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The Smoking Flame and Night Light In The Magdalen with the Smoking Flame, Mary Magdalene still

looks like the legendary woman of fleshly pleasure — yet she seems to be questioning her present existence. Her shoulders and legs are bare, and she holds a human skull on her lap. Skull symbolism was frequently used in art of this era to indicate mortality and the inevitability of death. Here Mary Magdalene contemplates an oil lamp, the flame of which might further symbolize enlightenment and purification. This flame, however, is smoky and not burning with clarity. A similar positioning and composition makes up Magdalen of Night Light, only the flame now burns evenly. In both paintings, a wooden cross rests before Mary Magdalene on the table. There is another version of this scene painted by George de la Tour. In this, the sexual undertone is more explicit - Mary's legs and shoulder are bared, as if she has just finished servicing a client. But the mood of introspection and regret are the same. Guernica is a painting by Pablo Picasso, in response to the bombing of Guernica, Basque Country, by German and Italian warplanes at the behest of the Spanish Nationalist forces, on 26 April 1937, during the Spanish Civil War. The Spanish Republican government commissioned Pablo Picasso to create a large mural for the Spanish display at the Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne (1937) Paris International Exposition in the 1937 World's Fair in Paris. Guernica shows the tragedies of war and the suffering it inflicts upon individuals, particularly innocent civilians. This work has gained a monumental status, becoming a perpetual reminder of the tragedies of war, an anti-war symbol, and an embodiment of peace. On completion Guernica was displayed around the world in a brief tour, becoming famous and widely acclaimed. This tour helped bring the Spanish Civil War to the world's attention. Guernica is gray, black and white, 3.5 metre (11 ft) tall and 7.8 metre (25.6 ft) wide, a mural-size canvas painted in oil. This painting can be seen in the Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid. Picasso's purpose in painting it was to bring the world's attention to the bombing of the Basque town of Guernica by German bombers, who were supporting the Nationalist forces of General Franco during the Spanish Civil War. Picasso completed the painting by mid-June 1937.[1] Picasso exhibited his mural-size painting at the Spanish display at the Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne (1937) (Paris International Exposition) in the 1937 World's Fair in Paris and then at other venues around the world. The San Francisco Museum of Art (later SFMOMA) gave the work its first public, free appearance in the United States from 27 August - 19 September. The Museum of Modern Art in New York City then mounted an important Picasso exhibition on 15 November 1939 that remained on view until 7 January 1940, entitled: Picasso: 40 Years of His Art, that was organized by Alfred H. Barr (1902–1981), in collaboration with the Art Institute of Chicago. The exhibition contained 344 works, including Guernica and its studies.[2] Guernica shows suffering people, animals, and buildings wrenched by violence and chaos.
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The overall scene is within a room where, at an open end on the left, a wide-eyed bull stands over a woman grieving over a dead child in her arms. The centre is occupied by a horse falling in agony as it had just been run through by a spear or javelin. It is important to note that the large gaping wound in the horse's side is a major focus of the painting. Two "hidden" images formed by the horse appear in Guernica: o A human skull overlays the horse's body. o A bull appears to gore the horse from underneath. The bull's head is formed mainly by the horse's entire front leg which has the knee on the ground. The leg's knee cap forms the head's nose. A horn appears within the horse's breast. The bull's tail forms the image of a flame with smoke rising from it, seemingly appearing in a window created by the lighter shade of gray surrounding it. Under the horse is a dead, apparently dismembered soldier; his hand on a severed arm still grasps a shattered sword from which a flower grows. On the open palm of the dead soldier is a stigma, a symbol of martyrdom derived from the stigmata of Christ. A light bulb blazes in the shape of an evil eye over the suffering horse's head (the bare bulb of the torturer's cell.) Picasso's intended symbolism in regards to this object is related to the

[6] that show an atelier installation incorporating the central triangular shape which reappears in the final version of Guernica. What ideas and conclusions you have got I obtained too.. and four additional panels were added. also floating in. Picasso himself certainly used these characters to play many different roles over time. a figure with arms raised in terror is entrapped by fire from above and below. In the panel on which I am working. and death.. carries a flame-lit lamp.• • • • • • Spanish word for lightbulb. I paint the objects for what they are. This has made the task of interpreting the specific meaning of the bull and the horse very tough. a frightened female figure. Picasso seems to be trying to define his role and his power as an artist in the face of political power and violence. My whole life as an artist has been nothing more than a continuous struggle against reaction and the death of art.this bull is a bull and this horse is a horse. and is a symbol of hope.. The newspaper print used in the painting reflects how Picasso learned of the massacre. A bird. clashing with the lightbulb. "bombilla". Becht-Jördens and Wehmeier interpret the painting as a self-referential composition in the tradition of atelier paintings such as "Las Meninas" by Diego Velázquez." When pressed to explain them in Guernica. but instinctively.. an awe-struck woman staggers towards the center below the floating female figure. Guernica should be seen as Picasso’s comment on what art can actually contribute towards the self-assertion that liberates every human being and protects the individual against overwhelming forces such as political crime.[4] However. and grey paint to set a somber mood and express pain and chaos. who seems to be witnessing the scenes before her. which I shall call Guernica. appears to have floated into the room through a window. But far from being a mere political painting. Symbolism and interpretations Interpretations of Guernica vary widely and contradict one another. She looks up blankly into the blazing light bulb. Franco is depicted as a monster that first devours his own horse and later does battle with an angry bull. Chipp 1988)[5] In drawing attention to a number of preliminary studies. which makes an allusion to "bomb" and therefore signifies the destructive effect which technology can have on society. Flaming buildings and crumbling walls not only express the destruction of Guernica.. unconsciously. From the right. Picasso said as he worked on the mural: "The Spanish struggle is the fight of reaction against the people. Daggers that suggest screaming replace the tongues of the bull. grieving woman. The lamp is positioned very close to the bulb. Their relationship is a kind of ballet that was conceived in a variety of ways throughout Picasso's career. If you give a meaning to certain things in my paintings it may be very true. against freedom. and horse. I clearly express my abhorrence of the military caste which has sunk Spain in an ocean of pain and death. but it is not my idea to give this meaning. This extends. Her arm. and in all my recent works of art. stands on a shelf behind the bull in panic. I make the painting for the painting. to the mural's two dominant elements: the bull and the horse. but reflect the destructive power of civil war. for example. In his chef d'oevre. "The bull and the horse are important characters in Spanish culture. A dark wall with an open door defines the right end of the mural. To the upper right of the horse. The light bulb in the painting represents the sun. according to scholar Beverly Ray[5] the following list of interpretations reflects the general consensus of historians: • • • • • • The shape and posture of the bodies express protest. white. the so called primary project. How could anybody think for a moment that I could be in agreement with reaction and death? . (Berger 1980. three of which relate directly to the Guernica mural. . The broken sword near the bottom of the painting symbolizes the defeat of the people at the hand of their tormentors. war. On the far right." a series of narrative sketches also created for the World's Fair. Picasso said. Art historian Patricia Failing said. Work on these illustrations began before the bombing of Guernica. possibly a dove.. Picasso uses black.[3] In "The Dream and Lie of Franco. .