The first modern banknotes (1946-1949)
The exchange of June 1945 causes a complete change of the range of notes. As early as July 1945, a first denomination of 1000 francs Type 1945 Minerve et Hercule (Pick: #130) was put into circulation. This note should facilitate the progressive replacement of the complementary francs brought in 1944 by the American troops, as well as the two English banknotes of 500 and 1000 francs Type 1945 ordered to the Central Treasury based in London. The true upheaval of style takes place when three new original banknotes are issued and of greatly reduced size: a 500 francs Type 1946 Chateaubriand (Pick: #129), a 100 francs Type 1945 Jeune paysan (Pick: #128) and a 50 francs Type 1946 Le Verrier (Pick: #127). The artist Robert Poughéon is at the origin and this modern, elegant and sober graphic design will mark the spirits. But the financial situation of the country requires to resort to bills of higher values and the need accelerates with the surprise withdrawal and precipitated the 5000 francs French Empire Type 1942 in January 1948. Two new notes are then put into circulation: a 5000 francs Type 1949 Terre et Mer (Pick: #131) and a 10000 francs Type 1945 Génie français (Pick: #132). Created by the artist Sébastien Laurent, the two bills brilliantly and definitively mark the end of a long stylistic period devoted to the allegorical figure who dominated the illustration of banknotes for 150 years. From now on, the banknote-portrait is running ... until the euro!