Advertisement

Archeology of an Icon: Picasso’s Guernica and Spanish Democracy

  • Katherine O. Stafford
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Cultural Heritage and Conflict book series (PSCHC)

Abstract

Pablo Picasso painted Guernica in 1937 as a response to a bombing in a Spanish town and to raise support for the Spanish Republican cause during the Civil War. The painting didn’t land in the Iberian Peninsula until 1981, however, forty-four years after it was painted. Referred to as the famous “vuelta a España” (“return to Spain”) in cultural, bureaucratic, and political dealings, Guernica’s “homecoming” was in reality a first time visit. The use of the word “vuelta” illuminates the sense of symbolic ownership shared by many Spaniards, which was rooted in a long and complex historic relationship.1 Its arrival (or “return”) in Madrid on September 10, 1981, six years after the death of dictator Francisco Franco, symbolically performed a ritual of closure and separation. For many, Guernica’s repatriation represented the end to decades of oppression and violence, a new hopeful beginning, and the semiotic transformation of the nation.

Keywords

Transitional Justice Spanish People National Symbol Basque Region Spanish Newspaper 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© Katherine O. Stafford 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katherine O. Stafford

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations