On 26 April 1937, It was painted as a response to the Basque town of Guernica being bombed by the German Nazi and Italian Fascist parties at the request of the Spanish Nationalists. Unfortunately, all the men were away fighting in the Spanish civil war, so the majority of people in the town were women and children.
The raid was ‘unparalleled in military history,’ according to reports at the time- and it inspired one of the most famous anti-war paintings in history.
Isn’t that supposed to be in color? No, it’s a monochrome image. Picasso painted it that way because he wanted it to have the impact of a photograph.
A copy of it now hangs in the U.N building in New York.
Random fact: The US government asked for it to be covered over when George W Bush announced the invasion of Iraq in 2003. They realised that having a painting that commemorates the murder of civilians behind him when Bush was about to do the same thing probably wasn’t a good idea.