Picasso's War by Russell Martin
The Destruction of Guernica, and the Masterpiece That Changed the World

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The destruction of a town, and the creation of a masterpiece--On April 26, 1937, in the late afternoon of a busy market day in the Basque town of Gernika in northern Spain, the German Luftwaffe began the relentless bombing and machine-gunning of buildings and villagers at the request of General Francisco Franco and his rebel forces. Three-and-a-half hours later, the village lay in ruins, its population decimated. This act of terror and unspeakable cruelty--the first intentional, large-scale attack against a nonmilitary target in modern warfare--outraged the world and one man in particular, Pablo Picasso. The renowned artist, an expatriate living in Paris, reacted immediately to the devastation in his homeland by creating the canvas that would become widely considered one of the greatest artworks of the twentieth century--Guernica. Weaving themes of conflict and redemption, of the horrors of war and of the power of art to transfigure tragedy, Russell Martin follows this monumental work from its fevered creation through its journey across decades and continents--from Europe to America and, finally and triumphantly, to democratic Spain. Full of historical sweep and deeply moving drama, Picasso’s War delivers an unforgettable portrait of a painting, the dramatic events that led to its creation, and its ongoing power today.

About Russell Martin

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Russell Martin is the author of six previous books, including Beethoven's Hair, which was a Los Angeles Times bestseller and a Washington Post Book of the Year.
Published February 1, 2012 by Hol Art Books. 274 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Arts & Photography, Travel, War. Non-fiction

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The Guardian

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Picasso's War by Russell Martin 304pp, Scribner, £15.99 Is Picasso's Guernica a painting or a poster?

Feb 15 2003 | Read Full Review of Picasso's War: The Destructio...

Publishers Weekly

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Picasso watched closely from his adopted Paris as the Spanish Civil War unfolded, and when German bombers leveled the Basque village of Guernica, the previously apolitical Picasso felt stirred to action.

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Project MUSE

Beginning with the German bombing of Gernika in the Basque countryside of Spain, Martin describes the events and topical inspiration that soon had Picasso, living in Paris as he had for more than thirty years, thinking about the composition of a painting that would be displayed at the Paris fair...

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