Art and artists during the crises of the 20th century

The Guernica, Picasso, 1937

Now it’s hard to believe, but the crisis each time became a stimulating impulse for art. During the period of transformation and instability, the most important works of art were born.

World War I

This tragedy, which swept the whole world, was reflected in art.

The German artist Ernst Kirchner, who in 1914 he volunteered for the front, in two months lost his mind there. The war made a strong impression on him. The war made a strong impression on him. In 1915, he painted his most famous work, The Soldier. In the picture, he portrays himself in military uniform, in his studio, with his right hand raised, on which the hand is cut off. This self-portrait is a masterpiece of psychological drama, which shows that Kirchner can no longer paint. And that art would never be the same for him.

Art and artists during the crises of the 20th century
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, The Soldier,1915

The artist was one of the legislators of German expressionism, which developed during the war period. For many German artists, expressionism has become a way to escape from reality.

 World War II

In 1937, there was a civil war in Spain. The cruel regime of Franco led to the fact that the Basque city of Guernica was almost destroyed. In a few hours, thousands of bombs were dropped on the city. The whole world watched this event. Including Picasso, who at that time was preparing for the World Exhibition in Paris. He was so deeply hurt by this tragedy that he immediately took up painting. He was painting Guernica for a month. This painting was dedicated to a ruthless war.

But the huge eight-meter canvas, which he presented as part of the Spanish pavilion in Paris, did not receive the expected resonance.

Art and artists during the crises of the 20th century
The Guernica, Picasso, 1937

Both critics and the public condemned him. It took a long time before the picture was recognized as a masterpiece.


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