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Portrait of Senegalese Tirailleur with Cap by Bollschweiler

Portrait of Senegalese Tirailleur with Cap by Bollschweiler

Framed charcoal and pencil portrait of a Black Senegalese Tirailleur dated 1915 by Jackob (Jack) Friedrich Bollschweiler (1888-1938). This original drawing is 21 cm by 16.5 cm on paper. Signed bottom right with the artist's last name, with an inscription identifying the subject as "Senegalneger. Midia Siouf". The subject is a Senegalese prisoner of war. Sketched from life in the military hospital, Cologne, 1915.


The Senegalese Tirailleurs were formed in 1857 by Louis Faidherbe, governor general of French West Africa, because he lacked sufficient French troops to control the territory and meet other requirements of the first phase of colonization.


There were 21 battalions of Tirailleurs Sénégalais in the French Army in August 1914, all serving in either West Africa or on active service in Morocco.


With the outbreak of World War I, 37 battalions of French, North African and Senegalese infantry were transferred from Morocco to France. Five Senegalese battalions were soon serving on the Western Front, while others formed part of the reduced French garrison in Morocco.


French military policy towards the use of African troops in Europe changed in 1915. The French high command realized that the war would last far longer than they had originally imagined. They therefore authorized a major recruitment drive in West Africa. As a result, a further 93 Senegalese battalions were raised between 1915 and 1918, of which 42 saw service in France itself.


Bollschweiler, A German Experssionist largely active in Cologne, was born in Lorrach, Baden, German Empire on October 9, 1888. Inducted into membership in the Munchen Akademie der Bildenden Kunste on  April 16, 1913 under Matrikel-Nr. 5209, he was a student of Peter von Halm at the Zeichenschule Halm. He died in Formia, southern Italy, on April 30, 1938.

Shipping dimensions 16x18x2

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