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It's a Long Way to Rome

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    France (made)

  • Date:

    April 1944 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • 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

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)



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

Snails (animal); Propaganda; War; Maps


Prints; Propaganda; Posters


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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