Before arriving in Madrid, I had set in my mind to go see a painting that I have loved ever since I saw it in my art history book. The name of the piece is El Guernica by Pablo Picasso. Guernica is the name of a town in Spain that was destroyed during the Spanish civil war in mid-20th century. Yes, I know it sounds brainy, but the reason why I remember all this is because I love the painting and I really admire the artist.
A group of us got up extra early this morning and rushed out to take the metro to the Museo de la Reina Sofia where El Guernica is. We were all excited to be in Madrid, but I just couldn’t wait to finally see the painting in front of me. The train ride seemed endless! When we finally arrived, I went straight to the painting and the group followed. The first thing I noticed was how HUGE it was! I also noticed that it has three colors: black, grey, and white. I seriously thought that the picture in my art history book was only black and white!
It was unreal to be standing in front of this painting and to know so much about it, thanks to the art class I had just taken. I wanted to show off to the group all I had learned about Pablo Picasso and how he is Spanish, from Cataluña to be precise, and how his style is called Cubism. I also explained how cubists believed that the realism of objects could be represented through art only when art shows all the sides of the object at the same time! The group was super impressed. A little old lady was listening to me ramble about the painting, so she stopped to ask me questions. I couldn’t figure out why everyone was laughing, until I realized she thought I was a tour director. I guess I was babbling on about all the facts I knew about El Guernica, I did kind of sound tour directorish. I did answer her questions, but when she walked away we all had a good laugh.
I saw a sign when we walked in saying that day a famous art history specialist was going to help us understand this cool painting. How lucky! According to the specialist, the focus of the painting is to express the destruction and devastation that the civil war brought to the Spaniards. Everything in the painting has a lot of importance and each person, animal, and object represents something related to the war. The horse that is in the middle of the painting represents the innocent victims of the war. The only man in the painting is a soldier lying dead, and he represents all the soldiers who supported the war’s ideals. The lantern, and the light that comes from it, represents the need to inform the world what was happening in Spain. Everything else has a symbolism as well. WOW…I was mesmerized as the specialist explained the meaning of every object and person in the painting.
The lecture lasted for about an hour and a half, but I was so interested in what the specialist was saying that the time flew. I found this is all to be so, so, very fascinating! Of course the group did not share my same enthusiasm, but they later admitted to being grateful for me dragging them to the Museo.