Horse, Pipe, and Red Flower

Joan Miró, Spanish, 1893 - 1983

Geography:
Made in Montroig, Tarragona, Spain, Europe

Date:
1920

Medium:
Oil on canvas

Dimensions:
32 1/2 x 29 1/2 inches (82.6 x 74.9 cm) Framed: 43 3/4 x 41 1/8 x 3 1/2 inches (111.1 x 104.5 x 8.9 cm)

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

Curatorial Department:
Modern Art

Object Location:

* Gallery 167, Modern and Contemporary Art, first floor

Accession Number:
1986-97-1

Credit Line:
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. C. Earle Miller, 1986

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Label:
Miró painted this work at his home in the Spanish village of Montroig shortly after his first visit to Paris. The complex configuration of forms adopts a Cubist collage technique inspired by the work of Pablo Picasso, whom he had met on this trip. The book on the table, Le Coq et l'arlequin (The Rooster and the Harlequin) by Jean Cocteau, featuring illustrations by Picasso, advertises this new friendship.

Additional information:
  • PublicationMasterpieces from the Philadelphia Museum of Art: Impressionism and Modern Art

    Horse, Pipe, and Red Flower belongs to a small number of still lifes that the Catalan artist Joan Miró painted while at home in the village of Montroig during the summer of 1920. That spring Miró had made his first trip to Paris, a four-month stay inspiring him with a confidence that bore fruit in his next paintings, the first true masterpieces of his long career. This joyful work captures a moment of profound transition for the twenty-seven-year-old artist. The exuberant color, clamorous patterning, and crowded composition are characteristic of his earlier paintings, while the toy horse and long clay pipe lend a Catalan flavor to the scene. But the complex configuration of the forms, the unconventional vantage point, and the background's resemblance to Cubist collage prove Miró's close attention to the avant-garde painting he had seen in Paris. He focused especially on Picasso, whom he had met during the spring of 1920. The book on the table advertises this association: it faithfully represents the small volume Le coq et l'arlequin by Jean Cocteau, illustrated with line drawings by Picasso. By audaciously incorporating Picasso's drawing in his own painting, Miró proudly announced his membership in the international avant-garde. Melissa Kerr, from Masterpieces from the Philadelphia Museum of Art: Impressionism and Modern Art (2007), p. 178.

Provenance

With Galeries Dalmau, Barcelona, from the artist, by October 1920; with Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York, by January 1939; exchanged for another Miró with Peter and C. Earle Miller (Mr. and Mrs. C. Earle Miller), Downington, PA, 1944 [1]; gift to PMA, 1986. 1. For the dates see the exhibition catalogs "Pierre Matisse and His Artists," Pierpont Morgan Library, 2002, no. 3, p. 32, and "Joan Miró", Museum of Modern Art, 1993, no. 18, p. 369-370.


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