Reflection Of Pablo Picasso’s Anti-war Position In Guernica

Pablo Picasso was a Spanish artist during Cubism, Surrealism, and Expressionism Periods. During his lifetime, he was famous for many of his works in which Guernica was one of them. Guernica was a piece that was started between the Cubism and Surrealism periods in June 1937 and was finished in Picasso's home as an oil painting on a canvas. Picasso's piece is currently being stored at the Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid .'The extraordinary piece of work Pablo created was in response to the bombing of a Basque city in Northern Spain by the Nazis.

The painting denounces one of the bloodiest attacks in history without ever using the color red. The overall purpose of Guernica is to tell a story about the Spanish Civil War and symbolizes the mass genocide that took place during wartime. The horrific incident has been captured by Picasso and illustrated on a canvas. Picasso utilizes distinctive images through the anguish of faces and the disarray of the picture in which portrays the ultimate message that with the killing of many, comes grief of more.

The piece itself is painted in monochrome tones, using colors such as grey, black, and white to further develop the tone and mood of the scenes. The painting includes many images of human beings and animals in which appear to be suffering. The dark tones offer a gloomy feel to the painting, and the expressions on the faces depict a sense of terror among the people and animals. The anti-war painting Picasso created offers insight into the anguish and torture endured by many. To the left of the painting, a man or a bull is standing over a woman who has a lifeless body in her arms. In the center of the lies a horse that seems to be injured. Under the horse lies a sword gripped by a hand at the end of a severed arm as well as a flower. To the right of the horse is a woman that has her head out of the window with her mouth agape while holding a lamp. On the far left of the image, someone appears to be wrapped in flames while screaming in pain. Above it all, there lies a light bulb in the shape of an eye. It can be interpreted as God's eye that is watching over the war and chaos going on. There is also a man pleading to the sky. It can be interpreted as praying to God that the war ends while everything around him is being destroyed.

The entirety of Guernica is anti-war; the people depicted in the painting are terrified or have been faced with the realities of death upon them and their loved ones. In the artwork, the soldier is holding a flower, however, in battle, it is not normal to carry flowers. The flower implemented in Picasso's painting poses as a peace offering or a sign that he wants peace to overcome the war. The artwork shows a high volume of ideas of what war was. The work visualizes the devastation and chaos in a civilian's lives within the community. The painting paints a picture in the viewers' minds and allows clear visualization of what the people during the Spanish Civil War had to endure when their homes were bombed. The painting offers only a small glimpse of how left life could go when everything seems to be right.

How Picasso allows his audience to interpret his paintings is phenomenal as he sets the tone in the painting with his monochrome palette and the use of shapes to create the overall message. With the setting of the painting already being dark, the shades of black, white and grey add into the sadness of the background of the inspiration to make the art speak for itself. The death of a mother's child is equal to losing a soldier because a soldier is also another woman's child.

Overall, Picasso’s “Guernica” shows his audience that the world should be anti-war due to leading the civilians into devastation and bringing destruction upon them. The Aerial bombing committed by the Nazis on the town of Guernica may be gone, but its casualties are never to be forgotten thanks to the historic painting created by Pablo Picasso.   

16 December 2021
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