Almost 80 years ago, Picasso painted Guernica in a Paris attic, a haunting work of art that has become a universal howl against the ravages of war, from 1937 Spain to 2017 Syria. The canvas mixes stark images of agonizing humans and animals to depict the horror of the bombing of the small Basque town of Guernica on April 26, 1937 during Spain’s civil war. The attack, which is estimated to have left 150 to 300 dead, was the Nazis’ first attempt at terror bombing civilians — a tactic they would go on to use in World War II.Two days later, Pablo Picasso, who had lived in France since 1904, saw the first photo reports of the tragedy. On May 1, he started his own Guernica.On a large canvas more than seven meters (23 feet) wide, he painted deformed figures of women and children writhing in a burning city.A broken sword in hand, a dismembered fighter lies with wide open eyes, an impassive bull, a wounded dove and an agonizing horse nearby.
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