WILSON, Woodrow. Photograph signed ("Woodrow Wilson") as President, also signed by DAVID LLOYD GEORGE ("D Lloyd George"), Prime Minister of Great Britain, and GEORGES CLEMENCEAU ("G Clemenceau"), Premier of France, [Versailles, ca. June 1919]. 14 7/16 x 16 1/8 inches including margins, "Signal Corps U.S.A." stamp in bottom left corner, in fine condition
THE "BIG FOUR" AT THE VERSAILLES PEACE CONFERENCE, 1919
A famous image of the four principal Allied diplomats at the Versailles Conference, in a high-quality sepia-toned photograph. The "Big Four" as they were dubbed by the international press, are shown talking amiably on steps outside a large building. From left to right they are: David Lloyd George (1863-1945), Premier Vittorio Orlando (1860-1952) of Italy, Premier Georges Clemenceau (1841-1929) and President Wilson. Georges, Clemenceau and Wilson have each signed under their respective images.
The peace conference opened at Paris on 18 June 1919. The plenary sessions were of little significance, as decisions rested with the Supreme Council, or "Big Ten," composed of President Wilson and the prime ministers and foreign ministers of the five chief powers. On March 25th, the Council of Ten was replaced by the Council of Four in order to expedite the drafting of the treaty with Germany. The completed treaty, part 1 of which consisted of the covenant of the League of Nations, was submitted to the German delegation on May 7th and signed by their representatives, with great reluctance, on June 28th.
The present is the largest format in which we have encountered this image. A print from the Jerome Shochet and Forbes collections, signed by George and Wilson only, measured 11 3/16 x 12 1/16 (sold at Christie's, 27 March 2002, lot 147, $14,100).