This drawing relates to the small, intense paintings that Miró 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.