I bought a bag full of old foreign banknotes from an antique fair on Sunday – funny paying money for money. Anyway, what struck me was not only how beautiful they were but that most notes featured serious looking men, gazing into thin air.
Here we have two polish men related to the communist era…the guy on the right is Ludwik Warynski, a socialist activist during the 19th century in Poland. The ruling regime at the time didn’t like him very much and he became a political prisoner, suffering for his socialist beliefs. On the left we have Karol Swierczewski, a soviet military officer and general who behaved quite badly apparently during the 20th century, often drunk and he signed many death penalties for those who opposed communism. I think it’s funny that these two personalities who never lived at the same time, are almost conflicting in their approaches. The war of banknotes is born! Does the 50 or 100 win?
This illustration was done using elements only from the banknotes themselves – it’s lovely to get up close and personal with the wonderful textures that a note has. Next time you use a tenner, give it a closer look.