Artist Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881–1973)
Title Dream and Lie of Franco II (El sueño y mentira de Franco | Songe et Mensonge de Franco II)
Series The Dream and Lie of Franco
Medium Etching and aquatint on paper
Dimensions Image: 12 1/16 x 16 1/4 in. (30.6 x 41.3 cm)
Plate: 12 1/2 x 16 1/2 in. (31.8 x 41.9 cm)
Sheet: 15 1/16 x 22 5/16 in. (38.3 x 56.7 cm)
Credit Line Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University
Accession Number 00.5.1
About this Work
Picasso's two-page suite of images responds to the horrors of the Spanish Civil War. The Spanish army--led by General Francisco Franco, who enlisted the aid of the Nazi parties in Germany and Italy--moved to establish a military dictatorship in Spain in 1936. From Paris, Picasso expressed his sympathy for the "freedom fighters" who opposed Franco's regime. Picasso composed a poem and two pages of cartoon-like etchings that were sold to aid the relief of Spaniards victimized by the war.
Franco appears throughout these vignettes as an arrogant, ridiculous, and loathsome figure dressed in a costume that symbolizes his pretense as a military and religious "savior" of the country. Women and children flee in horror; only the bull--representing the strength and innocence of Spain--can vanquish this grotesque monster.