Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Guernica by Picasso

Name: Guernica
Artist's Name: Pablo Picasso
Date: 1937
Period: Cubist
Material: Oil on canvas

Compelled by the worldwide outcry after the bombing of the town of Guernica, Spain, by Nazi planes acting on behalf of rebel general Francisco Franco, Picasso completed the huge 11 1/2' X 25 1/2' Guernica in less than two months. This monumental painting condemns the senseless bombing without specific reference to the event - depicting no bombs or German planes. The collection of figures creates a visceral feeling of grief and terror. In the center, along the lower edge, a figure lies slain and holding a broken sword. A wounded horse tramples the fiure and rears back in fright as it dies. On the left, a woman shrieks in anguish as she cradles the body of her dead child. Women flee from burning buildings. One holds a light to survey the damage. The head of a bull overlooks the death and destruction. According to the artist, the bull represents "brutality and darkness". The use of only black, white & gray gives the painting the feeling of a newspaper article.

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