Lot 42
  • 42

Joan Miró

200,000 - 300,000 GBP
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  • Joan Miró
  • Femme devant le soleil
  • signed Miró and dated 1944 on the reverse
  • oil on canvas
  • 35 by 27cm.
  • 13 3/4 by 10 5/8 in.


Galerie Maeght, Paris

Galerie du Lion d'Or, France

Acquired from the above by the grandmother of the present owner in the 1950s


Paris, Galerie Maeght, Joan Miró: œuvres récentes, peintures et céramiques, 1948, no. 77 (catalogue published in Derrière le miroir, nos. 14-15, November-December 1948)


Jacques Dupin, Joan Miró: Life and Work, London, 1962, no. 575, illustrated p. 544

Jacques Dupin & Ariane Lelong-Mainaud, Joan Miró, Catalogue raisonné. Paintings, Paris, 2001, vol. III, no. 659, illustrated p. 21

Catalogue Note

Painted in 1944, Miró’s Femme devant le soleil exemplifies the artist’s return to oil painting following a four-year period of intensive exploration of other media, which began with his celebrated Constellation series of 1940-41. Miró continued to work on a small scale, partly due to the limited materials available during the war, and developed the Woman-Bird-Star series which was born from the multiplicity of signs and themes present in the Constellations. The period spent in Spain between 1940 and 1945 was crucial in articulating Miró’s definitive style; most of the signs and elements he devised during this time continued to populate his paintings and drawings throughout his career.

Unlike Dalí and Magritte, who never abandoned figurative painting, the Surrealist ideology encouraged Miró to eliminate representation from his canvases. Coinciding with his own pictorial experiments, it encouraged him to abandon pictorial realism in favour of the imaginary. A technique of primary importance in the present composition is Miró’s expressive use of line. He uses whimsical and ambiguous forms that first appear abstract, only to gradually take form. The central figure of a woman is executed in a freely meandering line, her hollow, translucent shape set against a monochrome white background. In its powerful simplicity, Femme devant le soleil reveals a mastery of the void, exploring a very new sense of space. Verging between figuration and abstraction, Miró’s forms originate from the world of dreams and the unconscious, their other-worldly character emphasised by the void of the background.