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Guernica, by Pablo Picasso

 

1937

Vinyl paint on canvas
351 x 782 cm
Reina Sofía Museum,  Madrid

 

The immense canvas was commissioned by the Spanish Republican government for the Spanish pavilion in the Paris International Exhibition of 1937, in the midst of the Spanish Civil War. A

The immense canvas was commissioned by the Spanish Republican government for the Spanish pavilion in the Paris International Exhibition of 1937, in the midst of the Spanish Civil War. A few months later an attack was few months later an attack was unleashed on the Basque town of Guernica, in a test run of the type of saturation bombing which would characterise the Second World War.

Deeply affected by the events, Picasso immediately began making preparatory sketches completing the work in just over a month. During the process his palette was, by choice reduced to a range of greys, perhaps evoking the press photographs which first made an impact upon Picasso.

unleashed on the Basque town of Guernica, in a test run of the type of saturation bombing which would characterise the Second World War.

 

Deeply affected by the events, Picasso immediately began making preparatory sketches completing the work in just over a month. During the process his palette was, by choice reduced to a range of greys, perhaps evoking the press photographs which first made an impact upon Picasso.

 

Here cubism broke its geometric chains, its strict formal discipline, and demonstrated itself to be the perfect language for the creation of political and universal messages. Multiplying its capacity to communicate, Guernica achieves an original synthesis between the principal lessons of several artistic vanguards: not only cubism itself, but also expressionism y el surrealism.

 

 

 

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