"My whole life as an artist has been nothing more than a continuous struggle against reaction and the death of art. In the picture I am painting — which I shall call Guernica — I am expressing my horror of the military caste which is now plundering Spain into an ocean of misery and death." Pablo Picasso
Question ONE: Look at Guernica. How are the "tragedies of war and the suffering it inflicts upon… innocent civilians" evident in the painting?
Question TWO: Does the work successfully convey 'suffering'? Why? or Why not?
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Guernica is a town in the province of Biscay in Basque Country. During the Spanish Civil War, it was regarded as the northern bastion of the Republican resistance movement and the epicenter of Basque culture, adding to its significance as a target.
Question THREE: List at least 10 VIPs based on the history of Guernica.
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Picasso completed the painting ofGuernica in 1937, a time of widespread political unrest not just in Spain, but worldwide. World War II would begin just a couple years later and would further decimate the European continent as a whole. In Guernica, we see several victims of the bombing--some still living, some already dead. A figure sprawled supine in the foreground of the painting appears to be a corpse and is framed on both sides by living victims with their heads thrown back, wailing in agony. The figure to the left is a mother clutching a baby who appears to have died during the bombing.
The painting is saturated with symbolism.
Question FOUR: For you, what are the most powerful visual elements of the painting?
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Question FIVE: Purely based on your initial reactions to the image, and what you have learnt so far, what do you think the 10 symbols embody?