But the painting known as Guernica is something to be seen.
I had a few hours to kill before yet more beer in Madrid so I popped across to the Queen Sofia National Museum
The painting appears on a wall on the left hand side, through a huge open doorway. Photography isn’t allowed around the painting itself so a stock picture appears below. It truly doesnt do it justice.
As a big fan of history, I was reasonably aware of the story of both the event itself and the painting, but to see it in the flesh, to actually visualise the suffering as painted by a twisted genius was momentarily overwhelming.
Painted as a response to the bombing of a Basque village in northern Spain by German and Italian warplanes at the request of Spanish nationalists, the painting bought worldwide attention to the act itself and the Spanish civil war as a whole.
On the wall opposite the painting is a series of four small sketches, which was the progression of the final image. He was commissioned to paint it by the Spanish Republican government in January 1937 and finally finished it in early June, after having read an account of the bombing. Widely recognised as being one of the most powerful anti-war paintings ever, it was difficult for me to see the relevance of this painting to a single event but as an anti-war painting, it certainly works.
As an aside, if you happen to be in Madrid and you like art, the Dali room was just next door to the Picasso room. To a non arty type like myself, it would seem that the magic mushrooms back in the day were fairly potent.