Spanish Civil War Propaganda

Throughout the course of the Spanish Civil War, people all over the world were exposed to the goings-on and effects of it on its people not only through standard art, but also through propaganda. Motion pictures, posters, books, radio programs, and leaflets are a few examples of this media art that was so influential during the war. Produced by both nationalists and republicans, propaganda allowed Spaniards a way to spread awareness about their war all over the world. In a film co-produced by famous early-twentieth century authors such as Ernest Hemingway and Lillian Hellman, video footage was used as a way to advertise Spain’s need for military and monetary aid. This film, The Spanish Earth, premiered in America in July 1937. In 1938, George Orwell's Homage to Catalonia, a personal account of his experiences and observations in the war, was published in the United Kingdom.

Leading works of sculpture include Alberto Sánchez Pérez's El pueblo español tiene un camino que conduce a una estrella maqueta ("The Spanish People Have a Path that Leads to a Star"), a 12.5m monolith constructed out of plaster representing the struggle for a socialist utopia; Julio González's La Montserrat, an anti-war work which shares its title with a mountain near Barcelona, is created from a sheet of iron which has been hammered and welded to create a peasant mother carrying a small child in one arm and a sickle in the other. and Alexander Calder's Fuente de mercurio (Mercury Fountain) a protest work by the American against the Nationalist forced control of Almade'n and the mercury mines there. As to other works of art, Pablo Picasso painted Guernica in 1937, taking inspiration from the bombing of Guernica. Guernica, like many important Republican masterpieces, was featured at the 1937 International Exhibition in Paris. The work's size (11 ft by 25.6 ft) grabbed much attention and cast the horrors of the mounting Spanish civil unrest into a global spotlight. The painting has since been heralded as an anti-war work and a symbol of peace in the 20th century. Joan Miró created El Segador (The Reaper, formally titled El campesino catalán en rebeldía (Catalan peasant in revolt), which spans some 18 feet by 12 feet and depicted a peasant brandishing a sickle in the air, to which Miró commented that "The sickle is not a communist symbol. It is the reaper’s symbol, the tool of his work, and, when his freedom is threatened, his weapon." This work, featured at the 1937 International Exhibition in Paris, was shipped back to the Spanish Republic's capital in Valencia following the Exhibition, but has since gone missing or has been destroyed.

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