Guernica is a large 1937 oil painting on canvas by Spanish artist Pablo Picasso. It is one of his best known works, regarded by many art critics as the most moving and powerful anti-war painting in history. It portrays the suffering of people and animals wrought by violence and chaos. Prominent in the composition are a gored horse, a bull, screaming women, dismemberment, and flames.
About Guernica (Picasso) in brief
Guernica is a large 1937 oil painting on canvas by Spanish artist Pablo Picasso. It is one of his best known works, regarded by many art critics as the most moving and powerful anti-war painting in history. The painting portrays the suffering of people and animals wrought by violence and chaos. Prominent in the composition are a gored horse, a bull, screaming women, dismemberment, and flames. Picasso painted the painting at his home in Paris in response to the bombing of Guernica, a Basque Country town in northern Spain, by Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy at the request of the Spanish Nationalists. It was exhibited at the Spanish display at the 1937 Paris International Exposition, and then at other venues around the world. It soon became famous and widely acclaimed, and it helped bring worldwide attention to the Spanish Civil War. The work is now exhibited in the Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid, and is on display in the Museum of Modern Art in New York, as well as in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in London, and in the Tate Gallery in London. It has been described as one of the most important works of art in the history of the modern art movement, and has been called the most influential work of art of the 20th century. The artist was commissioned by the Spanish Republican government to create a large mural for the Spanish pavilion at the Paris World’s Fair.
He was the Honorary Director-in-Exile of the Prado Museum and would never return to Spain in 1934. The town was seen as the northern bastion of the Republican resistance movement and the center of Basque culture. Around 4: 30 p.m. on Monday, 26 April 1937, warplanes of the Nazi Germany Condor Legion, commanded by Colonel Wolfram von Richthofen, bombed Guernicas for about two hours. The bombing was widely condemned as a terror attack, but it went through the town unscathed. The nearest military target of any consequence was a war factory on the outskirts of the town, but any Republican retreat towards Bilbao, the capital of Biscay, had to pass through Guernicia for entry to the war. In his diary for the following day, von RichTHofen wrote in his war diary, “The nearest target of burning was a military factory on Guernican’s outskirts, which has to halt the Red withdrawal here’’. Other accounts state that since it was GuERNica’s market day, its inhabitants were congregated in the center. When the bombardment began they were unable to escape because the roads were full of debris and the bridges leading out of town had been destroyed. The materials of the houses: tile roofs, wooden porches, and half-timbering resulted in complete annihilation. Most inhabitants were away because of a holiday; the majority of the rest left town immediately at the beginning.