Guernica: Online Exhibit of Picasso’s Painting Shows New Perspectives

A new initiative invites art lovers to admire Pablo Picasso’s Guernica online. Using the latest imaging technology and also releasing novel documents on the turbulent history of the painting, the online story of the painting shows hidden depths and unfolds new stories.

Transcending the specific event it was based on, Guernica is a timeless, universal symbol, one of the world’s most famous political artworks, and a timeless artistic point of view on the representation of armed conflict.


The website presents the extensive research conducted on the artwork by the Museo Reina Sofía, and comprises around 2,000 documents, now available online for the first time. They tell the story of a work that, since it was first unveiled to the public, at the Spanish Pavilion in Paris, 1937, travelled extensively around Europe and the Americas, before being sent to Spain in 1981, where it was housed in the Casón del Buen Retiro and, from 1992, in the Museo Reina Sofía. Guernica became a political symbol, to such a degree that it appears as an emblem in any episode of violence or the vulnerability of civilians.


Researchers took thousands of images using visible and ultraviolet light as well as infrared and high-definition x-rays to create a Gigapixel rendering that allows users to browse a 436-gigabyte composite of the work. Details of its restoration, individual paint strokes and even rogue hairs from Picasso’s brushes can be seen still stuck to the original canvas. Residue from a 1974 act of vandalism is visible in the form of barely perceptible reddish discolouration across central areas.


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