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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > World War II > Spanish Civil War

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Spanish Civil War This forum is for discussion of the Spanish Civil War. , this sub-forum appears in the World War II section because Spain was both a training ground for and preview of what was about to break loose in Europe.

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  #46  
Old 21 Sep 15, 00:11
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Without traditional talent....

My daughter can turn out 'cubism'...'surrealism'..and 'abstract', and she is five years old...

On the other hand, ask her to wuip up a portrait of daddy or mum, and it resembles me in color alone.

That is what i'm saying. Picasso is overrated...and so are the artistic 'movements' he supposedly founded.
Of course, naturally, the art world doesn'y listen to 'phillistines'. They are only the people that art is created for.

without a title, modern artworks are a mess, unrecognisable without 'intellectuals' to stand there and explain the 'meaning'.

When you look at rembrandts, "The Laughing cavilier", it's fairly simple. Displayed without a title or explaiantion, it's clearly discernable that this man depicted is both laughing, and a cavilier.

I can't put it any simpler than that. And I didn't need a useless art degree to explain it.

I say again, the spanish government need practical help, not sentiment and propaganda.

And they got a whole lot less of it than desired, disappearing into a fascist world. Where was the West they needed them....

Admiring artwork and excusing their absence, thats where.
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  #47  
Old 21 Sep 15, 04:03
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1. There was not "an" International Brigade. The EPR brigades defined as international in their name were 5, plus another one that wasn't named as such but was mostly made up of foreign volunteers; that does not count all the foreigners serving in other units. Naturally, the original IBs were diluted during the war by the addition of Spanish soldiers, so it's very hard to say how many foreigners served with the Republic. An estimate is around 32,000 having served solely with the officially foreign early units and later the IBs; that's not counting foreigners serving in Spanish units. That's a bit more than one brigade.

2. The International Brigades surely included well-meaning "intellectuals", but not only those. Lots of the volunteers were working-class guys, workers, craftsmen, etc.

3. The contribution of artists and intellectuals was, of course, not limited to abstract art. Orwell's Homage to Catalonia, Capa's photos, Browne's drawings are totally realistic. So are the works of lesser artists. That doesn't even take into account the thousands of very realistic posters, both for use in Spain and abroad, made by less well known or totaly anonymous artists.
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  #48  
Old 21 Sep 15, 06:27
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thankyou Michele...

My understanding of the war in spain is limited. Coming here and listening to the more learned members of this forum is a fine way of fixing that.

Thats honesty you won't find from many people.

My comments regarding 'fine art' as opposed to the written form, remain unchanged.

I do know one thing about Spain and their civil war. It was a crime on the sensibilites and bodies of the long suffering Spanish people.

I have mor of a military bent to history, and the military history of the SCW is dominated by the same people that sold the peasantry down the river, forcing a government sstem they neither wanted, desired, or could afford to get away from.
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  #49  
Old 21 Sep 15, 06:36
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also, looking at the pure figure of 32,000 people from overseas serving to fight fascism, makes me very angry.

The Italians alone put more troops, tons of equipment as well. In fact, they handicapped the equipping of their own military when the time came for them to face the West. Lots of Italian money was spent in spain as well.

It must have cut them to the quick when Francisco franco refused to get involved in the wider war.

With a million dead alone for spain of all political and social persuasions, I'd say Franco was looking after his own country, and rightly so.

Italian participation made their Army a toothless tiger. The Regia marina and the regia areonautica served with much distinction. and all those two services got for their troubles was 'The Blame' for the failure of the German military to take the Med seriously.

No honour among theives.

Christopher
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  #50  
Old 21 Sep 15, 12:13
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The meaning of those labels is quite concise, accurate, and reproducible. Abstract art uses a visual language of shape, form, color and line to create a composition which may exist with a degree of independence from visual references in the world. Titles for abstract art, which tells no story and reproduces no natural object is meaningless, so that titles like "Nocturne In Black and Gold" and "Composition No. 14" are useful to distinguish the works.
Surrealism was a 20th-century avant-garde movement in art and literature that sought to release the creative potential of the unconscious mind, for example by the irrational juxtaposition of images. Cubism was a style of painting and sculpture developed in the early 20th century, characterized chiefly by an emphasis on formal structure, the reduction of natural forms to their geometrical equivalents, and the organization of the planes of a represented object independently of representational requirements.

No one with any sense of aesthetics would confuse Picasso's "Woman With a Guitar" with his ""Old Guitarist". One is cubist, the other entirely representational, i.e., it shows the artist's representation of an old guitarist. Dorothy Sayers was alluding to this when she wrote."There is no confusing someone who cannot draw with someone who can but won't."
No one of any taste would confuse Whistler's "Nocturne in Black and Gold – The Falling Rocket" (Of which Ruskin accused Whistler of "flinging a pot of paint in the public's face." ) with his "Nocturne In Blue and Silver - Chelsea". You may side with Ruskin, but know that was said in 1875. Hardly "Modern."

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  #51  
Old 22 Sep 15, 09:31
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Thankyou for your undoubted knowlge of this subject matter.

i remain as labelled...a philistine.

But your efforts to convert my artistic rusticity are also very reminicient of the attitude toward the peasantry in Spain by the Spanish clergy. They wished to appeal only to the landed gentry, whose money they greatly coveted for tuition fees and lodgings.

My artworld friends have long ago washed their hands of my attitude, so I remain, putting my daughter's paintings in the cupboard, and we have one of them that appealed on the wall...untitled...as all great art should be.
The people should decide what the painting is representative of. And the only way to do this is to present it to them untainted by intellectualisms. Art will always be art for it's own sake.

BTW..like your avatar.

Wasn't she the German student executed in 1943 for distributing leaflets in her university?.I forget her name...(kick me for that....ouch!!), she was a brave girl, a mouse fighting a gorilla.

If it's the same individual, her portrait should be up there, replacing many a General officer and politician. Truly an inspiring young woman. Thanks for putting it there for us to be reminded.
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  #52  
Old 22 Sep 15, 15:49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drusus Nero View Post
Thankyou for your undoubted knowlge of this subject matter.

i remain as labelled...a philistine.

But your efforts to convert my artistic rusticity are also very reminicient of the attitude toward the peasantry in Spain by the Spanish clergy. They wished to appeal only to the landed gentry, whose money they greatly coveted for tuition fees and lodgings.

My artworld friends have long ago washed their hands of my attitude, so I remain, putting my daughter's paintings in the cupboard, and we have one of them that appealed on the wall...untitled...as all great art should be.
The people should decide what the painting is representative of. And the only way to do this is to present it to them untainted by intellectualisms. Art will always be art for it's own sake.

BTW..like your avatar.

Wasn't she the German student executed in 1943 for distributing leaflets in her university?.I forget her name...(kick me for that....ouch!!), she was a brave girl, a mouse fighting a gorilla.

If it's the same individual, her portrait should be up there, replacing many a General officer and politician. Truly an inspiring young woman. Thanks for putting it there for us to be reminded.
Yes, that is Sophie Scholl, bless her brave heart. She was a German student and Christian anti-Nazi political activist, active within the White Rose non-violent resistance group. The Nazis guillotined her, face up so she could see it coming, the sadistic brds.

As for the other, de gustibus non est disputandum .

Susie
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  #53  
Old 22 Sep 15, 20:14
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I accidently stumbled on your personal conversations in PM...sorry about that.

Someone, remaining nameless, pointed out..."But to not know the differnce between 'cubism' 'surrealism' et al etc etc.....Sheesh!

Does this guy REALLY think that the people of Spain cared a toss about these 'differneces'?

when will the art world wake up? Who cares? The common man, (thats me) spends time not pontificating over such nuance, but LIVING their lives.

And a lot of them were cut short, for ideas they had no interest in proving....whilst Intellectuals gossiped. The photos tell the story of Spain...not the artwork.

I did not purposely look at your file..

But I did understand the sentiments of the man posting. And they mean nothing.

Just like modern 'art', unless it is explained to you.

As i said, put any artwork on show, UNTITLED, and see for yourself if the 'smelly majority' that come in to view it, can determine what it means without some wine sipping man or woman telling them.
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  #54  
Old 22 Sep 15, 20:44
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I depart from this thread. The art world gives three cheers!, (for my departure, not for me) (sip sip...hurrah!..)

They, the art world and Picasso, obviously had no impact on the course of the SCW. Franco won.

They , the people, are only just getting over it.

Thankyou for your undoubted expertise Desiree. I am unworthy of your knowledge. Be all that you can be, and every success to you!

May the rest of you all conduct yourselves in the best of company
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Old 22 Sep 15, 21:14
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FOr all. I greatly enjoyed reading the exchanges here, particularly when it deteriorated - or ascended - into the artistic realm. All my readings on the Spanish Civil War were done back in the 70s, when I had access to several veterans of both sides, and my sympathies were clearly with the Republic. In 1985 I went to Spain in preparation for a military exercise, driving down from Heidelberg to Madrid, with a stop or two to see Civil War sites. I did not have time for the Valley of the Fallen. Watching Spain evolve after Franco made me wonder if the Nationalist victory hadn't been a blessing in disguise. I asked myself how Spain would have developed into a democracy without it, and I am not sure they would have.

Both my son (bilingual) and my grandson (English primary) speak Spanish and I hope to take them on a trip to Spain sometime before I get too old.

Thanks for all the enlightening and provocative comments. A lo que vinimos!
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  #56  
Old 23 Sep 15, 03:20
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Originally Posted by Drusus Nero View Post
They, the art world and Picasso, obviously had no impact on the course of the SCW. Franco won.
By this sort of reasoning, the fall of France in 1940 or the bombing of Pearl had obviously no impact on WWII, since Germany and Japan lost.

In whatever contest, by this reasoning, whatever the loser does has no impact.

In other words, you are equating "having impact" with "being successful". Not everyone would agree.
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Old 23 Sep 15, 06:07
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Just because I have withdrawn from this debate, (one can only say the same thing so many times), that does not mean I have ceased watching this thread.

For the record...QUANTIFY the effect "Guernica" had...in REAL terms. And if the effect was only intellectuals and journalists, then it failed miserbly. Picasso could not even have the courage to stay in the country and face the same privations his Basque people were going through.

You can't.

failure is it's own demonstration.
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Old 23 Sep 15, 06:11
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Just because I have withdrawn from this debate, (one can only say the same thing so many times), that does not mean I have ceased watching this thread.

For the record...QUANTIFY the effect "Guernica" had...in REAL terms. And if the effect was only intellectuals and journalists, then it failed miserbly. Picasso could not even have the courage to stay in the country and face the same privations his Basque people were going through.

Effect would equaate to change of the course of the war. It didn't.



failure is it's own demonstration.
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Old 23 Sep 15, 06:36
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Drusus Nero - I am not a great fan of absract or cubist art, but even before I knew of the historic story of the raid, and even before I was aware of a place called Guernica, I could see that the painting was about some sort of great dysfunction and/or atrocity.

I do recognise it [within its style] as being a great and symbolic work of art.
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Old 23 Sep 15, 10:34
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Drusus Nero - I am not a great fan of absract or cubist art, but even before I knew of the historic story of the raid, and even before I was aware of a place called Guernica, I could see that the painting was about some sort of great dysfunction and/or atrocity.

I do recognise it [within its style] as being a great and symbolic work of art.
Heh, Bravo!

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