Guernica is probably the most famous work of Picasso. It was painted as a reaction to the Nazi’s shocking bombing practice during Spanish Civil War. Certainly, it is one of the most powerful political statements.
Guernica displays the war tragedies and the suffering it inflicts upon people, specifically innocent civilians. The painting has gained a monumental status and is currently an anti-war symbol, an embodiment of peace, and a perpetual reminder of the war tragedies. On completion, the painting was displayed in many places around the world. Consequently, the painting was widely acclaimed and became famous. The display of the painting brought the Spanish Civil War to the attention of the world.
Guernica is seen as an amalgamation of epic and pastoral styles. The discarding of colour intensifies the drama, giving a quality of reportage as in photographic records. The painting is blue, white and black, and 3.5 metre wide. The painting is displayed in the Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid.
Interpretation of the painting varies widely. This extends to the two dominant elements: the horse and the bull. According to Art historian Patricia Failing, the horse and the bull are significant characters in Spanish characters. Even Picasso himself used these two characters to play numerous different roles. However, in this particular painting, Picasso said the bull meant darkness and brutality while the horse symbolized the people living in Guernica.