[Persuasive Cartography] M’arma, non m’arma.


Cartographer(s): Bernardo Leporini
Date: 1941
Place: Not listed
Dimensions: 25 x 33 cm (10 x 13 in.)
Condition Rating: VG

In stock

A 1941 Italian critique of American assistance to Great Britain.


A curious piece of Italian wartime propaganda, this 1941 cartoon by Bernardo Leporini critiques the military assistance given by the United States to Great Britain in the opening months and years of the conflict in Europe.

Picking pedals of a flower in the style of the game “S/he loves me… s/he loves me not,” a portly Brit likely meant to be Winston Churchill is determining whether to spend money on American armaments. Across the Atlantic, Franklin Delano Roosevelt looks on eagerly, waiting for the opportunity to benefit from Britain’s need of weapons. This depiction fit into a wider trope in Fascist Italy in which Americans were depicted as opportunistic plunderers.

The verso contains an advertisement for the 1941 film adaptation of Antonio Fogazzaro’s 1895 novel Piccolo mondo antico, which helps to date the cartoon. We have been unable to identify the publication in which the cartoon appeared, and are unaware of the piece being independently cataloged by any institution.


Bernardo Leporini

Bernardo Leporini (1904 – 1992) was an Italian artist and caricaturist active in the Mussolini years and postwar era. Born in Rome, Leporini attended the Accademia Belle Arti Roma, after which he began producing cartoons for ‘Il Travaso.’ He lived and worked in Germany between 1929 and 1936. He drew some propagandistic cartoons during the Second World War, but mostly focused on fantasy works intended for children while also producing works with a pacifist message. After the war, he openly associated with socialism and frequently produced works ridiculing Mussolini and fascism, which were later collected and published as ’20 anni di fascismo visti da Leporini.’

Condition Description

Uneven toning along edge.