"I have never considered painting as a pleasure-giving art, a distraction; I have wanted, by drawing and painting, "...since those were my weapons, to advance even further in the knowledge of the world and of man." I have always believed, and still do believe that artists who live and work with spiritual values cannot... "...and should not remain indifferent in the face of a conflict where the highest values of humanity and civilization are at stake."
For Pablo Picasso, as for many others, that conflict was precipitated on April 26, 1937. On that day, the citizens of Guernica in Spain, listened nervously to the ominous drone of approaching aircraft. With apprehension and fear, they watched a fleet of heavy German bombers and fighter planes approach their peaceful town.
The sky grew dark with planes. And then, unexpectedly and relentlessly, the German planes, flying under the orders of General Franco, loosed their cargo of death on the city. The assault lasted three and a half hours and completely destroyed Guernica. The citizens who tried to flee from the city were machine-gunned by the fighter planes. An innocent human community was the target for the first experiment in saturation bombing in military history.
As a Spaniard and a humanist, Picasso was deeply affected by the events of the Spanish civil war. A few months earlier, he had published a searing indictment of the fascist forces in Spain in a pamphlet entitled 'The Dream and Lie of Franco'. With the news of the Guernica catastrophe, Picasso found the theme and title for his great mural, which would express, through the weapon of art, his passionate condemnation of war and brutality.
On May 1, he made the first sketch for the mural. By the tenth of May, he had already begun work on the canvas. And in early June, the mural was completed. There are about 100 recorded sketches relating to the mural: some made before Picasso started working on the canvas, and others done simultaneously with the painting. Comparing the sketches with the finished work, we can trace the process of invention, rejection, and choice, which is at the core of artistic creation.
In some of the preliminary sketches, Picasso experimented with colour. Even when the mural was almost completed, the artist stuck pieces of patterned wallpaper onto the canvas to determine the effect of colour on the composition. In the end, it is the very absence of colour which adds to the strength of the painting. The poet Michel Leiris wrote of it, "In a black and white rectangle, such as that in which ancient Greek tragedy appeared,... " Picasso sends us the announcement of our mourning." On another level, the absence of colour gives the work the immediacy of newsprint, the means by which we receive announcements of modern catastrophes. The stippled body of the horse has the appearance of a printed newspaper page.
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It is about the gruesomeness/tragedy of war...but ...i see bull fighting?
Lol dude-theres only one bull in the painting?:
and the 1 is enough to entertain my thought ;)