Tête de Paysan Catalan [Head of a Catalan Peasant] (1925)
About this artwork
This is the third of four ‘portraits’ Miró made of a Catalan peasant, reduced to the most basic form of eyes, wavy beard and distinctive red cap. The painting can also be read as a self-portrait, with the artist asserting his Catalonian identity. It was painted at a time when Miró was moving away from a Cubist treatment of space. In this painting, forms float freely in the picture space, liberating the figure. Many of the artist’s works of this period were influenced by hallucinations and dream imagery but most were preceded by preparatory sketches. The painting was formerly in the collection of the Surrealist patron Roland Penrose and is now jointly owned with Tate, London.
- title: Tête de Paysan Catalan [Head of a Catalan Peasant]
- accession number: GMA 4252
- artist: Joan MiroSpanish (1893 - 1983)
- gallery: On Loan
- object type: Painting
- subject: Dreams, illusions and memory Surrealism
- medium: Oil on canvas
- date created: 1925
- measurements: 92.40 x 73.00 cm (framed: 118.80 x 99.80 x 9.00 cm)
- credit line: Purchased jointly with Tate, with the assistance of the Art Fund 1999
- copyright: © Succession Miro/ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2016.
- photographer: Antonia Reeve
Miró was born in Barcelona and moved to Paris in 1920. His early work combined miniaturist detail with a cubist fragmentation of space. In Paris he abandoned this style and began to paint an imaginary world full of strange, insect-like figures and forms, which seemed to float in space. This fantastic sign language, which was partly inspired by images from the artist's unconscious mind, soon became a hallmark of Surrealist art. Although he spent time away from Spain, Miró remained interested in Catalonian folklore throughout his career.