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Europe in Crisis

Mappa Humorístico da Europa (Humorous map of Europe) was produced in 1914 by the well-known Portuguese modernist painter and illustrator António Soares (1894-1978). The map can be seen as a condemnation of the powers of Europe, engaged as they were at that time in plunging the continent of Europe into the great conflagration that became World War I. Each of 21 countries is represented as an animal, with the names of the countries identified by a key in the upper-left corner of the map. The major powers all are depicted as large and ferocious beasts. Russia, a polar bear, claws at the wolf of Austria-Hungary, drawing blood, and at the German tiger, which is devouring the stag of Belgium. Great Britain, a leopard, and France, a lion, both are trying to engage the tiger. Serbia appears to be a rat, gnawing of the ear of the Austro-Hungarian wolf. Ottoman Turkey is portrayed as a particularly unattractive crocodile, while the smaller countries, many of them neutral, are represented by smaller and more pacific animals, such as the Albanian rabbit and the Greek turtle. Maps showing countries as animals had a long history in Europe, going back at least to the 16th and 17th centuries, when the Low Countries frequently were drawn in the form of a lion. 

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