A 3D Tour of Picasso’s Guernica

In June 1937 Pablo Picasso painted Guernica, a mural that memorialized the events of April 27, 1937, the date when Germany supported its fascist ally Francisco Franco and bombed Guernica, a rather remote town in the Basque region of northern Spain. For the Nazis, the military strike was an excuse to try out their latest military hardware, establish a blueprint for terror bombings of civilian populations, and pull Spain into the fascist fold. After the bombing, the republican government on the other side of the Spanish Civil War commissioned Picasso to create the mural for display at the 1937 World’s Fair in Paris.

You can learn more about the famous anti-war painting, now housed at the Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid, by checking out the Smarthistory primer posted below. In the meantime, we’re highlighting today a digitally-rendered 3D tour of Picasso’s landmark work. It’s the creation of Lena Gieseke, a visual effects artist who, once upon a time, was married to the filmmaker Tim Burton. Some will consider the idea of putting Guernica in 3D downright blasphemous. Others will find it instructive, a chance to see parts of the mural from a new perspective. The video above runs three minutes.

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by | Permalink | Comments (9) |

  • b., from afar,

    Well, I respectfully disagree.
    It’s not blasphemous, it’s rather stupid, and totally useless; may I explain ?
    One of the shifts Picasso brought to painting was to flatten the picture, rising against the illusion of perspective. It’s one of the main things in cubism : image is not a fake 3D space, it’s a strong 2D surface.
    Inflating forms like air balloons can only break the thin ice of the painting. Heck ! Would he have wanted to do some retinal truth, Picasso would have done it, wouldn’t he ?
    I think it’s some kind of vain exercise bored people can do just because they have the tools to. Play with some early-Renaissance painting, where the invention of space makes sense !
    Here, it brings only strass and blinking lights : better forget it !

  • http://www.perspicalia.com/ eperspicalia

    I thought it was awesome

  • http://www.perspicalia.com/ eperspicalia

    I mean, I do think it is awesome

  • Steve

    I have always admired this painting & the way it captures the almost unimaginable events on that day in the town of Guernica- it is so sad yet powerful.
    I think this 3D version has been done sensitively and takes the viewer through the original in a new way.

  • encyclomedia

    I like this film, as it enables the “whole” 2D Cubist image to be separated into 3D “fractions” that enable one to focus more clearly on each individual element and then reassemble these disconnected “fragments” into Picasso’s beautiful and yet horrific original “holistic” painting.

  • Kevin

    The original artwork is still there. It still exists. It has not been destroyed. All of your ideas about the wonderfulness of cubism are still present in the original artwork, for you and everyone else to appreciate and enjoy. Another artist has simply taken that artwork and created something new from it that may, in fact, reach a larger audience not even acquainted with the original. It takes nothing away from Picasso or his original intent.

  • Tim

    Regarding “from afar”‘s comment.
    All art is constructed on the shoulders of those who have come before. If this artist chooses to reinterpret this work into a 3-D sculptural format via digitalization then it has accomplished at least two changes to the work, and art is nothing if not change.
    Picasso said something like (paraphrase)that any work of art dies once it is completed, and the museum is essentially a mausoleum.
    No offense intended , but your objection should be hung next to the flatwork as both are equally dead.

  • http://Queirozandrade.com.br Osvaldo Andrade

    Muito bom!!!!!!

  • http://Queirozandrade.com.br Osvaldo Andrade

    Nice!!!’mm

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