“Triple Axis”


“Triple Axis” (October 31, 1940)
by Unknown
9 x 10 in., ink on paper
Coppola Collection

While this drawing is an unsigned sketch, it is a nonetheless clever use of representations and commentary.

Russia was a metastable ally with Germany and Italy, at best, prior to the Nazi invasion of Russia in 1941. Russia had a non-aggression pact with Italy that dated back to the 1920s, but through the 1930s, Italy’s wars with Ethiopia and Spain were against Russia’s interests. Russia’s pact with Germany came in late 1939, just before the invasion of Poland.

Stalin sits upon the Hammer and Sickle… Hitler on the Swastika… and Mussolini on the Fasces (an ancient symbol of power from the Roman Empire, used by the Italian fascists on their flag)… strike their uneasy truce as they move toward the invasion of the Balkans, which began with the Italian invasion of Greece.

Stalin was a known drinker, and often referred to diluted wines as “fruit juice,” which is about as close as I can get to that part.

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