In April 1937, at the height of the Spanish Civil war, a terrible disaster befell the ancient city of Guernica. As reported by George Steer, the London Times journalist, three quarters of the city was razed to the ground as a result of the bombing by allied German Luftwaffe "Condor Legion" and the Italian Fascist “Aviazione Legionaria”.
At that moment Picasso was working on a mural for the Paris International Exhibition to be held in the summer of 1937, commissioned by the Spanish Republican government. Or rather not working, since he could not find his creative inspiration, hardly overwhelmed by any patriotic feeling; however learning of Guernica massacre, on 1 May 1937 the artist set off working fiercely. In 3 months he presented his Guernica to the world, a painting that would become iconic symbol of the war and its destructive power on innocent lives, as well as one of Picasso's most prominent works.