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Bonheur d'aimer ma brune
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Bonheur d'aimer ma brune
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About the item

Bonheur d’aimer ma brune dates from the high-point of Miró's involvement with the Surrealist movement in 1925.   This was the moment when Miró abandoned realistic depictions of the natural world for the wildly abstracted, Freudian images of sex and love that would propel him to the forefront of the avant-garde. "I have managed to escape into the absolute of nature and my landscapes have nothing in common any more with outside reality," Miró wrote a few months before painting the present composition.  "I always work indoors and use nature only as a reference... I know that I am travelling a perilous route, and I confess that I am often seized with panic, the panic of following unexplored paths to an unknown destination' (J. Miró, quoted in J. Dupin, op. cit., 1962, pp. 139-140).   Miró's exploration into an aesthetic unknown resulted in some of the most celebrated compositions of the Surrealist movement, and  Bonheur d'aimer ma brune exemplifies the results of this brave and daring new venture.   It was in 1924, a year before the present work was painted, that the Surrealist movement was launched with the publication of André Breton's Surrealist Manifesto. Miró was among the artists who joined the group in the early days, and Breton commented: "Miró's stormy adherence in 1924 marks an important date in the development of Surrealist art. Miró, who at that time had put behind him an art less evolved in spirit, but which displays first-class plastic qualities, at one leap jumped over the last obstacles still barring the way to total spontaneity of expression. From that moment on his production testifies to an innocence and a freedom which have not been surpassed. It may be argued that his influence on Picasso, who joined Surrealism two years later, was largely determining" (A. Breton, quoted in J. Dupin, op. cit., 1962, p. 153).  The credo of the Surrealist painters was rooted in a belief “in the future resolution of the two states seemingly so contradictory, which are dream and reality, into a kind of absolute reality, a surreality” (André Breton, Manifestos of Surrealism, Ann Arbor, 1972).\n Bonheur d’aimer ma brune belongs to a series of paintings from 1925 known as “poem-paintings,” in which poetic allusions, graphic signs, and painterly expression were presented within a single composition.  His choice usage of imaginative titles, or in the case of the present work, colorful inscriptions, invested his pictures with a narrative that shaped the viewer's understanding.  With this tactic, Miró's ambigious forms took shape in the imagination of his audience.  In the present work, for example, the figures are understood to be a kissing couple, perhaps serenaded by the stringed instrument to their left.\n“The discovery of Surrealism coincided for me with a crisis in my own painting and the decisive turning that … caused me to abandon realism for the imaginary," Miró would later write.  "I spent a great deal of time with poets, because I thought you had to go beyond the plastic thing to reach poetry.  Surrealism freed the unconscious, exalted desire, endowed art with additional powers… I painted as if in a dream, with the most total freedom" (quoted in Joan Miró (exhibition catalogue), Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona, 1993, pp. 180 and 194).\nMiró's involvement in the world of poetry led to his friendship with the renowned poet and novelist Raymond Queneau (1903-1976), who was the first owner of the present work and briefly a member of the Surrealist group.  Miró and Queneau collaborated on several projects together over the years, each combining their talents as visual artist and wordsmith.  The present composition, which is among the more text-infused of Miró's paintings, remained in Queneau's collection until it was acquired by the present owner.\nSigned Miró and dated 1925 (lower right)
US
NY, US
US

medium

Oil on canvas

creator

Joan Miró

condition

Very good condition. The canvas is lined. Under UV light, there is evidence of tiny dot retouchings in the yellow element and and in the white element on the left. Other areas of florescence appear to be where the artist applied his medium with varying degrees of density and are therefore inherent to the artist's process. There are some light abrasions around the edges, but otherwise this work is in very good condition. In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.

dimensions

28 3/4 by 36 1/4 in.

exhibition

Paris, Musée National d’Art Moderne, Joan Miró, 1962, no. 31 Munich, Haus der Kunst, Elan vital oder das Auge des Eros, 1994, no. 453, illustrated in color in the catalogue Martigny, Fondation Pierre Gianadda, Miró, ‘ceci est la couleur de mes rêves,’ 1997, no. 11, illustrated in color in the catalogue Stockholm, Moderna Museet & Humlebaek, Louisiana Museum, Joan Miró, Creator of new worlds, 1998, nos. 13 & 10, illustrated in color in the catalogue Koblenz, Ludwig Museum, Deutschland-Frankreich, Dialoge der Kunst um XX Jahrundert, 1999, illustrated in color in the catalogue Vienna, Kunstforum, Miró, Spater Rebelle, 2001, illustrated in color in the catalogue Paris, Grand Palais & Barcelona, Paris-Barcelone, 2002, illustrated in color in the catalogue Dusseldorf, Kunstpalast, Joan Miró, 2002, illustrated in color in the catalogue Barcelona, MACBA, Arte y Utopia, la accion restringada, 2004-05, illustrated in color in the catalogue Barcelona, MACBA & Bilbao, Museo de Bellas Artes, Paris i els surrealistes, 2005, illustrated in color in the catalogue Copenhagen, Arken Museum of Modern Art, Miro : I work like a gardener, 2010, illutrated in color in the catalogue

literature

Jacques Lassaigne, Miró, Lausanne, 1963, illustrated in color p. 47 Jacques Dupin & Ariane Lelong-Mainaud, Joan Miró, Catalogue raisonné, Paintings, vol. 1, Paris, 1999, no. 128, illustrated in color p. 114 Constana Rubini & Frederic Bodet, The Little Book of Miró, Paris, 2004, illustrated in color pp. 12-13

provenance

Raymond Queneau, Neuilly-sur-Seine (acquired from the artist) Galerie Tarica, Paris Acquired from the above by the present owners

signedDate

Signed Miró and dated 1925 (lower right)

time_period

Painted in 1925.

creator_nationality_dates

1893 - 1983





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