Picasso and the Spanish Civil War

The Meadows Museum at Southern Methodist University acquired some sketches by Picasso that concern the Spanish Civil War: “The Dream and Lie of Franco.”

All above works captured here by my photography
may be under copyright and are being posted for educational purposes. 

Goya’s depictions of war definitely had their influence on Picasso. The Meadows Museum also has an excellent collection of etchings by the earlier Spanish painter that portray the horrors of a belligerent political power.

All above works captured here by my photography
may be under copyright and are being posted for educational purposes.

This, of course, is one of Goya’s great masterpieces: El Tres de Mayo 1808.


Inspired by art such as El Tres de Mayo, Picasso’s work (below) specifically deals with an attack upon the Basque village of Guernica by authoritarian governments in support of Franco and the Falangists. Italian (Fascist) and German (Nazi) war planes bombed the village on 26 April 1937. Almost all of the men in the village were away fighting for the Spanish Republic (a coalition of anarchists, communists, and socialists). So the effect of the bombing was a mass slaughter of women, children, and elderly men who were at the central market and had no means of protection. Picasso’s Guernica has been reproduced as mosaics and as tapestries. These are put in places like the United Nations (New York) to remind leaders of the terrors of war and genocide.

Guernica (1937) by Pablo Picasso. The collection of Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid. Source page: http://www.picassotradicionyvanguardia.com/08R.php


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