Pam and Picasso
Over the past few years I have been privileged to visit many museums during travel overseas, most recently France and Spain. I particularly enjoyed spending time at the d’Orsay, so full of impressionist works by such masters as van Gogh, Cezanne, Gaugin, Seraut, Sisley, Pissaro et al.
Both Paris and Barcelona have museums devoted to Picasso (he’s probably my #1 artist). In Barcelona there were works from his ‘blue period’ and the complete series based on Velazquez ‘Las Maninas’ (I was able to study the original at the Prado.)
However, I was most pleased to fulfil my dream of seeing ‘Guernica’ (the work in the image above) in the Museo reina Sofia, a huge black, white and grey work, with his sketches for it in the adjoining room, which enabled me to move between them to study the finished painting in depth.
The bombing of the Basque town of Guernica in 1937 by German and Italian planes supporting the Franco regime against the Republicans, incensed Picasso. The Republic had already commissioned him to produce a work for the Paris Exhibition so he changed his first idea and painted out his grief in ‘Guernica’. After Paris it spent 42 years in MOMA in New York. Picasso has stipulated that it must not be hung in Spain until Franco was gone and the country free and democratic. After a time in the Prado it was shifted to a specially built room at the Reina Sofia. Picasso himself never set foot in Spain.