Pablo Picasso and his ‘Guernica’
No doubt we all know something about Pablo Picasso. His work is known all over the world and one can contemplate his pieces in many museums from MoMa museum in New York – La señoritas de Avignon (below left) to Tate Modern in London – Weeping woman (below right) as well as in several museums in Spain and other European countries.
Let’s focus now on what we could call the most famous of Picasso paintings. In fact, we should call it a mural due to its huge dimensions. If you have not guessed it yet, we are talking about the Guernica. This picture shows the horror of the Spanish Civil War through the bombing of the Basque town of Guernica (in the north of Spain) by the German air force showing support to Franco´s troops on 26th April 1937, killing hundreds of people. The attackers chose a Monday that was the local market day in Guernica, so they could even maximize the casualties. The attack was against civilians as there were not any military forces in Guernica.
Anyone lucky enough to have contemplated Picasso´s masterpiece will realise there are no bombs or planes. This picture shouts against horror, against massacre, against war. Not only against the Spanish Civil War, or any war in particular, but any kind of war.
Pablo Picasso painted the Guernica for the Spanish Pavilion in the “Exposition Internationale des arts et techniques dans la vie modern” at the Paris International Exposition.
However, the painting did not remain in Paris but was also exhibited in New York, London or Scandinavia.
With his Guernica, Picasso helped to create international awareness of the Spanish Civil War and was also a big step for his own international recognition.
Picasso did not agree with Franco´s regime and he was living in France for a long period of time until his death in 1973 when he was 91 years old. One of the most famous passages about his life is when he was interrogated by the Gestapo while the Nazi occupation in Paris. When the officers saw the Guernica they asked him “Did you paint that?” and he replied “No, you did”
How many of you know in which museum is the Guernica?
Have you seen it? Did you know the story behind it?
Tell us your thoughts!