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Propaganda: Home Front

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"Seductive ‘siren'" by Whitear, Probably post-1942. Gouache, watercolour & pencil on board.

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Seductive ‘siren'

"Seductive ‘siren'" by Whitear, Probably post-1942

Catalogue ref: INF 3/271Links to the Catalogue


A Careless talk poster, illustrated with a glamorous, seductive ‘siren' sat on a bar stool, with the slogan: ‘You forget – but she remembers…'. In this image, the ‘siren' makes eye contact with the viewer, often described in western culture as ‘bedroom eyes'. The colouring in the poster indicates that men will be drawn to this woman as a moth to a flame. Working along the same lines as INF 3/229, the image depicts a conventional glamour spy, in the style of the Mata Hari, who Advertiser's Weekly described as ‘as out of date as the aspidistra'. The idea of the prostitute as spy was common, with the need for ‘expendable intermediaries' to disguise dealings between spies and the secret service.