Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade November 2001

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Throughout the past few decades, there have been many famous works of art in painting, sculpture, and architecture. The painting Guernica, which was created in 1937, by Pablo Picasso, is still considered today to be one of the most famous works of art throughout the twentieth century.

Pablo Ruiz y Picasso was born on October 25, 1881, in Málaga, on the Mediterranean coast of Spain. He was an excellent artist, creating many pieces of work, which made him very well know. On April 8, 1973 he passed away.

Throughout his ninety-two years of life, he created hundreds of paintings. To him, "Painting has its conventions, and it is essential to reckon with them. Indeed, you can't do anything else. And so you always ought to keep an eye on real life" (Barr 17). His most famous one, however, is Guernica. "Guernica-white, gray, and black-remains his purest, most brutally naked truth.

This is what sets Guernica apart from the fiery brilliance of Picasso's other pictures" (Gallwitz 9). The painting sprang from Spain's civil war, which engulfed the country from 1936 to 1939 and served as a prelude to World War 11(Crismale 1). "The destruction of Guernica was carried out by German aircraft, manned by German pilots, at the request of the Spanish Nationalist commander, General Emilio Mola. Because the Republican government of Spain had granted autonomy to the Basques, Guernica was the capital city of an independent republic" (Hughes 1). The war pitted a left-wing Republican government against a right-wing insurgency of Nationalists, led by Franco. It was in the midst of this war that Picasso was commissioned to produce a work for the Spanish pavilion at the 1937 Paris Exposition (Crismale 1).

"A picture is not thought out and settled beforehand. While it is being done it changes as one's...