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© Pablo Picasso / Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York, NY.

Pablo Picasso: Doves

In January 1949, Pablo Picasso with a gift: a snow white Milanese pigeon. Using the bird as his model, Picasso created his renowned lithograph, Dove (1949), which has since become an enduring international symbol of peace. A reproduction of Dove was used as the poster for the 1949 Paris Peace Congress, which Picasso himself attended. The day before the Congress opened on April 20th, Picasso even named his newborn daughter “Paloma,” the Spanish word for dove. Though Picasso was apolitical for most of his early adulthood, his perspective was fundamentally changed after the 1937 aerial attack on the village of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War. Marking a shift, Picasso created his agonizing masterwork of the same year, Guernica, and continued his career wrestling with the tragedy of war and ideals of world peace.

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