Lot 25
  • 25

Joan Miró

500,000 - 700,000 GBP
713,250 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Joan Miró

  • signed Miró (lower left); signed Miró, titled (twice), dated 28/3/63 (twice) and dedicated on the reverse
  • oil on cardboard


Galerie Maeght, Paris
Private Collection, France (acquired from the above)
Thence by descent to the present owner


Jacques Dupin & Ariane Lelong-Mainaud, Joan Miró. Catalogue Raisonné, Paintings, Paris, 2002, vol. IV, no. 1045, illustrated p. 43

Catalogue Note

By the time he executed Femme et oiseaux devant le soleil, Miró had developed a distinctive iconography, and the present work exemplifies the expressive power of his imagery, bordering between representation and abstraction. For Miró, women, birds, stars, the moon, the sun, night and dusk formed a poetic language. He first introduced the motif of a woman with a bird, in a realistic manner, in his paintings of 1917, but it was only after his celebrated Constellations series of 1941, in which women, birds and stars feature prominently, that this theme became the primary subject of his art. Commenting on this subject matter, the artist himself pronounced: 'It might be a dog, a woman, or whatever. I don't really care. Of course, while I am painting, I see a woman or a bird in my mind, indeed, very tangibly a woman or a bird. Afterward, it's up to you' (J. Miró & Georges Raillard, Ceci est la couleur de mes rêves, Paris, 1977, p. 128).


Whilst taking recognisable objects as his starting point, in the present work Miró builds his composition using a pictorial lexicon of signs and symbols, in a style that characterised his post-war production. After his trip to New York in 1947, Miró became acquainted with the art of the Abstract Expressionists and was fascinated by their new techniques and their aesthetic agenda. As the artist later recalled, the experience of seeing canvases of the Abstract Expressionists was like 'a blow to the solar plexus.' Several young painters, including Jackson Pollock, were crediting Miró as their inspiration for their wild, paint-splattered canvases. In the years that followed he created works that responded to the enthusiasm of this younger generation of American painters and the spontaneity of their art. It was also under their influence that he started working on a large scale, such as in the present work. His compositions from this period are a fascinating response to these new artistic trends, while at the same time showing Miró's allegiance to his own artistic pursuits. 'For me a form is never something abstract,' he once said, 'it is always a sign of something. It is always a man, a bird, or something else. For me painting is never form for form's sake' (M. Rowell, Joan Miró, Selected Writings and Interviews, Boston, 1986, p. 207).