Guernica Analysis

Subject: Famous Person
Type: Analytical Essay
Pages: 4
Word count: 838
Topics: Modernism, Pablo Picasso, Painting


Guernica by Pablo Picasso depicts suffering and devastation in the form of a solitary painting. The cubist work portrays the Spanish city of Guernica in disarray after a brutal siege during the Spanish Civil War. Guernica was once the capital of the Basque nation, which is part of Spain. Picasso is believed to have been inspired to paint Guernica after reading about the city’s destruction in a newspaper. Picasso, a Spaniard of local descent, certainly experienced great suffering due to the problems of his country, which further pushed him to create this work.

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Visual depiction of the deplorable condition of the Spanish people

Today, many regard Guernica as one of Picasso’s finest and most significant artistic culminations. The mural is a visual representation of the miserable existence of the Spanish people. Predominantly, Picasso was prominent for his lively cubist paintings, but one of the most intriguing parts of the painting is that it is executed in monochrome, and it still remains a mystery why he chose such contrasting shades. There are many theories about this solution, but most likely the shading plan is meant to represent the gloomy atmosphere after the assault. The lack of shading emphasizes the calmness of the work, as if the events were frozen in time. Approaching the highest point of the wall, the painting is draped with a lantern with the sun centered around it like a crown. This lantern is an absolute reflection to the sun, revealing that it is not the sun’s rays that can bring light or warmth to circumstances.

The creatures portrayed in the piece

The senseless massacre has gone beyond any hope for something better. The two most striking figures in the painting are the bull and the horse. Just as in every single cubist work, the precise representation of these monsters is constantly pleading to be proven wrong. In this period, the recurring theme of the bull or Minotaur appears regularly in various works by Picasso. Considering everything, we can say that these two animals, a horse and a bull, appeal to honorable people lost in war as insurance. The beings, who cannot express themselves, are an appropriate analogy for all fair-minded citizens who never agreed to participate in the machinations of legislators and officers. The horse seems to be feral and looks as if it is screaming, and the bull looks too stunned to even consider a reaction, with its head on an unimaginable edge. The other end could be that the animals are discussing how war interferes with normalcy, how human depravity has overwhelmed and distorted nature itself.

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The representation of human figures in the artwork

Ultimately, the deepest images in this work are the images of people writhing and prone. At the start, it may seem that these figures are identical, but a more thorough look reveals that each of them speaks to a diverse aspect of misery. The figure on the far left can be interpreted as a minute body with tears streaming down her face. This figure is apparently addressing each of the mothers who lost their children in the attack and are presently weeping bitter tears. On the contrary side is a figure dragging a dislocated leg. The leg reaches out to the city itself, once happy and working, but now crippled. Above him stands another man, who produces the effect of suffocating, perhaps in the pain of his destroyed city. To one side of him, we observe the curly-haired figure of a woman emitting light from a window. In the window there is a twisted object that might be a hand. The basis of the artwork is a beaten and prostrated officer. The figure’s body bears all the signs of being disfigured and fractured; he grasps a broken saber in his hand.


Guernica is speaking of the terrible price Spain paid for a calculated clash. For example, a person who knows extremely little about the master’s intentions might say that Guernica could be a warning or a threat. It was his horror at the moment of perceiving what had happened in Guernica that prompted him to design the mural. Picasso’s Guernica mural possesses a stunning degree of activity for a still painting. It attempts to be a disagreement against Franco’s wildness and is dominant inside and out. No one can gaze at the ruined scene and not have the feeling that what happened there was wrong. Years later, these paintings would give anyone pause if they imagined the sounds the painting emits, even in its silence. Guernica was not of tremendous pivotal importance, nonetheless it was extremely significant. It became a mouthpiece for the arrogant political aspirations of Francisco Franco and his extremist rabble. Picasso somehow transformed this event into something distinct from his wall painting. He didn’t draw Guernica for the sake of others to give up and fight against what was lost. His purpose was to inspire his kin to never give up in battle and to make sure that Guernica’s efforts would forever be honored.

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