Joan Miro is a well-known surrealistic artist earning his international acclaim for a series of self-portraits written during varied periods of his mastership. The collection of the National Gallery of Art is furnished with his numerous works. One of them is Three Women. It was completed by Joan Miro in 1934 (the exact place of completion is not known). The artist accomplished it in pen, pastel, and ink on laid paper. The work has survived in excellent condition. The main peculiarity of this picture is Miro’s philosophic approach; the artist fills every piece of women’s faces and bodies, depicted in the portrait, with a lot of varied details including geometric figures and lines suggesting certain ideas about their personalities. In the following paper, this work of art will be analyzed in the context of its time and the art school it belongs to.
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First, speaking about the painting’s characteristics, it should be stated that it can be described as using content peculiar for artists of this period. The lines of the picture are sharp and straight with clear visibility of pencil contours; this suggests that the author of the picture has a sharp mind and outward personality. The picture features unexpected juxtapositions of colors and shapes. These juxtapositions feature unusual, and it can be even said, abnormal form combinations for portrait conception. The work of art under consideration represents the art school of surrealists with its philosophic overtones, ambiguous ideas and unconventional approach to the basic methods and conceptions of picture creation (Kramer, 1993).
Further, regarding the color use and color harmony in this work of art, it can be said that the painting uses a variety of obscure and glooming colors. This use of color harmony can be described as indicative of surrealists. The range of color which can be seen in this painting is rather unvaried and features gloomy and cheerless colors such as black, and pale tinctures of red and brown. Miro resorts to the use of irregular colors here. We see him depicting varied parts of women’s faces and bodies in brown, black, and pink which are abnormal colors for them.
The color harmony seen in the picture can be hardly addressed as combinative. Thus, the conclusion can be made that the author aims to lay some unconventional philosophic ideas about the personality of the picture’s protagonists upon the audience (Meisler, 1993). Probably, the author is deliberate in the choice of this color harmony as such colors represent the certain mood of the person including the ideas on the search of meaning in life, some level of dissatisfaction with the phenomena of the surrounding world, desire to find new ways of world perception and seeing one’s own personality, and the pursuit for some other sources of enlightenment including the connection with the nature and universe.
Next, the painting can be evaluated as having a row of uneasily noticed objects which is relevant for surrealists. In this painting, Miro seems to have an objective to impress the audience by the depth of his philosophic approach to his works of art. Thus, he applies unconventional strategies and depicts a row of objects which are inconsiderably noticed on women’s faces and bodies. These objects are different geometric figures and snippets. The subject matter of the picture is represented in an unconventional way for portrait accomplishment which is very common for surrealistic painters. Blurred lineaments can be seen throughout the whole picture giving it a special appeal to philosophic themes.
Finally, the picture composition is set around women’s figures shown as a part of a geometric figures’ scene which appears to be very diffused and blurred. The materials used for the picture are ink, pen, and pastel; it is accomplished on laid paper which is indicative for surrealistic artists of this period. Speaking about the connotation, that the author wanted to put into his work, it seems that it appears as a philosophic implication to the meaning of women’s being (Osmond, 1993). The picture consideration can be described as presenting a good impression on the use of volume and space; it appears to look larger than it is mainly on the reason of the color harmony and the organization of the joint parts.
In conclusion, Joan Miro‘s Three Women (1934) can be described as featuring poor complementary colors, low level of saturation and vibrancy make it not very appealing to the audience, but very thought provoking as a result. In this painting, Miro resorts to the use of unnatural hues and gloomy tones which adds to the general impression that the picture produces. Such obscure colors as brown, black, and pale tinctures of pink were often used by surrealists to affect their audience and create an impression of symbolic and philosophic overtones. This picture can be described as one of the vivid examples of such tendency by surrealists. The significance of this work of art can be acclaimed as very important for the understanding of Miro’s philosophic approach to his works; the picture also makes a great contribution to the development of surrealistic ways of thinking.
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Kramer, H. (1993). Reflections on Miro. New Criterion, 12(3), 4-12.
Meisler, S. (1993). For Joan Miro, poetry and painting were the same. Smithsonian, 24 (8), 62-64.
Osmond, S. (1993). Joan Miro: A new genesis. World & I, 8(11), 136-139.