Art in the 19th century had observed a series of changes and movements significant in catering new types of visual representation before a modern audience. At the turn of the mentioned century, the world had experienced two significant World Wars which inevitably led to noticeable influences in visual arts – in paintings to be exact. …
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Art in the 19th century had observed a series of changes and movements significant in catering new types of visual representation before a modern audience. At the turn of the mentioned century, the world had experienced two significant World Wars which inevitably led to noticeable influences in visual arts – in paintings to be exact. From two of the most famous movements during the 19th century, namely Cubism and Expressionism, artists such as Pablo Picasso and Max Beckmann had showcased the core essence of visual arts in the Modern Age. With such context laid down, this paper will focus on the Spanish Cubist painter Pablo Picasso and his famous work, Guernica and the German Expressionist painter Max Beckmann and his work, Departure.This essay will then argue that Picasso’s Guernica and Beckmann’s Departure showcase innovative feats in their respective styles and form and present significant struggle against Fascism prevalent during that period.The entirety of this paper will tackle the analysis of historical content of both artworks. It will discuss how each piece symbolizes their respective campaigns against the Fascist regimes in Europe at that specific period. The 19th century was a moment in history when different ideologies emerged and Europe.These ideologies were used for propaganda and for an imposition of power amongst the weaker nation-states.In the time of Pablo Picasso,his homeland Spain was subjugated under civil disputes between the Revolutionary forces of the newly established government and the Fascist group led by General Franco .1 This civil struggle in Spain was an important factor which contributed to the theme that was used by Picasso in Guernica. With the civil revolution at its height in Spain, intellectuals, government officials and some of his co-artists and colleagues marched to before his house in Paris in order to seek his sympathy by a means of creating a mural.2 As what can be depicted from this piece of information, Picasso at the period of the Guernica was already an influential artistic figure. The Spanish people believed that his artistic capabilities can, indeed, influence the Spanish people to advocate peace between the warring groups. However, Picasso’s sentiments were with the newly established Republic; his vision was to avoid any means of political art whatsoever.3 This seemed an unprecedented reaction from the artist. However, his views towards the political theme of the mural requested from him would come into fruition after a very devastating event that had swept his former convictions away. On April 27,1937, Guernica, a small Basque village in northern Spain, was unjustifiably bombed by the heavy war machines of Adolf Hitler. The Third Reich’s reason was defiantly for mere bombing practices only. This type of violent exercise caused Guernica to burn for three straight days and a huge loss of 600 civilians.4 The atrocities caused by the Fascist Germany had immediately reached Paris and Picasso’s residence. The massacre created huge demonstrations upon the streets of Paris.5 This particular event moved the artist and compelled him to do the mural. His inspiration was plain and simple- Guernica. The historical sketch about testify to what Picasso’s Guernica is. The painting is highly political because it sends a definite message to its audience. The content of Guernica presents many symbolisms that cater to the historical background of what was happening in Spain at that time. In the painting, the key figures which relate the war-related disaster happening in Spain were the woman with outstretched arms, the agonized horse and the bull.6 These mentioned figures are classic and universal representations and themes in art which simply symbolize Spain.7 The resentment and the suffering attributed to these images as what is etched upon Picasso’s mural clearly present a horrifying stage in Spanish affairs.
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