There are few, if any, 20th-century paintings more essential than Pablo Picasso’s Guernica.
So I was glad to see on Artnet news today that there will be a major motion picture about the painting next year, 33 días starring Antonio Banderas as Picasso and Gwyneth Paltrow as Dora Maar. Whether the film turns out to be good or bad, it will raise the profile of the artist and his painting among some who don’t yet know this masterpiece. In the meantime, the Luftwaffe bombing of that defenseless Basque city on April 26, 1937 and Picasso’s massive canvas inspired by that outrage, which he began painting just days later, both play important roles in Fire Answers Fire (chapters 9-11), which will be publishing everywhere in just two weeks on May 1 (readers of this blog can order it at half price with this pre-publication coupon until May 5).
As background for the movie and the novel, here’s a video of Simon Schama (from the BBC Power of Art series) talking about the bombing of Guernica and the painting of Guernica in a ten-minute video: