26 April – today in 1937 the Basque town of Guernica, civilians along with members of the Resistance, was bombed by the Luftwaffe and Italian Air Force at the behest of General Franco. Picasso’s expressive work commemorates that ugly act, which killed between 300 and 1600 people (tallies vary), mostly women and children. Largely washed clean of colour, the stark and tormented figures, twisted, pleading and prone, testify to the horror of the attack, a precursor to the terror of blitzkrieg to come.
But the Guernica oak-tree survived (well, more or less);
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