"Guernica" by Pablo Picasso


   Although he lived in France, Pablo Picasso had been born in Spain and was keenly sympathetic to the Loyalist cause during the Spanish Civil War. This painting expressed his outrage over the bombing of the town of Guernica, which had no strategic value. Using only blacks, grays, and whites, Picasso evoked anguish and horror with his distorted figures writhing in agony under a stark electric light. The painting was on tour in New York City in 1939, when World War II began. Picasso suggested that it stay in the United States until "the re-establishment of public liberties" in Spain. "Guernica" was returned to Spain in 1981 and was placed in the Prado Museum in Madrid.