[ca 1943]. Original cartoon illustration in black ink on watercolor paper; sheet size 63cm x 50cm (ca 24-13/4" x 19-3/4"). Signed in ink lower right. Drawing spotted and lightly soiled; glue remnants to margin, apparently from a removed mat; title in pencil below image; Very Good.
A large and accomplished caricature in which a panicked Hitler attempts to prop up a collapsing statue of Mussolini; probably drawn following the Allied invasion of Sicily in July, 1943. Groth was at this time Art Director for Parade Publications, for which this cartoon was likely illustrated (though we are unsure whether it was ever published). Though best remembered as a wartime sketch-artist and book illustrator, Groth began his career as a printmaker and cartoonist very much in the social-realist mold, publishing some of his earliest work in such left-wing forums as The New Masses and PM. He was also the first Art Director at Esquire, which was founded in 1933. Groth's mastery as a printmaker is on display in these early works, which manage to convey a simultaneous sense of urgency and delicacy which would become the hallmark of his battlefield sketches made during WW2 and the Korean War.