The first chocolate replica of ‘Guernica’, Pablo Picasso’s iconic painting, has been used during the Salon du Chocolat in Paris to draw attention to the importance of the Basque Country’s sweet gastronomy. For the work of art, 40 Basque pastry chefs and confectioners needed 500 kilos of chocolate.
Being here is an important achievement,’ says Lorena Gómez, president of the Basque Federation of Crafty Sweet Gastronomy-Euskal Gozogileak, who is in charge of designing this work that will take part in the 26th edition of the Salon du Chocolat, the most important annual chocolate event in the world.
Picasso´s depicts the devastation caused by the Nazi bombing of the town of Guernica (Biscay). The replica, however, was made with white, dark and milk chocolate. Furthermore, it has the same dimensions as the original canvas (7.77 metres long by 3.49 metres wide). The Guernica on canvas is exhibited at the Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid.
The difficulties during the making
‘The details were made as a whole,’ explained ‘painter’ Ismael Sayalero about the process. He acknowledged that he was satisfied with the result. However, the difficulty lay in working on a panel-by-panel basis, incorporating the colours and textures.
For Iñigo Saraboe, another ‘painter’ of this painting, the biggest challenge was to ensure that the fourteen panels that make up the work fit together well and that the whole did not give the viewer the impression that it was divided into fourteen parts.
Music and chocolate
The opening ceremony was graced by a choreography called ‘Samina eta Bakea’ (Pain and Peace) performed by the dancer Maialen Urdapilleta with part of the piece ‘Gernika’ by Mikel Laboa as a musical background.
Moreover, this performance was accompanied by a fashion show, which featured chocolate dresses. These included three dresses made by Basque pastry chefs. Furthermore, the dresses had motifs inspired by the figures in the painting, such as the lantern and the horse.
Guernica on tour
The chocolate replica of ‘Guernica’ was inaugurated in Guernica in April to mark the 84th anniversary of the bombing. It will travel to other cities in the Basque country in the near future