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

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Artwork details

Artist
Joan Miró 1893–1983
Title
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
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Purchased 1983
Reference
T03690

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.

December 2005

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