This drawing relates to the small, intense paintings that Miro made in 1935-6 on copper and masonite. He said about these in 1964: ?They mark the beginning of the cruel and difficult years that the world lived through?They swarm with oppositions, conflicts, contrasts. I call them my `savage paintings?. Thinking about death led me to create monsters that both attracted and repelled me.? `Figures and Bird? is one of a number of works on paper which were given by various surrealist artists and combined to form four surrealist portfolios. Each comprising fifteen original drawings, they were sold at the 1936 `International Surrealist Exhibition? in London, with the aim to help fund surrealist publications. This work is from the fourth album, which Roland Penrose purchased in 1936.