Spanish Civil War, Miguel García Vivancos, Naïve painters from Guatemala

During one search of his apartment, an officer saw a photograph of the painting Guernica. “Did you do that?” the German asked Picasso. “No,” he replied, “You did”.

Spanish Civil War was fought between Nationalists led by General Franco and Republicans from 1936 to 1939, the war ended with victory for Nationalists and General Franco ruled Spain for next 36 years. Leftists, liberals, artists from many parts of world supported Republicans, but Franco with help from Nazis finally won the war. One such supporter of Republicans was Spanish painter Pablo Picasso. His famous painting Guernica depicts bombing of Guernica by Nazis.


Miguel García Vivancos was one of the supporters of Trade Unions; he actively fought in Spanish Civil War, post war he went to France, there he was put in concentration camp for some time. He was later released and fought with French against Nazis.


During this period he discovered his talent for painting. Without formal training he started painting. Picasso noticed his talent and helped his arranging exhibitions for his paintings. His paintings become famous and today are in great demand.

viviancos viviancos vivianc

Guatemala was earlier centre of famous Mayan Civilization, later after decline of civilization; it became colony of Spain, later gained independence from Spain. Like Miguel, Guatemala too has produced naïve painters. But their paintings are not about Spain but depict themes of Mayan civilization ex. importance of corn and Mayan rituals and economy of Guatemala. Guatemala produces bananas, corn, coffee, cocoa etc.

mario coffee mario mario 2 cocoa

Some of the well-known naïve painters are Pedro Rafael González Chavajay and his cousin Mario Gonzalez Chavajay. Paula Nicho Cumez is self-taught woman artist. She is a Kaqchikel Maya Indian from San Juan Comalapa.

paula nicho

San Juan Comapala was also birth place of another famous Kaqchikel painter Andrés Curruchich.   Inspired by Curruchich (and some trained by him) San Juan Comapala today has nearly 500 painters who specialise in naïve painting.


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