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how many wars will have to be painted before we understand their absurdity?



Pablo Picasso’s Guernica is considered a universal manifesto against all wars.


In this exhibition, you will be alongside the artist as he conceived and created one of the undisputed masterpieces of art history.

His every choice, insight, and afterthought will be shown and commented on in a unique and engaging museum tour.

Guernica exhibition, preparatory sketches of Guernica by Pablo Picasso

What is Guernica?

Guernica is the name of the Basque town that was bombed on the 26th of April 1937 by the German and Italian Condor Legion air force, in support of dictator Francisco Franco. Hundreds of people died in the attack, all civilians. Picasso learned about the news from international newspapers and decided that Guernica would become the theme of his entry to the 1937 Paris Universal Exhibition.


He began working on the monumental artwork only five days after the bombing, and ultimately created a manifesto denouncing the absurd atrocity of war.

The preparatory studies

It took Picasso about 40 days to create Guernica. He made dozens of sketches and preparatory studies to define the composition, the characters, the lights, the colors. He changed his mind multiple times and - since he dated all the drawings - we can clearly follow all the phases of his creative process.


The 42 works displayed in the exhibition are part of an edition made in 1990 by UNESCO and the European Council, with the authorization of the Picasso Foundation.

Dora Maar's reportage

When Picasso is working on Guernica, Dora Maar - talented photographer and at the time his partner - enters his studio and documented the entire creative process with her camera. Thirty-six days of work, in which Picasso experimented, rethought and perfected all the elements on the scene.



Dora Maar's work represents one of the finest examples of documentation of the creative process in the history of art and allows us to witness the birth of the work alongside its brilliant author.

Pablo Picasso painting Guernica, Guernica exhibition in Cortona Italy
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