Españoles por la independencia y la libertad de nuestra patria. 100,000 voluntarios!
[Spaniards: For independence and freedom for our country. 100,000 volunteers!]. José Bardasano. Partido Comunista de España Lithograph, red; 100 x 70 cm
This poster (1937) by José Bardasano calls for additional volunteers to fight for the Republican army using the language of "independence" and "liberty." The image depicts a battle scene with a soldier in the foreground holding the Republican flag and pointing toward the front. The soldier's gesture mirrors the message of the poster; both indicate that more soldiers are needed at the front. The red hue of the entire poster is a bold reminder that the image was produced by the Spanish Communist Party (PCE).
Not surprisingly, calls for additional volunteers were common during the Spanish Civil War. Such calls were particularly prevalent among the smaller printed ephemera as well as posters. Surprisingly though, many of the volunteers for both the Republican and Nationalist causes came from international sources. In Republican Spain, foreign volunteers were often formed into their own brigade rather than fighting amongst the Spanish in the regular Republican army. Consequently, international brigades were a prevalent force in many of the Republican military engagements. Meanwhile, the policy of the Nationalist government regarding foreign troops was exactly the opposite with a preference for integrating international volunteers into the regular Nationalist army.
The artist, José Bardasano (1910-1979), was the child of Madrid working-class parents. A largely self-taught artist, the young Bardasano was working as an artistic director in an advertising agency when war broke out in 1936. Already a member of the communist-controlled JSU (Juventud Socialista Unificada), Bardasano immediately established a workshop with two colleagues and produced numerous propaganda prints and posters for the Communist Party. In 1937, Bardasano and his wife, the artist, Juana Francisca, moved to Valencia, where they continued to produce propaganda posters. At the end of the war, Bardasano and Francisca spent some time in a French concentration camp, after which they took exile in Mexico. Here Bardasano formed the Mexican Fine Arts Circle with a number of other Civil War exiles and Mexican nationals. In 1960, he returned to Madrid. Bardasano is also the artist for posters 42, 53, and 94 in this exhibit.