Gamnot wrote:What about Picasso's most famous work: "Guernica" which is a terrible depiction of war. It was commissioned to describe the axis bombing of the city of Guernica. I have heard that art imitates life and Picasso's painting certainly does that. How could beauty figure into this picture? Possibly it is a measure of how well the art itself is an expression of life.
There is confusion here between content and form. There are many beautiful paintings depicting Christ on the cross or the martyrdom of Saint Sebastian, two subjects whose content is not in and of itself beautiful, but tragic. Beauty in a work of art is often found in the form, but not the content. That is the case with Guernica, which I used to see years ago at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The form and arrangement of the figures is powerful and moving—hence beautiful—even though the subject itself is a tragedy.