Picasso's Guernica Roles Functions and Meanings a Piece of Art Can Have

Drawing on the example of Picasso's Guernica, write an essay of 1000 words discussing the roles, functions and meanings a piece of art can have.
The giant artwork, Guernica, was painted by Pablo Picasso in 1937 as a direct result of the bombing in April of that year in the Basque town of Guernica. A piece of art can be many things to many people. One has to address the context under which it was created by the artist, as well as the past and current context of the spectator. General Franco had been waging war in Spain since 1936, fighting to create a fascist regime governed centrally in Madrid. The Basques are one of the historic nationalities in Spain, and remain very independent, with their own culture and point of view. The town of Guernica had no military connection but was an important Basque stronghold and essentially self-governing, which made it a political stumbling block for General Franco. To assist him in purging the country of Separatists, he invited Adolf Hitler to test out his new airplanes and incendiary bombs on the civilian population of Guernica. By looking at the painting Guernica as it was when it was produced in 1937, why it was painted and what Picasso meant by his painting, and then reflecting on how it is perceived today, we can consider how the role of one piece of art can be changed over time.
Pablo Picasso was a noted anti-war painter living in Paris at the time of these bombings. He used several techniques in the painting that point towards a strong anti-war message. The fact that Guernica is a history painting; one with a sense of narrative, makes it relatively easy to grasp its meaning and also makes it more appealing to a wider audience. Picasso used Analytical Cubism together with a limited palate of black white and grey, and many overlapping images, to create the effect of chaos and a sense of gloom and dejection. The limited pictorial space and lack of a vanishing point brings the action forward to the pictorial plane thereby...