Madrid’s Museo Reina Sofía has launched an online archive “Rethinking Guernica,” featuring around 2,000 documents and images, to mark the 80th anniversary of Picasso’s great, anti-war painting created in 1937 after the bombing of the Basque city during the Spanish Civil War.
The website, which is a €178,000 ($210,000) project, follows on from the exhibition “Pity and Terror: Picasso’s Path to Guernica,” which ran from April 5 to September 4, 2017, and attracted around 680,000 visitors to the Madrid museum of modern and contemporary art, which is the permanent home of the painting.
Available in English and Spanish, the site brings together online records from 120 public and private archives, libraries, museums, institutions, and national and international agencies, including the Musée Picasso in Paris and New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) as well as Spain’s national archive in Madrid.
Picasso only created one, small painting before Guernica that directly responded to the war in Spain, although he followed news of the conflict from Paris. (That painting, which he gave to his lover Dora Maar and was included in “Pity and Terror”, sold at Christie’s New York for more than $16 million on November 13.) Picasso’s public silence was broken by the air raid by Franco’s German- and Italian-backed forces, which gave the pro-Republican artist a subject for the monochrome, mural-sized painting commissioned for the Spanish Pavilion at Paris’s World Fair in 1937. Read more