There’s an interesting article over at the New Yorker by Peter Schjeldahl about Picasso and his famous painting, Guernica.
“Simply, no other work of a bloody century so successfully.. that is, to a lesser degree of failure.. apostrophizes the character of total war. If the emotionally devastating Goya and even the eerily detached Manet are far superior in conjuring lived horror, with flowing blood and choking gun smoke, it’s because they belonged to times when organized violence could still be convincingly registered in specific detail, at human scale, and painting had not yet lost its grip on external reality to photography and on historical fiction to the movies.” New Yorker
Guernica painted by Pablo Picasso, 1937. Oil on canvas. 349x776cm. The painting was commissioned by the Spanish government to hang in the Spanish Pavilion at the World Fair in Paris, 1937. Guernica is Picasso’s answer to the attrocities that were inflicted upon Guernica. It is a powerful work done a grand scale to highlite the futility of war and the suffering that it causes for all.
The Guernica painting that is currently on display at the Reina Sofia Art Centre Museum in Madrid is also wanted by Basque nationalists. After putting down their weapons and seeking peace, they are now seeking to have the masterpiece moved to the Basque region.