April 30, 2007


A few days ago (April 26) it was 70 years since Guernica (Gernika) was bombed and 1654 inhabitants out of a population of 7000 were killed.
Tomorrow (May 1) it was 70 years since Picasso decided to dedicate a painting he was already working on to Guernica.
It was exhibited already in July 1937 in the Spanish Pavillon (financed by the Spanish republican government) at the World's Fair in Paris. It then travelled to Scandinavia, London... before coming back to Paris. After Franco's victory, the painting left for the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York, where it with some interuptions remained until 1981, when it was ceded to a democratic Spain. You can now see it at the Reina Sofia museum in Madrid. There is a discussion ongoing where the Basque nationalists would like to see the painting at Guernica or in the Guggenheim Bilbao museum.


Shionge said...

Greetings Peter :D Thank you for visiting my blog and truly appreciate that, do come by again.

Interesting facts about the painting...when I was in Barcelona I might have missed visiting the Reina Sofia Museum but glad to hear this from you ;)

Annie said...

Hi Peter, It is such a famous painting that most all of us probably are familiar with it. But I didn't know it is now in Barcelona.

Peter said...

I made a stupid mistake. The Reina Sofia museum is of course in Madrid, where I have seen it. I will correct the text now.

Cergie said...

Magnifique message
J'adore Picasso, il est vraiment LE génie de l'art (ex-aequo avec Michel Ange)
Quel honneur pour la France qu'il soit venu y vivre et y créer
J'ai eu la chance de visiter l'exposition itinérante GUGGENHEIM à Bonn en Septembre

Zhang said...

J'ai trouvé sur internet d'autres informations concernant ce tableau. Je vais me coucher plus intelligente que je me suis levée. Merci.

lyliane said...

L´année dernière quand je suis allée à Madrid, je n´ai pas pu rentrer visiter le musée du Prado, où il y avait l´exposition Picasso, car il y avait une multitude de cars d ´asiatiques (je suppose des Japonais) qui avaient retenus des places. Mais j´ai visité le musé de l´Hermitage à Saint Petersbourg où il y avait une exposition Picasso.Mais je préfère les impressionnistes et la maison de Monet, près de chez moi

Nameless4Now said...

In Barcelona a year or 2 ago, at the Picasso Museum, I saw an exhibit on his sketches, including some relating to this piece Guernica. Fascinating.

Thanks, Peter, for remembering what happened at Guernica 70 years ago, by making this posting.

Here are some words from the artist, about the work:

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.

(Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,1764206,00.html )

Peter said...

The following years were terrible in Spain. My wife had a Spanish origin. Especially her father's family suffered a lot, including deaths, confiscations... - they were on the "wrong" side. That's how my futur wife's parents ended up in France. Should I thank Franco for giving me the chance to meet her? That would perhaps be to go too far.

Maranta said...

Small correction. There were only between 150 and 250 dead people in the bombing (http://www.elmundo.es/elmundo/2007/04/26/espana/1177559395.html).
Due to propaganda medias exagerated a little bit.

Peter said...

I appreciate these late incoming comments. The number of people killed during that day seems to vary according to sources and of course, during war times, there is also a lot of propaganda and you should filter all information. I have also read now, after rechecking, that recent research may make your lower figures more close to reality. It was obviously a market day, which I guess made the counting of victims was even more difficult.

In any case, whether there were one or 3000 victims, I believe we must agree that such attacks against civilian populations must be considered as a crime.