What emotion did you feel the first time you saw Picasso's Guernica? Perhaps curiosity or fascination, and maybe even surprise, given how different the painting looks from everything else in a museum or an art-history textbook.
In 1937, in one of the worst civilian casualties of the Spanish Civil War, Fascist forces bombed the village of Guernica in Northern Spain. For Pablo Picasso, the tragedy sparked a frenzied period of work in which he produced a massive anti-war mural, titled “Guernica.” How can we make sense of this overwhelming image, and what makes it a masterpiece of anti-war art?
Just what gave Guernica its early impact is the central question of the animated TED-Ed video above, written by humanities scholar Iseult Gillespie. "How can we make sense of this overwhelming image," asks its narrator, "and what exactly makes it a masterpiece of anti-war art?"
Iseult Gillespie investigates.
Discover the history and symbolism of Pablo Picasso’s powerful anti-war mural, “Guernica,” rendered in his signature Cubist style.
*Guernica was created in response to the bombing of Guernica, a Basque Country town in northern Spain, by Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy at the request of the Spanish Nationalists. Upon completion, Guernica was exhibited at the Spanish display at the 1937 Paris International Exposition and then at other venues around the world. The touring exhibition was used to raise funds for Spanish war relief. The painting became famous and widely acclaimed, and it helped bring worldwide attention to the Spanish Civil War. (From WIKI)
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