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Guernica is a piece of art that narrates the story of a war. Pablo Picasso drew Guernica as a reflection of chaos during the war. The drawing is named Guernica after a town in Spain, which was bombed by the Germans during the civil war. Picasso did not get to experience the chaos in his home country. Still, after reading a newspaper about the barbaric attack, he resonated with his people by drawing the chaotic representation of pain, evil, fear, and confusion caused by the inhuman act of war to people and animals.
From the painting, one can derive a wide range of symbolic meanings presented by images used in the art. The bull has a dark body and a white face. The bull wears a look of shock and confusion. The bull is an essential animal in Spanish tradition as it was tamed for food and entertainment. The bull represents strength, a figure of aggression; however, the face it wears of shock and confusion is an illustration of the normal change. A bull can show strength and aggression, but the bull in the painting stands in witness of the horror and brutality.
The horse in the center of the painting is a representation of Spanish animals used in battlefields. Despite the animal's strength and agility, it is portrayed as weak and dying in the picture. The horse has its mouth open, and it is about to collapse. The depiction of the horse with mouth open and about to collapse is an illustration of pain, fear, and surrender. The horse is about to lose its purpose by collapsing, and all is left of it is helplessness and fear and maybe death.
The lighting bulb on top of the horses and at the top center of the picture has a different meaning. The light is in the shape of an eye watching over the crisis. The eye, which is large and lit, symbolizes a god view over his creation in disbelief of the chaos and destruction caused by war. The eye, which also appears like a bulb lighting, the entire area of confusion, represents the bomb that fell in the city. Every part that the feature has shown its lights on is in destruction, and a bomb has a similar purpose, destruction of everything within reach.
Below the horse is a soldier dead lying lifeless on the ground, with broken hands and broken sword a representation of defeated army in battle. The military does not stand a chance for all its tools of war are destroyed. The horse to ride in battle is about to collapse, the solider is dead and his weapon broken a true reflection of defeat. At the tip of the broken sword, a blooming flower seems to blossom, and that is a representation of future and hope. The blossoming flower represents the rise of a new generation that will fight and represent the city.
The woman on the right below the bull holding a lifeless child looking up to the sky, wearing a face of pain, anger, and regret. Represent the pain of the mother over the loss of her future generation. It represents the aftermath of the war, where the innocent are affected by matters that never had anything to do with them. In battle often, the women and the children suffer the most because men who in a test of their masculinity but the children and the women suffer the consequences often cause war. The image, therefore, represents the plights of mothers and children during the war.
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