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40 years since the arrival of Guernica in Spain

By | 15 October, 2021 | 0 comments

Guernica has now been back in Spain for 40 years. 40 years may seem like a short time, but looking back, these have been four decades packed with historical events.

This painting by Picasso, perhaps his most famous one, was commissioned for the International Exhibition in Paris in 1937 to be exhibited in the Pavilion of the Spanish Republic. Because of its size, Pablo Picasso is said to have had to change his studio in order to complete this great work.

It is absolutely brimming with symbolism. If you look closely, you will always discover new figures or movements that you had not noticed at first glance. There are many theories about what the artist sought to create through such a work. Is it a tribute to the death of Sánchez Mejías, as Lorca had done? Or is it simply a portrayal of the atrocities of the Spanish Civil War? What he is undoubtedly alluding to is the bombing of Guernica, though other influences can certainly be discerned.

It is important to note that he struggled to find inspiration and delivered the commission much later than the agreed-upon date. Though, of course, one only has to see the work to know it was well worth the delay. Today it is considered to be one of this artist’s most representative creations and one of the most important paintings of the world of art in general.

Guernica now rests in the Reina Sofía Museum, where it draws the gazes of endless art lovers. The painting arrived 40 years ago, just after Tejero’s failed coup d’état, fulfilling the painter’s promise to not have it return to Spain until after Franco had died.

Pablo Picasso died in France in exile in 1973, but his oeuvre lives on. His foundation and museum can be found in his native city of Malaga, but his artistic quality is known the world over. Guernica is a testament to his genius.

 (Photo from

Categories: Madrid Cultura