Inspiring Vision: Guernica


“Every act of creation is first an act of destruction.” – Pablo Picasso

Pablo Picasso is probably one of the most well-known artists of the Late-Modern Era. But why are we so drawn to his painting? One of the paintings that have always impacted me is his famous large-scale painting Guernica. I remember seeing it during a trip to Madrid many years ago. It took up an entire wall at the Museo Reina Sofia.

What I find interesting is that this painting, like many of his works, is an exploration of suffering. Guernica was painted in 1937 to respond to the bombing of a town in northern Spain, Guernica, by Nazi Germany during the Spanish Civil War. The painting depicts the tragedies of war and the suffering it inflicts, particularly on innocent civilians. It was truly a political statement that Picasso used to raise awareness and funds to support the efforts in the war. Supposedly, while Picasso was living in Nazi-occupied Paris during World War II, one German officer allegedly asked him, upon seeing a photo of Guernica in his apartment, "Did you do that?" Picasso responded, "No, you did."


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