Guernica is a painting by Pablo Picasso. It was created in response to the bombing of Guernica, a Basque Country village in northern Spain, by German and Italian warplanes at the behest of the Spanish Nationalist forces on 26 April 1937 during theSpanish Civil War.
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. Upon 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.
Although mention is frequently made of the painting's "return" to Spain, this is not in fact correct. Guernica was painted in Paris, where it was first exhibited, before being placed in the care of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), as it was Picasso's express desire that the painting should not be delivered to Spain until liberty and democracy had been re-established in the country. On its arrival in Spain, in September 1981, it was first displayed behind bomb-and bullet-proof glass screens at the Casón del Buen Retiro in Madrid in time to celebrate the centenary of Picasso's birth, October 24. The exhibition was visited by almost a million people in the first year.Guernica was moved to its current permanent location in a purpose-built gallery at the Museo Reina Sofía in 1992.