Picasso's War

Picasso's War : The Extraordinary Story Of An Artist, An Atrocity - And A Painting That Shook The World

3.87 (403 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 2 business days
When will my order arrive?


On 26 April 1937, the Basque town of Guernica in northern Spain was bombed by Hitler's Luftwaffe on behalf of Francisco Franco as he waged a bloody civil war. Twenty-four hours later, the village lay in ruins, its population decimated. This act of terror - the first large-scale attack against civilians in modern warfare - outraged the world, and one man in particular. Pablo Picasso, an expatriate living in Paris, responded to the devastation in his homeland by beginning work on GUERNICA, a painting many consider the greatest artwork of the twentieth century. Intermingling themes of politics, art, war and morality, and featuring some of the twentieth century's most memorable and infamous figures, Russell Martin follows this renowned masterpiece across decades and continents. From Europe to America and, finally, back to Spain, PICASSO'S WAR sheds light on the conflict that was an ominous prelude to World War II and delivers an unforgettable portrait of a genius whose visionary statement about the horror and terrible wounds of war still resonates today.
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 192 x 312 x 66mm | 222.26g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0743478630
  • 9780743478632
  • 894,231

Review quote

Praise for PICASSO'S WAR: PICASSO'S WAR by Russell Martin 'Martin's account of the destruction of the Basque town of Gernika is sensitively interwoven with a documentation of the evolution of Picasso's masterpiece. It is curiously unbiased testament to suffering and explores different nations' appropriation of Guernica since its conception in 1937...It is a biography of exile - of the destruction of identity and the home' Daily Telegraph 20/12 'engaging' OBSERVER 'In his ingenious biography of Picasso's GUERNICA, Martin turns up a host of fascinating detail' INDEPENDENT 'A fascinating account...Martin...exhibits considerable skill in weaving the history of the picture into the history of its times' THE SPECTATOR 'Martin closely follows the political career and travels of the painting from the initial show and lack of interest taken in it by the press in Paris to its present international status as one of the most significant pictures of the 20th century - and of the 21st, too' THE TIMES 'He [Martin] has produced a skilful blend of art, politics and history to account for the creation and fate of one of the indisputable masterpieces of the 20th century.' SUNDAY TIMES 'It's an impressively diligent book...everyone interested in Picasso will be grateful to know how the painting came into being and how its afterlife has made it a focus for national feeling, let alone protests against war. Moreover, Martin does well to understand how detached Picasso was from world affairs in some respects, while being fiercely engaged in others' Andrew Motion, THE GUARDIAN 'Certain great paintings accumulate incredible histories... In this well-conceived and intelligently felt book, Russell Martin skilfully summarises the historical context' Frances Spalding, THE INDEPENDENT 'Martin has constructed a highly readable narrative from the turbulent life of a great painting. He has a good, clear prose style. He interweaves art history, Spanish history, art criticism and global politics with some skill' George Rosie, SUNDAY HERALD (Glasgow) 'A usefully simplified account of the military and political twists that led to the bombing...Although Martin's personal narrative adds an emotional gloss, his centring of historical perspectives around a work of art creates a clarity unmuddied by the anecdotal' TIME OUT 'nothing here is less than gripping...this is a rattling good yarn, unflagging in its interest' Valentine Cunningham, TLS 'In this moving book, Martin tells how the work came into being, what influence it has had, and how it changed the personality of the artist' GOOD BOOK GUIDE Praise for BEETHOVEN'S HAIR: 'A terrific story - odd, suspenseful, controversial and ultimately revealing' THE DENVER POST 'An engrossing tale of an odd subject. First-class history, and a fascinating exposition of forensic science' TORENTO GLOBE AND MAIL Praise for OUT OF SILENCE: 'A deeply moving rendering of human beings in adversity ... Other accounts of the suffering of autism have been published, but few can vie with this one for thoughfulness, scholarship, and personal accent' NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW 'A wholly remarkable book ... Martin leaves us with a deeper understanding of language itself, a richer appreciation of its promise, and a realization that the ability to communicate is a kind of grace' THE LOS ANGELES TIMES 'From time to time a special book is written that changes one's way of perceiving the self and the world, and that challenges one to rethink what being human really means. Russell Martin has written such a book... It is a book that should become a classic' BLOOMSBURY REVIEW Praise for ENTERING SPACE: 'ENTERING SPACE is a knowing and scrupulously detailed account of the most ambitious American adventure aloft. It gives a sense of the prosaic minutiae and the dumb-struck wonder of traveling through space' TIME
show more

About Russell Martin

Russell Martin is the highly acclaimed author of six previous books, including BEETHOVEN'S HAIR, winner of the Colorado Book Award, OUT OF SILENCE, which was named by the BLOOMSBURY REVIEW as one of its fifteen best books and A STORY THAT STANDS LIKE A DAM won the Caroline Bancroft History prize. Martin worked as a newspaper reporter in Colorado before becoming a freelance writer.
show more

Rating details

403 ratings
3.87 out of 5 stars
5 27% (108)
4 42% (170)
3 24% (96)
2 6% (26)
1 1% (3)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X