The Lovers
Les Amoureux

Joan Miró, Spanish, 1893 - 1983

Made in Spain, Europe


Pastel and graphite on sandpaper

Sheet: 42 x 28 inches (106.7 x 71.1 cm)

© Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

Curatorial Department:
Prints, Drawings, and Photographs

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
The Louise and Walter Arensberg Collection, 1950

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The Catalan visionary/Surrealist painter and graphic artist Joan Miró encountered in Paris in the early 1920s the ideas of the Dada and Surrealist poets concerning psychic automatism and the suspension of reason in the creative process in favor of an unstructured, fragmented, or emotional reality. Concerning the spontaneity he sought in conceiving his compositions of the 1920s and 1930s, the artist stated, "It is difficult for me to speak of my painting, for it is always born in a state of hallucination provoked by some shock or other, objective or subjective, for which I am entirely irresponsible" (James Thrall Soby, Joan Miró, New York, 1959, p. 7). The years around 1923 to 1925 had seen Miró's paintings evolve from a grounding in more or less straightforward quasi-realism to the fantasy abstraction that characterizes his mature style.


With Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York; with Stendahl Galleries, Los Angeles [1]; sold to Louise and Walter C. Arensberg, Los Angeles. 1. A letter from Pierre Matisse to Walter Arensberg dated 25 September 1951 notes that Stendahl acquired "The Lovers" from Pierre Matisse Gallery (PMA Arensberg Archives). Matisse had an exclusive North American contract with Miró as of 1934. See also the Arensberg CA Use Tax provenance notes dated December 1, 1951 (PMA Arensberg Archives), recording that they purchased the work from Stendahl (no date).