilization. From 1914, the wounded from the front arrived in droves and had to be taken care of by professional nurses, many of whom were still nuns. And the auxiliary hospitals improvised in castles, hotels and schools quickly found themselves overwhelmed.
The call for volunteers is necessary, in particular all those who are involved through Red Cross societies, who will train and supervise more than 60,000 French nurses. Their commitment will be long in the factories, the sanatoriums, the prison camps. For now, Fabiano is using his art of illustrative drawing for this propaganda poster, evoking in the center the jovial figure of the poilu placed on the background of the cross. Between naivety and optimism, the designer surrounds it with a charming gallery of faces of shy nurses, draped in their apron and sanitary veil with a certain elegance. It is indeed the figure of the “guardian angels” which is evoked here, in secular France at the beginning of the century. This is not the least of the paradoxes of times of war that are so terrifying and destructive. Because what can ultimately save us are these figures of benevolence and self-sacrifice.