Political Picasso goes on exhibition at Vienna museum

More than 200 political works by Pablo Picasso, created after the artist joined the French Communist Party in 1944, will go on exhibition in an Austrian museum from Wednesday.

In "Picasso: Peace and Freedom" at Vienna's Albertina museum, the Spanish-born painter and sculptor reflects on a politically turbulent time from 1944 until his death in 1973 - including Francisco Franco's dictatorship and the wars in Algeria, Vietnam and Korea.

"Picasso is very sensitive to imminent world crises, but he does not illustrate them, he transports them into a mythological past or the animal kingdom," Klaus Albrecht Schroeder, director of the Albertina, was quoted as saying by Austrian news agency APA.

"Cock of the Liberation" (1944) symbolises the end of German occupation in France, while "The Rape of the Sabine Women" (1962) reflects on the Cuban missile crisis.

Other works like his 1951 painting, "Massacre in Korea" are more overt in their political message.

A staunch pacifist, Picasso's key motif is the dove, which later became the universal symbol for peace.

Various artistic reproductions of the dove are also part of the exhibition, underlining the impact of his work on society.

The exhibition was organised with the Tate museum in Liverpool, England and runs until January 16.