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The Spanish Civil War marked a crucial political turning-point in the 1930s. General Franco’s rebellion against the elected left-wing government was seen as part of the wider threat posed by Fascism across Europe. Fougeron was among many Frenchmen who considered volunteering to fight in support of the Spanish government, but decided instead to devote his art to the cause. In Martyred Spain, the decaying body of a horse and a raped woman symbolise the innocent victims of a country devastated by conflict, while the dark colouring lends the scene an apocalyptic air.

August 2005