Guernica is a city in northern Spain famous for two closely related reasons: the bombing it suffered in 1937 during the Spanish Civil War by the German air force and the painting that Picasso dedicated to the tragic episode analyzed in detail. Guernica
The historical context of Guernica
This work was not an initiative of Picasso, in fact, the government of the Second Spanish Republic decided to undertake the painting after the events in Guernica. For this purpose , the republican government intended that Picasso’s work was presented at the Universal Exhibition in Paris in 1937.
An analysis of the work
First of all , it must be said that this work is a symbol of peace, as with it Picasso was able to denounce the horrors of war.
The images have a distinctly cubist style. The work does not have a third dimension, as the background appears before the foreground. Mutilated bodies appear from different points of view. The bodies and objects have a schematic appearance and all this comes with three colors: white, black and gray.
Animals such as the bull and the horse could be identified in this work through the Spanish reality that Picasso intended to denounce. Guernica
At work , it is possible to observe a woman with her mouth raised to the sky as she feeds her lifeless child.
The image of the bull represents the concept of the threatening enemy
A disemboweled horse that appears neighing is the central figure in the composition (some scholars claim that the horse represents the devastated Spanish nation ). Above the horse appears the image of a sun with an incandescent lamp inside. Below the horse are the remains of a soldier, who in his hand holds a sword and a flower.
The image of a frightened woman with her breasts exposed probably reflects the suffering of the civilian population in wars.
The image is full of aspects, but they all convey the same idea: the rejection of barbarism and the suffering of war. Guernica
Guernica is an oil on canvas of large dimensions (more than seven meters long and three and a half high).
Even so, he remained for over forty years outside Spain because Picasso wanted to do so. Currently, this work can be seen at the Reina Sofia Art Museum in Madrid. However, for more than four decades it remained in the custody of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In 1981, the painting finally returned to Spain, as Picasso did not want his work to be in his homeland until a democratic regime was implemented. Guernica