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Drawing for the Imaginary Portrait of the Fornarina



By (artist) Joan Miró


Pencil and ink drawing on paper dated 1929, indicated as being the last of the series of the “Imaginary portraits”.

Drawing dedicated on the left center: "To Pierre, with deep friendship, Miró 29." Label handwritten by André Breton on the back: “Drawing for the portrait of La Fortarina (sic) – last “imaginary portrait” from Miró (after Raphael) - cf. Jacques Lassaigne: Miró p.61 - 62 June 1929 (To André Breton)”

“In the imaginary portraits, Miró takes up the problem again, and brings to it a seemingly definitive solution. The subject becomes less and less important. Miró even forgets the name of the pictures he uses as a pretext. In The Queen Louise of Prussia, the theme identifies eventually with a totally different idea, inspired by the reproduction of an advertisement for a diesel engine. Now these portraits are void of any distracting elements. Only the first one, Mrs Mills in 1750, is still adorned with a few graphic details. But the whole construction results of a game of colored masses treated in smooth or blurred canvas according to the different planes. The protoplasmic body of the Dame of 1820 incorporates her arms and seems to expand or shrink on demand. Of The Queen of Prussia, there remains just an arabesque returning on itself, a kind of bell spanning the vacuum located in a corner of the picture, a scene which seems to be cut out by a big black clothes rack. Finally, the Fornarina is the very last apparition. She surges from uncertainty, her shape being barely indistinct. In the far distance, way behind, the only thing that can be distinguished is a little black head atop a mass of flesh. In superimposition, a thin graphic design of a white fish looks like the projection of a light colored eye in the center of the mysterious aureole of the hairdo. This silhouette, similar to a mountain of clouds, made of nothing which can be retained, exists beyond the drawing, beyond the color and beyond the subject. It is an unforgettable presence.” Jacques Lassaigne (Miró, Geneva, Éditions d'Art Albert Skira, 1963, p. 61-62). [Auction catalogue, 2003]

Creation date1929
Physical description18 x 13,6 cm (7 x 5 3/8 in.) - Crayon et encre sur feuille de carnet
Size18,00 x 13,60 cm
Copyright© ADAGP, Paris, 2005.
Breton Auction, 2003Lot 4365
Keywords, ,
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