Lot 1
  • 1

Joan Miró

300,000 - 500,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Joan Miró
  • Maquette pour l'oiseau de la tour de la Fondation Maeght
  • Earthenware
  • Height: 14 in.
  • 35.5 cm


Michel Muraour, France (acquired from the artist)

Alain Muraour, France (acquired from the above)

Private Collection, France (acquired from the above)

Acquired from the above


José Pierre & José Corredor-Matheos, Céramiques de Miró et Artigas, Paris, 1974, no. 354, illustrated p. 177

Francesc Miralles, Llorens Artigas, Barcelona, 1992, no. 904, illustrated p. 336

Josep Llorens Artigas, Joan Miró, Ceramics, Catalogue raisonné, 1941-1981, Paris, 2007, no. 353, illustrated p. 295

Catalogue Note

Miró’s dynamic Maquette pour l'oiseau de la tour de la Fondation Maeght is a unique smaller version of Oiseau, a monumental sculpture in the grounds of the Fondation Maeght in Saint-Paul-de-Vence. Founded in 1964 by Miró’s dealer Aimé Maeght, Fondation Maeght was the first building created to receive contemporary art in France and currently houses several hundred works by the artist. Works in earthenware, or as Miró often called them, “terres de grand feu,” occupy a significant place within the artist’s oeuvre.  According to Jacques Dupin, “Even more so than in his painting, when Miró began doing ceramics, he went farther upstream, in a freer more striking manner, farther into the imminent unknown than is customarily expected in such an art form… He bypassed centuries of ornamentation and decoration slavishly associated with ceramics, freeing the inherent virtues harbored by the alliance of clay and fire. For this new working process, he recalled the cave paintings of Altamira and the forms of all primitive art, pre-Columbian and Asiatic, African or ancient Greek… The requirements of ceramics altered Miró’s line, simplified his colors, exaggerated his rhythms.  He dove into nature’s vast reserve, which surrounded him and the abandoned objects that he gathered.  We run into his familiar themes, but the bird and the woman, serpents and stars have changed worlds and have submitted to ceramic’s materiality as well as the rules of its game. The union of line and real space, of color and substance, recaptures the primitive resonance of his savage paintings.  Here, it is the flames of the kiln, after a slow alchemical process, that perform the integration of mind into matter” (J. Dupin quoted in Ceramics, catalogue raisonné, 1941-1981, Paris, 2007, p. 21-22).

The first owner of the present work was Michel Muraour (b. 1943), a renowned ceramist who collaborated with Miró on his earthenware projects in the 1960s. Miró met Muraour through his friend Josep Llorens i Artigas, the Catalan ceramist who had been his steady collaborator since the mid-1940s.