Picasso ~ Guernica

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     Guernica was a Basque village in northern Spain. In 1937 it was destroyed by German and Italian bombs. Pablo Picasso painted Guernica to show the horror of such "saturation bombing." In "Existential Aspect of Modern Art," in On Art and Architecture, Paul Tillich wrote, "During one of my lectures I once was asked, 'What would you think is the best present-day Protestant religious picture?' I answered almost without hesitating, 'Guernica.' I named this picture, because it shows the human situation without any cover. It shows what very soon followed in most European countries in terms of the second World War, and it shows what is now in the souls of many Americans as disruptiveness, existential doubt, emptiness and meaninglessness. And if Protestantism means that, first of all, we do not have to cover up anything, but have to look at the human situation in its depths of estrangement and despair, then this is one of the most powerful religious pictures. And, although it has no religious content, it does have religious style in a very deep and profound sense."
     A tapestry reproduction of Guernica, given by the estate of Nelson A. Rockefeller in 1985, hangs outside the Security Council chamber at the United Nations headquarters in New York. In 2003 when Colin Powell, the Secretary of State of the United States spoke to the Security Council about war against Iraq the tapestry was concealed by a blue curtain and the flags of the Council's member states.
     Several countries have used Picasso's painting as the central design element of stamps or souvenir sheets.

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