Pablo Picasso – Guernica (1937)

Guernica is a painting by Pablo Picasso, which he was already working on at the time of the Nazi German bombing of Guernica, Spain, by twenty-four bombers, on April 26, 1937 during the Spanish Civil War, and which he decided to name after it. The city was destroyed, although reliable witnesses such as the left-wing British journalist who arrived soon after have always believed that the damage was deliberately worsened by the garrison itself, using dynamite. In any case, a number of people variously estimated between 250 and 1,600 were killed in the air raid and many more were injured.
The huge mural was produced under a commission by the Spanish Republican government to decorate the Spanish Pavilion at the Paris International Exposition (the 1937 World’s Fair in Paris). Picasso said as he worked on the mural:
“ The Spanish struggle is the fight of reaction against the people, against freedom. My whole life as an artist has been nothing more than a continuous struggle against reaction and the death of art. How could anybody think for a moment that I could be in agreement with reaction and death? … In the panel on which I am working, which I shall call Guernica, and in all my recent works of art, I clearly express my abhorrence of the military caste which has sunk Spain in an ocean of pain and death.”