Lot 5
  • 5

Joan Miró

500,000 - 700,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Joan Miró
  • Sans titre

  • signed Miró and dated 14.8.24. (lower right) 
  • pastel, pencil and watercolour on painted panel
  • 24 by 32.8cm.
  • 9 1/2 by 12 7/8 in.


Tristan Tzara, Paris (a gift from the artist)
Estate of the above (sold: Guy Loudmer, Paris, Importants tableaux modernes, Collection Tristan Tzara, 20th November 1988, lot 40)
Acquired directly from the above


Paris, Musée National d'Art Moderne, Joan Miró, 1962, no. 109 (titled Dessin)
Paris, Musée National d'Art Moderne, Joan Miró, 1917-1934. La Naissance du monde, 2004, no. 53, illustrated in colour in the catalogue 


Jacques Dupin, Joan Miró: Life and Work, London, 1962, illustrated p. 161
Jacques Dupin & Ariane Lelong-Mainaud, Joan Miró. Catalogue raisonné. Drawings, Paris, 2008, vol. I, no. 203, illustrated in colour p. 103

Catalogue Note

Executed in 1924, the present work belongs to what is considered the most groundbreaking period in Miró's art. Having abandoned realistic painting that had occupied him until that time, Miró turned to a radically new style. During the previous summer, he wrote to a close friend J.F. Rafols: 'I have managed to escape into the absolute of nature and my landscapes have nothing in common any more with outside reality. [...] I always work indoors and use nature only as a reference... I know that I am travelling a perilous route, and I confess that I am often seized with panic, the panic of following unexplored paths to an unknown destination' (J. Miró, quoted in J. Dupin, op. cit., 1962, pp. 139-140).


Indeed, the present work is a wonderfully poetic manifestation of this new path in Miró's art. Whilst it retains references to a landscape, with the dots across the composition indicating a field and with the sun above, it is populated by highly abstracted figures, many of which, such as the bird, would remain constant motifs throughout his career. During the summer of 1924 Miró executed a number of small-scale panels with imagery related to the countryside. However, the natural elements, such as trees, birds and insects, have metamorphosed into highly stylised, whimsical shapes, largely influenced by the artist's contact with the Dada movement. Miró gave the present work to the Dada leader, Tristan Tzara, who kept it until the end of his life.


It was in 1924, the year the present work was executed, that the Surrealist movement was launched with the publication of André Breton's Surrealist Manifesto. Miró was among the artists who joined the group in the early days, and Breton commented: 'Miró's stormy adherence in 1924 marks an important date in the development of Surrealist art. Miró, who at that time had put behind him an art less evolved in spirit, but which displays first-class plastic qualities, at one leap jumped over the last obstacles still barring the way to total spontaneity of expression. From that moment on his production testifies to an innocence and a freedom which have not been surpassed. It may be argued that his influence on Picasso, who joined Surrealism two years later, was largely determining' (A. Breton, quoted in ibid., p. 153).