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LostInParadise's avatar

How did Picasso paint the upper portion of Guernica?

Asked by LostInParadise (31495points) June 7th, 2023

The painting is 11 by 25 feet. How did he paint the upper portion of it? I can think of two possibilities. He might have used a ladder to reach the 11 foot mark, or else he laid the painting out on the floor and positioned himself along the top of the mural, painting the upper portion upside down.

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5 Answers

janbb's avatar

I can’t get the linking to work but this article if it comes up correctly gives you a partial answer. He had to slant the canvas against his studio wall to get it to fit. Presumably then he stood at a stool to paint the top.'s%20artistic%20process&text=The%20first%20composition%20for%20the,a%20series%20of%20preliminary%20sketches.

LostInParadise's avatar

Thanks, the link worked just fine. Having the canvas slanted would make it possible to reach the upper portion.

janbb's avatar

Yeah, it was the “red thingy” that didn’t work right: listing the whole link I knew did.

Interestingly, my son lives right around the corner from the Bateau Lavoir in Paris which was one of Picasso’s first studios. When my son first lived there, he couldn’t understand why all the tourists were stopping to look at a laundry!

flutherother's avatar

There’s a little more detail given here but I had the same problem getting the link to work….

“On May 11 he began to attack the huge canvas. At 20 feet long and 12 feet
high (almost the same dimensions as Caravaggio’s Beheading of St John the
Baptist) it was too tall to fit perpendicularly between floor and roof rafters, so Dora and Picasso propped it against the wall at an angle. The painter climbed a ladder to work on the upper sections, and tied brushes to sticks to reach the topmost area. When working on the foreground, he squatted or sat on the floor. None of the discomfort bothered him. Picasso chain-smoked his way through it all in a storm of impetuous creativity.”

LostInParadise's avatar

So he did use a ladder!

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