By in Art

Art Study – Pablo Picasso – Guernica

At the height of the Spanish Civil War The small Spanish Basque region town of Guernica was hit by the first civilian Blitzkrieg air-raid in history on 26th April 1937. Though two years before the start of World War Two the attack was waged by the German Luftwaffe, in what became a rehearsal run for their World War bombing strategies.

As many as 800 civilians died in Guernica.

Picasso was living and working in Paris at the time and generally avoided using his work politically. Guernica changed that. He created one of the most powerful and surreal Cubist protest paintings of all time.

There are no planes, bombs or burning buildings in the black and white image of Hell. Horses, Spanish bulls, people with broken swords, etc, writhe and panic and fall in anguish and panic. It’s a capture of human tragedy that doesn’t actually blame anyone – it depicts a World stripped of love or hope or beauty. It is art devoid of beauty and actually terrifying.

The painting

Arthur Chappell

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SoundNFury wrote on January 19, 2015, 8:06 PM

It's definitely a powerful work of art. There is a lot of meaning and symbolism, and actually perhaps a longer lasting legacy because it's not literal about that event. It can be applied to humanity's inhumane treatment of each other in general, not just that one event.

DWDavisRSL wrote on January 19, 2015, 9:21 PM

One cannot look upon this painting with feeling disturbed by the depiction of suffering and panic. It is the stuff of which nightmares are born.

bestwriter wrote on January 20, 2015, 7:10 AM

I am a bit disillusioned with these great artistst. Once they make a name even a straight line drawn will have a market :angry:


mrsmerlin wrote on January 21, 2015, 3:39 PM

As Pablo himself said: "Art is a lie that makes us realize the truth" you get much more of a feeling of the real effects of war in this work than any shiny canon or gun could ever create