And Picasso Painted Guernica

RedReviewStarGr 4—8—In 1937, civilians in the Basque town of Guernica were the target of an attack unlike any that the world had seen. Hundreds of defenseless people were killed or wounded as German bombers and Italian planes attacked. Picasso was in France, but he soon heard about what had happened in his native Spain. He spent the next month creating a large painting entitled Guernica to express his pain. A reproduction of the piece, which is more than 25 feet in length, is included as a foldout. The black, white, and gray forms convey fear and death, but also hope. Conversational text places the painting in its historical context, while vivid images of Picasso's other paintings show how it fits into his body of work. The contrast between the bright diamond shapes of Harlequin (1915) and the monochromatic Guernica causes readers to pause, considering the deep sadness Picasso felt for his people. Then, the artist's return to colorful and fun creations is shown through Girl with Boat (1938) and other paintings. Color reproductions are of excellent quality and appear alongside black-and-white photographs of the artist at work. A series of sketches and photos of Guernica shows how the painting developed. This history lesson, with its biographical details, will help readers to understand how art can help us all to process the pain of war.—Lisa Glasscock, Columbine Public Library, Littleton, CO

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