The Spanish Civil War had a dramatic effect on the artist Pablo Picasso’s outlook on life. Not having previously been a man interested in politics, the 1936 Franco uprising in Spain was an event that dragged him out of this disinterest and made him a defender of peace and liberty. After he painted his famous response to the German bombing of the Basque village of Guernica in the north of Spain in 1937, Picasso became a symbol not only of anti-fascism but specifically a symbol of the opposition to fascism by artists and intellectuals.
Issued by Czechoslovakia in 1966 to commemorate the anniversary of the bombing of Guernica. The famous painting shown on the stamp above hangs in the Museo Reina Sofia in the Spanish capital Madrid. Anyone seeing the painting in real life cannot fail to be impressed by the sheer scale of the work and the complexity of the interwoven figures.
At the end of the Second World War he joined the Communist Party and attended a number of World Peace Congresses (in Wroclaw, Paris, Sheffield and Rome) between 1948 and 1951.
Poster designed by Picasso, with his ‘Peace Dove’ drawing.
His lithograph ‘Dove’ was used to illustrate the poster of the 1949 Paris Peace Congress and became not only the symbol of the Peace Congresses but also of the ideals of world Communism.
World Peace Congress stamps from Poland, 1950.
Picasso named one of his daughters Paloma (born 1949), the Spanish word for dove.
Picasso is an interesting subject for the thematic collector as there have been so many stamps issued featuring him and his art, a selection of which are shown below.
Manama, 1972, Picasso’s ‘Blue Period’.
One of many stamps produced by Equatorial Guinea in 1974 and 1975.
Upper Volta 1975.
Togo 1981, Picasso sculptures.
Sierra Leone 2003.