The Art of War: Goya and Picasso

1278 words 6 pages
The Art of War: Goya and Picasso War is hell. Literally. In an instant, in the blink of an eye, the world as we know it is torn apart and shredded. Normality explodes into atrocity as we see the depths of depravity that man can sink to. Even though their reasons for painting the pictures are different, Goya’s Third of May, 1808, and Picasso’s Guernica are testaments to the violence of war using specific events and symbolic features as their vehicle while their representations and styles are different. Goya and Picasso both depicted actual events, though their reasons for painting the scene were greatly different. Goya requested official permission to paint the events of the Third of May, 1808 six years after the executions …show more content…

Speculations as to the exact symbolic meanings are as numerous and varied as the viewers of both these paintings. Goya painted a church or monastery in the background. Is this to indicate the callous disregard of the suffering of the Spanish people (Machanley)? Could this, along with the praying monk, be a statement about the inability of the church to protect its parishioners? S. A. Khan of the Presidency University in Bangladesh feels that it showed just retribution for the Spanish Inquisition. Picasso stated that the horse in Guernica was connected to the idea of the suffering of the people (Stoner). Bulls are also known to be depicted as the victims of suffering. Standing enigmatically in the background, the bull in Guernica was interpreted alternately as the brutish Fascist state and the Spanish people (Stoner). Picasso also added a single image of twentieth century technology. In Spanish, an electric bulb is called 'bombia,' and 'bombia' is like the diminutive of 'bomb.' So, 'bomba-bombia' is a verbal poetic metaphor for the terrifying power of technology to destroy us (Stoner). These emotionally charged paintings used specific styles to enhance the viewer’s feelings about war. Goya used the dramatic, emotion-evoking style of Romanticism to heighten our revulsion and understanding of the horrors of war. Through


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