Brendan's Reviews > Picasso's War

Picasso's War by Russell Martin
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Jul 04, 14

bookshelves: non-fiction
Read in September, 2009

Pablo Picasso's painting, Guernica, is discussed: the Spanish Civil War that led to its creation, the painting itself of course, the artist's life, the painting's place in the world both physically and symbolically, etc.

The author mixes historical and personal narration with excerpts from newspaper and magazine articles and statements from interviiews with witnesses of the titular bombing, as well as contemporaries of Picasso and those involved with the painting or the struggles in Spain throughout the years. It's an easily accessible read, despite its quasi-academic nature. He did do considerable research, as his source list at the end attests. A flaw might be that Martin occasionally lets his left-wing leanings take over, such as when he glosses over Picasso's support of Communism (and by extension Stalin) and when he references Hiroshima and Mylai without presenting their contexts. On the whole, I quite enjoyed this examination of one of the most influential works of art of the last century or so.
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