Pablo Picasso, a
dominant figure in twentieth-century Western art, was born on October
25, 1881, in Malaga, Spain. In painting and sculpting, he was one of
the creators and popularizers of the cubist style. Though Picasso was
not typically considered political, one of his most celebrated works
Guernica memorializes the destruction of the Basque town of Guernica
during the Spanish Civil War. He died on April 8, 1973.
It is a sad irony that the most horrific acts of war often lead to the
greatest artistic expression. In 1937, during the Spanish Civil War,
the peaceful Basque town of Guernica was used for Nazi bombing practice
with the approval of General Francesco Franco. Over 100,000 pounds of
munitions were dropped, killing more than 2,000 people and destroying
70% of the city. In response, Pablo Picasso painted his masterpiece
Guernica, called modern art's most powerful antiwar statement.