Tête de Paysan Catalan [Head of a Catalan Peasant]
© Succession Miro/ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2006

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Tête de Paysan Catalan [Head of a Catalan Peasant] 1925

On Display Modern Two

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.

Glossary Open

Cubism

A style of painting originated by Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso in the first two decades of the 20th century. Instead of painting a figure or object from a fixed position they represented it from multiple viewpoints.

Picture Space

The illusionary space created within a two dimensional work of art.

Surrealism

A literary and artistic movement founded by the poet André Breton in 1924. Many of the associated artists, such as Max Ernst and Jean Arp, had previously been involved with Dadaism. The movement sought to challenge conventions through the exploration of the subconscious mind, invoking the power of dreams and elements of chance. Cultural hierarchies were challenged by the combination of diverse elements in collages and sculptural assemblages. The movement is also notable for the collaborations between artists and writers evident in the Surrealists' many publications.

Cubism , Picture Space, Surrealism

Details

  • Acc. No. GMA 4252
  • Medium Oil on canvas
  • Size 92.40 x 73.00 cm
  • Credit Purchased jointly with Tate, with the assistance of the Art Fund 1999