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It's a Long Way to Rome

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    France (made)

  • Date:

    April 1944 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown (production)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Colour lithograph

  • Credit Line:

    Gift of the American Friends of the V&A; Gift to the American Friends by Leslie, Judith and Gabri Schreyer and Alice Schreyer Batko

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, room 405M, case A, shelf 5

Allied forces had landed in Southern Italy from Sicily in early September 1943. The difficult terrain and tenacious German defence slowed progress towards Rome. The poster claims that a snail travelling at 0.8 metres a minute for 191 days would have advanced 320 kilometres [actually 220] by 1 April 1944, whereas the Allies had achieved only 180 kilometres. However, after the German defence line and Monte Cassino were stormed in mid-May 1944, the Allies moved on rapidly to liberate Rome on June 5 1944. The style of this poster suggests it was probably designed by a French artist.

Physical description

Colour lithograph depicting a snail travelling the length of Italy.

Place of Origin

France (made)


April 1944 (made)


Unknown (production)

Materials and Techniques

Colour lithograph


Height: 159.6 cm, Width: 120.7 cm

Descriptive line

"It's a Long Way to Rome" Anonymous propaganda poster probably commissioned by the German forces occupying France. April, 1944. Colour lithograph.


Paper; Printing ink

Subjects depicted

France; Rome; Italy; War; Propaganda; Maps; Snails (animal)


Prints; Propaganda; Posters

Collection code


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