“Guernica” has an important “meaning not only an artistic point of view, in which its universal value is indisputable, but also for its symbolic value against war and all violence” - explains Rosario Peiró, Head of Collections at Reina Sofia.
Guernica is the most emblematic work of the career of Pablo Picasso, who was born in Spain in 1881 and died in France in 1973, and perhaps also of 20th century art.
The oil painting on canvas, 349.3cm high and 776.6cm wide, shows the horrors of bombing the Basque city of Guernica by German planes of the Nazi regime, supporting the dictator Francisco Franco, on April 26, 1937 , during the Spanish Civil War, in what was seen as a test of the aerial bombing of World War II (1939-1945).
A few years before he died, Picasso asked that the painting be returned to Spain only when public liberties were restored in that country.
Guernica arrived in Spain in 1981, after the death of dictator Francisco Franco (1939-1975) and the restoration of democracy in 1977.