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Guernica: The Biography of a Twentieth-Century Icon

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  59 ratings  ·  6 reviews
Of all the great paintings in the world, the story of Pablo Picasso's Guernica may tell us more about the last century's history than any other. In this new book by Gijs van Hensbergen, the acclaimed biographer of Gaudí, the author explores the life of this key cultural icon from its birth to the present day. He tells the story of the painting's beginnings, amid the turmoi ...more
Published November 8th 2004 by Bloomsbury USA (first published October 18th 2004)
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The life of Picasso's Guernica has been documented well by Gijs van Hensbergen in this considered yet occasionally flawed biography. The first half of the book is a lively and educating exploration of Picasso and his relationship with the Republic. Making sense of the place of Picasso, the war and the painting in the wider world of modern art takes us to New York and explores the relationship between Picasso and later masters such as Pollock. Even if you are not fully aware of all the paintings ...more
One of the most powerful paintings of the twentieth century and its creator presented with fascinating historical, political and biographical context. Beginning with the tragic events in Spain leading up to to the second world war, van Hensbergen provides a engaging account of culture and art during and after the war in Europe and America as Guernica, the painting, travels from France across the ocean and finally back home to Spain. Though at times the author goes a bit over the top with his adm ...more
I put this book on my reading list after my son enthused about seeing Picasso's mural, Guernica, on his trip to Spain. But this art-historical biography of the painting is not really my cup of tea, and it was probably foolish of me to think it would be.
He pushes a little too hard in this book, but the section on the Spanish Civil War is fascinating.
Kinda boring. Picasso was a jerk.
Informative, if limited.
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