I Painted It.

This is a painting called Guernica by Pablo Picasso about which a story has been doing the rounds in WhatsApp. I have tried to check the veracity of the story with no success. Wikipedia has this comment: “Picasso lived in Paris during the German occupation during World War II. A German officer allegedly asked him, upon seeing a photo of Guernica in Picasso’s apartment, “Did you do that?” Picasso responded, “No, you did.”

I reproduce the story as received in WhatsApp as, I find it quite impressive.

The coolest line in history

During the Nazi occupation of Paris, Pablo Picasso was taken to be “interrogated” by a special branch of Gestapo that had been set up to handle intellectuals and artists.

The officer who confronted Picasso, in spite of being a Gestapo thug, was almost polite, spoke good French and seemed even educated. A rarity.

The Nazi policeman gestured Picasso to sit in front of his desk, then he produced a photo of the now world famous “Guernica”, the large painting that depicts Picasso’s take on the Nazi bombing of the Spanish town of the same name during the Spanish Civil War.

With that facial expression that at the same time betrays tolerance toward a recognized genius and anger for a misdeed of the same genius, the Nazi pointed at the photo and said with a harsh voice:
“Picasso! Have you done this?”

The reply of Picasso was worthy of a Nobel Prize, a Pulizer and an Oscar…

Said he:
“No, you did it!.
I only painted it”

10 thoughts on “I Painted It.”

  1. I saw it. In Madrid Prada museum… A whole room’s wall…. Nothing else could be anywhere near this. A visual drowning in emotion: rage, horror, disgust, wonder… All rushing into the heart and mind!

  2. I just saw the painting in a documentary I watched on Fascism recently. it was excellent.
    they didn’t mention the comment. but I wish it were true.
    knowing what little I know of Picasso I don’t doubt that he said it!
    and I love Padmini’s description of the painting. I can’t even imagine seeing it in person. it would be powerful in that scale.

  3. Picasso lived to paint another day, so we can gather the officer didn’t react in a negative, or fatal, way, thank goodness.

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