Author Topic: Guernica /Picasso  (Read 5180 times)


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Guernica /Picasso
« on: December 16, 2009, 09:04:13 pm »

All of the elements of the painting related to the Spanish Civil War, particularly the bombing of Guernica, of course. Picasso used the painting to illustrate a nation that was devouring itself.

You see, factionalism was so great during the war that it was difficult to clearly know who or for what one was fighting. The Spanish Republic, proclaimed five years prior to the outbreak of the war, had an inglorious existence. While the populace was mainly moderate, seeking reform and a progressive domestic policy, elements on both ends of the political spectrum were extreme, and used the Republic to further their own causes. The war has been illustrated as a conflict between the forces of liberlism versus a fascist uprising, but it was never so simple as this.

The Falange, Franco's ultimately victorious backing party, was of a definite Fascist character, but never formed a cohesive party in and of itself. Instead, it was an umbrella grouping, under which sheltered the conservative elements: Monarchists, Nationalists, the Army, etc. It was characterized in it popular support by those who were tired of the extremist acts of a government that appeared to favour Anarchism and Communism.

The Republic was honeycombed by Communists, Anarchists, and Separatists, and all of these elements were at a disadvantage in a traditionally conservative Catholic nation. The Government received much international sympathy, and volunteers, many of them celebrities of the day, flocked to its aid, but the few competent government ministers were outweighed by the many incompetent ones, and the effort to enlist domestic support for its cause failed. It is indicative of what the government was up against that the few popular public personalities generated by the Left were characterized traditionally, almost as Catholic saints, such as the fiery "La Pasionara."

The conflict was one of a nation tearing itself apart, and of others intervening to assist in the tearing. Hitler, Stalin, and Mussolini all intervened, and as one Spanish writer said, "The tragedy of Spain was an entertainment for the world's stage."

I know this has been a lengthy discourse, but all of this is what Picasso tried to depict in his painting, with the backdrop horror of the bombing of Guernica as its theme. Picasso painted the national psychosis. Guernica the painting was political art and political fable.

It is almost beside the point that it is damn good art, too.

Jack B, goodbye, Yahoo!
2 years ago

Offline alistair

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Re: Guernica /Picasso
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2009, 09:15:21 pm »
what do you really see if you look not at the figures but at the shapes involved.  Start with the bulb as the 'eye' at the top of the pyramid follow the lines... its even clearer in better reproductions.  Is that why you posted this?


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Re: Guernica /Picasso
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2009, 09:18:00 pm »
what do you really see if you look not at the figures but at the shapes involved.  Start with the bulb as the 'eye' at the top of the pyramid follow the lines... its even clearer in better reproductions.  Is that why you posted this?

I plan on outlining at least one image and that is the bull's skull tilted to right as ya look at it.
Also there is some controversy and perhaps a background to it too.

Offline Mooch

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Re: Guernica /Picasso
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2009, 09:56:22 pm »
Def a very intelligent man.........

From the moment that art ceases to be food that feeds the best minds, the artist can use his talents to perform all the tricks of the intellectual charlatan. Most people can today no longer expect to receive consolation and exaltation from art. The 'refined,' the rich, the professional 'do-nothings', the distillers of quintessence desire only the peculiar, the sensational, the eccentric, the scandalous in today's art. I myself, since the advent of Cubism, have fed these fellows what they wanted and satisfied these critics with all the ridiculous ideas that have passed through my mind. The less they understood them, the more they admired me. Through amusing myself with all these absurd farces, I became celebrated, and very rapidly. For a painter, celebrity means sales and consequent affluence. Today, as you know, I am celebrated, I am rich. But when I am alone, I do not have the effrontery to consider myself an artist at all, not in the grand old meaning of the word: Giotto, Titian, Rembrandt, Goya were great painters. I am only a public clown - a mountebank. I have understood my time and have exploited the imbecility, the vanity, the greed of my contemporaries. It is a bitter confession, this confession of mine, more painful than it may seem. But at least and at last it does have the merit of being honest. (Pablo Picasso, 1952)