The Theatre of War. – The Latest Spectacular Tragedy.
Puck Magazine Centerfold; Vol. 1 No. 9, May 9,
1877; 18"w x 12 1/2"h
On April 24, 1877, two weeks before this caricature
was published, Russia declared war on the Ottomans
and began the ninth and final Russo-Turkish war.
In the same year the
Ottomans withdrew from the Conference of Constantinople. Romania declares independence
and war on Turkey, joined by Serbians and Bulgarians and finally the Russians
(see also Russian Foreign Affairs after the Crimean War).
In the lower box on the left, Franz Joseph I of Austria stands next to England's
John Bull. Across from them on the right, sits
Otto von Bismarck, Chancellor of Germany. Between them a skeleton conducts an
orchestra of cannons, bombs and rifles. Above the stage, a hydra-headed plaque
surrounded by the legend Theatrum Mundi (Theatre of the World) is flanked
by skulls and bones that drip blood onto the stage.