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Untitled (Figures and Bird)
© Succession Miro/ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2015

Reference URL

Untitled (Figures and Bird) About 1934 - 1936

Not on display

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.

Glossary Open


A group of art works, by one or more artists, issued or housed together in a portfolio case. This often applies to photographs or prints, and portfolios often include a title page or introductory text. The term is also used to describe a group of works which exemplify an artist's work overall.


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.

Portfolio, Surrealism


  • Acc. No. GMA 3905
  • Medium Chalk and watercolour wash on paper
  • Size 29.90 x 23.80 cm
  • Credit Purchased with the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Art Fund 1995