Wednesday, September 10, 2008

On this date in 1981

He was an insufferable, narcissistic pig in every respect, but Picasso understood what art is supposed to do, the role it should serve in a society. If Picasso had lived in Plato's mythical Republic, he would have understood why the artists would be considered dangerous and would be driven from the city -- and Picasso would have fought it to the death.

From The Writer's Almanac:

It was on this day in 1981 that Pablo Picasso's famous painting "Guernica" was returned to Spain to hang in the Prado Museum in Madrid. The painting depicts the suffering in the city of Guernica, the capitol of Basque Spain, after a German bombardment in 1937 during the Spanish Civil War. Picasso exhibited the painting in Paris, but then sent it to New York and refused to allow it to be shown in Spain until the rule of General Franco ended. Pablo Picasso, who said: "Painting is not made to decorate apartments. It's an offensive and defensive weapon against the enemy."

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