Guernica, Picasso 1937

The Spanish painter Picasso was a cubist and his worldwide famous ‘Queering’ is a mural-sized flat oil painting on canvas (3. 5 meters tall and 7. 8 meters wide). It is all grey, blacks and whites and was painted in 1937. Picasso started the painting when he heard that the Germans had Just bombed the quiet and traditional Basque town of Queering on 26 April 1937 in support of the Spanish Nationalist forces of the Fascist General Franco during the Spanish Civil War.
The broken sword near the bottom of the painting symbolizes the defeat of the people at the hand of their tormentors. The shape and posture of the bodies express protest, Picasso uses black, white, and grey paint to set a dark, sober mood and express pain and chaos, buildings in flames and crumbling walls not only express the destruction of Queering, but reflect the destructive power of civil war. The newspaper print used in the painting reflects how Picasso learned of the massacre and the light bulb in the painting represents the sun.
Picasso monumental work showed the effect on both people and animals. The distorted forms and the monochromatic palette clearly show the grief of the people for example, he shows a fighter and a mother and child tit displaced features and ghost like forms along with a woman on fire running from a burning building. The fine patterns in the centre of the painting resembles words on torn pieces of newspaper, suggesting that art is as powerful as the mass media in communicating a message.

Chaos and despair are amplified by sharp, angular shapes, particularly the bold triangular form at the centre of the painting and vivid contrasts of light and shade. On May 11 1937, 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.
In some of the sketches, Picasso experimented with color. Even when the mural was almost completed, the artist stuck pieces of patterned wallpaper onto the canvas to determine the effect of color of the composition. Charcoal and oil paint were the main materials Picasso had used on his painting. Picasso had to use a ladder and a long-handled brush to reach the retest part of his artwork. An enormous size of the stretched canvas, measuring 3. 5 x 7. meters and so had to be tilted to fit under the rafters of the ceiling, and dim lighting from bay windows on one side of the studio, failed to interfere with action or progress. The painting was completed in twenty-four mad and wild days. Streams of ideas, emotions, traditions, myths, obsessions and symbols of his roots deeply surrounded in Hipic and Mediterranean culture spilled onto the canvas. These were fuelled by anger and a need to express his pain. Queering, Picasso 1937 By cherry’s

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