1881 October 25: Pablo Picasso born in Málaga, Spain.
1904 Picasso settles in Paris
1907 Picasso paints Les Demoiselles d'Avignon.
1921 Picasso paints Three Musicians.
1930 January: Resignation of Primo de Rivera; more moderate government in Spain.
1931 March: Constitution restored in Spain; general elections. Abdication of King Alfonso XIII; provisional Republic established.
1933 April 1: Spanish Republic declared.
1934 Fall: Picasso's last visit to Spain.
1935 March: Picasso begins work on The Minotauromachy.
1936 February: General elections in Spain; victory for the Popular Front.

July: Rebellion marks the beginning of the Spanish civil war.

September: Picasso named Honorary Director-in-Exile of the Prado Museum in Madrid.

November: Franco bombs Madrid and damages the Prado Museum. Picasso begins work on The Dream and Lie of Franco.
1937 January: Picasso accepts commission for a painting in the Spanish Pavilion of the Paris Exposition.

April 26: German bombers attack Guernica. Three days later, Franco's troops occupy the town.

May 1: Protesters in Paris march in the largest May Day demonstration in the city's history. Picasso sketches preliminary drawings for the mural he will call Guernica.

May 2-9: Picasso draws compositional studies for the mural. He continues to sketch studies throughout the process of painting the mural.

May 11: Picasso draws on the huge canvas for the first time. First photograph of the mural, taken by Dora Maar (State I) shows the familiar raised arm and clenched fist of the Spanish Republic.

around May 13: (State II) The raised fist now holds a sheaf of grain.

May 16-19: (State III) Picasso paints over the arm.

May 20-24: (State IV) Picasso shifts the bull away from the horse and closer to the woman and child. He replaces the raised fist with the head of the horse, making it the central figure, and makes the spear more prominent.

end of May: (State VI) Picasso experiments with color, pattern and textures. Ultimately, he removes them.

around June 4: (State VII) Picasso adds the bare light bulb.
a few days later: (State VIII) Picasso makes the sun more dramatic, the light bulb more prominent. The focal point of the mural is a large triangle that dominates the composition. Picasso delivers it himself to the Spanish Pavilion.
1938 Spring: After the close of the Paris Exposition in November, Guernica travels to Oslo, Stockholm and Copenhagen before returning to France.
1939 March: Franco triumphs in Spain.

May: Guernica comes to America to raise funds and support for Spanish refugees. Picasso directs that the mural be placed in the care of the Museum of Modern Art.

September: Outbreak of W.W.II.
1939-1952 Guernica travels throughout the United States: from New York to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, St. Louis, Boston Cincinnati, Cleveland, New Orleans, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, Cambridge and Columbus.
1940 June: Occupation of Paris by the Germans.
1941 December 7: United States enters the war against Nazi Germany and its allies, Italy and Japan.
1944 August: Allied invasion of Normandy and liberation of Paris.
1945 May 8: World War II ends.
Guernica travels to Brazil and returns to Europe - Milan, Paris, Munich, Cologne, Hamburg, Brussels, Amsterdam and Stockholm - then back to MOMA in New York for the Picasso retrospective celebrating the artist's 75th birthday.
1957-1958 Guernica travels to the Chicago Art Institute and the Museum of Art in Philadelphia. Final loan exhibition, as constant travel has weakened the canvas. The studies continue to travel.
1968 Franco launches an effort to bring Guernica to Spain.
1970-1971 Picasso makes additional conditions for Guernica's travel to Spain. Originally, he demanded establishment of the Republic; now he sets forth other standards, such as liberty and democracy in Spain. The issue remains unresolved.
1973 Picasso's death at age 92.
1975 Franco's death at age 82.
1977 June 15: First free elections since before the civil war.
1978 December: Democratic constitution adopted in Spain.
1981 September 9: Guernica finally comes home to Spain.

civil war | the cause | bombing Guernica | Picasso's process | Spanish Pavilion
art & politics | Guernica in exile | questions of meaning | timeline

Mona Lisa
detail from Guernica
Lilies of the Valley Faberge Egg
Hope Diamond
Taj Mahal
scene from Borobudur

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