Pablo Picasso 1881-1973 BACK

Guernica, 1937
Oil on canvas
Zervos IX, 65
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid

© Image courtesy of Printfinders

The bombing of a small Spanish town produced this equally explosive reaction in Picasso. He started work immediately on preliminary drawings that outlined the principal elements of the work: an impassive bull, the agonized horse, and the wounded soldier. Picasso completed seven versions all of which were photographed by Dora Maar.

Guernica was painted in black and white. the principal lines of energy form a triangle. In the center a wounded soldier, pierced by a spear, is crushed under a horse dying in agony. The left is dominated by an immovable bull, whose artistic and mythical origins date back to the minoan culture. This bull symbolizes power. The three women form a tragic chorus: the one on the left is falling into a house on fire, athe second is running away, and the third, a mother is screamiing with her dead child in her arms.

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