’s Guernica Essay, Research Paper
Considered to be one of the most influential artist of the 20th century, Pablo Picasso, transformed the way artists see the world through his exploration of forms in Cubism. One of Picasso s most prolific works, “Guernica”, intensely combines rich visual imagery as well as powerful symbolism to successfully convey the plight of war in a universal manner and could also be considered as one of the most important paintings in the 20th century.
“Guernica”, produced specifically as an outcry against the aggression of war, was inspired by the events in which had transpired on April 26, 1937. On this day German bombers raided a small town in Guernica. Outraged by the turn of events, Picasso finished Guernica in only a two month time span. Composed in the Cubist style on a 25.8 by 11.6 ft canvas, “Guernica” was done in gray tones.
The use of gray tones speaks to the viewers universally. Because of his choice in neutral tones, the painting s rich symbolism is not clouded or distracted by the pleasant nuances of color. It was meant to be a morally captivating and not an aesthetically pleasing. In other words, the audience is supposed to be moved by the images not to be in awe by how he composed color.
“Guernica s” vividly explosive, imagery is not only riddled with mind blowing poses of human suffering, but also combined rich symbolism. Images of a mother agonizing over a child s death torments the viewer and educates the viewer of the horrific and senseless death of war barren people. The images of a bull as well as a horse describe how the extent of war does not just affect people. The image of dying soldiers show the extent in which war has become. “Guernica” does not glorify war, it instead is supposed to be an anti war statement.
“Guernica” speaks universally because it beckons for social change. Unlike past attempts for social change by past artists, Picasso extends his beliefs onto the world and not just towards a specific region. The simple fact that Picasso does not down play the image of human suffering, allow the viewer to understand the social plight. It doesn t matter if the viewer understand art or its process. “Guernica” transcends all boundaries. “Guernica” changes art by not only being a depiction of visual relevance, but also of social relevance. Art is a means of communication, a composition of ideas and not a carbon copy of what the artist sees.