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Guernica, 1937
Picasso incorporated the same complex layering of imagery and themes in "The Unknown Masterpiece" as he used in "Guernica" and in many respects, it is the same composition.
Guernica, 1937

Severed arms, subliminal skulls, bull's heads, spears* and a diagonally divided dark and light structure are common to both compositions, as are a number of other structural features.

Sometimes the association has been rendered cryptically in one or other of the pictures. For example, the woman with the lamp in "Guernica", who represents Venus, the morning star, is also a metaphor for Lucifer, the light bringer. In the 1934 drawing, she reappears as the Lucifer the devil, bringing a dark flame from the same upper right hand quadrant as in Guernica.

There is also a cryptic relationship between the light above the dying horse in "Guernica" and the sun motif above the head of Marie-Therese, who is depicted as the personified wounded horse.

As a result of these, and many other figurative, structural and cryptic associations, "The Unknown Masterpiece," is without doubt the all important precursor for "Guernica" itself, as well as a number of its' preliminary studies.

For a further discussion of Guernica's intimate relationship to the drawing please refer to the following sections:

Guernica in Depth
Picasso's Secret Guernica.

JPG image (42 K) Guernica, 1937
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