In its final form, Guernica is an immense black and white, 3.5 metre (11 ft) tall and 7.8 metre (23 ft) wide mural painted in oil. In creating Guernica, Picasso had no interest in painting the non-representational abstraction typical of some of his contemporaries, such as Kazimir Malevich. The mural presents a scene of death, violence, brutality, suffering, and helplessness without portraying their immediate causes. The choice to paint in black and white contrasts with the intensity of the scene depicted and invokes the immediacy of a newspaper photograph.
Guernica depicts suffering people, animals, and buildings wrenched by violence and chaos.
* The overall scene is within a room, where, at an open end on the left, a wide-eyed bull stands over a woman grieving over a dead child in her arms.
* The center is occupied by a horse falling in agony as it had just been run through by a spear or javelin. The shape of a human skull forms the horse's nose and upper teeth.
* Two "hidden" images formed by the horse appear in Guernica (illustrated to the right): o A human skull is overlayed on the horse's body.
o A bull appears to gore the horse from underneath. The bull's head is formed mainly by the horse's entire front leg which has the knee on the ground. The leg's knee cap forms the head's nose. A horn appears within the horse's breast.
* Under the horse is a dead, apparently dismembered soldier, his hand on a severed arm still grasps a shattered sword from which a flower grows.
* A light bulb blazes in the shape of an eye over the suffering horse's head.
* To the upper right of the horse, a frightened female figure, who seems to be witnessing the scenes before her, appears to have floated into the room through a window. Her arm, also floating in, carries a flame-lit lamp.
* From the right, an awe-struck woman staggers towards the center below the floating female figure. She looks up blankly into...
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