Joan Miró
A Star Caresses the Breast of a Negress (Painting Poem) 1938

Artwork details

Joan Miró 1893–1983
A Star Caresses the Breast of a Negress (Painting Poem)
Une Étoile caresse le sein d'une négresse (peinture-poème)
Date 1938
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 1295 x 1943 mm
frame: 1365 x 2001 x 90 mm
Acquisition Purchased 1983

Display caption

Miró’s painting-poems combine painted and written elements. This work was built around the first line of an erotic poem, balancing words and signs. The two touching triangles represent a woman in Miró’s language of signs, and the bulbous outline with hairs relates to his usual sign for the female sex. The star appears only as a word, although the ladder alludes to the desire to reach for the stars. This exemplifies Miró’s ability to combine simple imagery with ancient symbolism and make contact with deeply held instincts.

October 2016

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