J. Collins 1 Jimmy Collins
Guernica, A Reflection Throughout the course of history, artists of all shapes, sizes, and mediums have become politically involved in society. Many times they found themselves using their chosen medium to comment on the values or wrongs of society at the time. Pablo Picasso was not one of these artists; however, during a period of personal and professional turmoil, he was approached by representatives of Spain’s Republican government to paint a mural. At the time, Picasso was living in France and distraught over the events occurring in his homeland. These events would eventually become the Spanish Civil War. He was also quietly supportive of the opposing party. In the mural entitled Guernica, painted for the 1937 World’s Fair in France, Picasso portrayed the barbarianism of Hitler’s regime as they bombed the city of Guernica, Spain. Now part of the permanent collection at Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid, Spain, Guernica is housed in its own room due to its size and the sheer magnitude of its presence. Much of Picasso’s other works from the same time period are also housed in this section of the museum. My wife traveled there in 2001 and saw the mural in person. In her opinion, it was such a massive piece that it was almost overwhelming. She said that she spent much time there simply looking at it and trying to process all that Picasso had been trying to convey to the world. Painted with oil on an 11 ft high by 25.6 ft wide canvas, Guernica is a direct commentary on Picasso’s feelings about the bombing of a town during the Spanish Civil
J. Collins 2 War. During this time in Spain’s history, two groups were battling each other for the right to their way of life. The painting shows the horrors of war and the innocent lives that can be devastated by a simple disagreement that grows out of control. The images in the painting are of people, animals, and objects. Many of the images are symbols of what Picasso felt was wrong with the war....
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