Galerie Kokaido, Tokyo (acquired in the 1980s)
Acquired from the above
(possibly) Paris, Galerie Cahiers d'Art, Joan Miró, 1934
Tokyo, Grande Gallery Odakyu, Retrospective Exhibition of Miro, 1984, no. 8, illustrated in color in the catalogue
Jacques Dupin, Joan Miró, Catalogue raisonné. Paintings, vol. II, Argenton-sur-Creuse, 2000, no. 409, illustrated p. 68
The precision, refinement and smoothness of the composition call to mind the panel paintings of the Dutch Old Masters, and it dates from the period immediately following his work on a group of paintings known as the Dutch Interiors. In fact, Maurice Raynal noted Miró's continued affinity for the Northern Renaissance in his review of the 1934 exhibition at the Galerie Cahiers d'Art, where this work was probably featured: "Miró was able to give his composition a life of their own, full of powerful intensity. His paintings' subjects are like so many purely plastic satires and could be related to Flemish diableries by Bruegel the Elder, or Bosch, or Callot, or to some Spanish thanksgiving plaques. But if, with the Old Masters, satire remained a psychological theme, it is with Miró purely a matter of graphics and colours" (M. Raynal, 'Les arts: Joan Miró,' L'Intransigeant, Paris, May 17, 1934, p. 6).
Given his personal affiliations at the time, we know that contemporary influences were also at play in Miró's art of the period. Around the time he painted this picture, Miró was hosting the American artist Alexander Calder in Montroig while he was exhibiting his Circus installation at venues throughout Spain. The floating elements in Miró's painting here may very well have been influenced by one of Calder's sculptures, as we know that Miró was most impressed by the sculptor's dexterity (fig. 2).
On the reverse of the panel Miró dates this picture 12-32, and it may very well have been featured in the one-man exhibition he was having that month at the Galerie Pierre Colle. In his review of the show, E. Tériade made the following flattering remarks about the small panel pictures on view: "[T]he small panels Miró shows us today are very well made with a sure hand and their colour, always novel with him, acquires a useful density, an intense expression. There is a sense that the artist returning, as could be expected, to painting find at its contact a new spark to translated the forms of his rich imagination." (E. Tériade, 'Joan Miró', Intransigeant, Paris, December 19, 1932, p. 7).
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