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Joan Miro Dutch Interior 1 Analysis Essay

Joan Miro painted Dutch Interior I in 1928. This painting is very un-realistic even more so than his previous works of art. Dutch Interior shows the very basic form of a man playing a guitar. He is the main focus with a dog, cat, pictures on the wall, and a window that the man is leaned up against.

The man playing guitar is a very complicated figure. The body is a huge white blob with no definite separation to any body part. Starting from the top of the body, the head has a red circle at the top that represents the brain and holds the eyes and mouth. The eyes are two bird like figures that face each other while the mouth is another bird like figure that has white teeth coming from all directions. The ears are less recognizable: the right has the most ear-like shape while the left ear resembles an antenna. The left side has the same arm, although the hand is just a triangle. The white man figure has one leg that comes down his body but two feet that are sitting out from his body.

The dog and cat are white figures much like the man they are not realistic. All three figures are drawn similarly and I think Miro did that on purpose to show that these are the living figures in his painting. Both the dog and cat eyes are made up of the same bird like figures.

There is a figure on the right of the painting that is flying next to the man. This figure is red with wings, horns coming out of its head, with a monstrous face. Believing this is the devil can explain why Miro painted the living figures white, showing purity. This is another one of Miro’s paintings that represents religious icons directly through his work. The antenna like ear on the man could be Miro trying to figure out who and what to listen to in life. Deciding whether to stay pure or listen to the devil that is constantly by his side. The man does have hints of red on his body; the red circle on his head and a right hand that is playing the guitar.

The man is positioned with back against the window, which holds a very busy city outside. Having the back toward the window is an example of the world around Miro could be his representation of blocking out the world around him. Listening to only who is inside of him, whatever that may be. But it is obvious that whoever is playing the guitar is isolating himself from the world around him only to concentrate on the present, the guitar.



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The Dutch interiors are a series of three paintings painted by Joan Miró in 1928, each inspired by Dutch Golden Age paintings of Dutch interiors. Dutch Interior I is a reinterpretation of the Lute Player by Hendrik Martenszoon Sorgh, Dutch Interior II is a reinterpretation of the Children teaching a cat to dance by Jan Steen, and Dutch Interior III is a reinterpretation of the Young woman at her toilet, also by Steen. They belong to a Mirós' period called "assassination of painting". In the Spring of 1928, during a trip to Belgium and Holland, Miró was impressed by the Dutch masters of the 17th-century. After buying colorful postcards of some paintings he began his reinterpretations. The colors are the hues of the original paintings, but the intensity of the color is purely Miró. Thus, a green-gray gradient wall of Martensz Sorgh becomes a green apple in Miró.

Dutch Interior I[edit]

This painting presents a scene where the lute player stands in the centre. A woman besides him looks at the partiture, near a table. Under the table, a cat and a dog are playing. These domestic components contrast with the landscape of Amsterdam which is seen through a window.

It includes the same degree of detail shown in The Farm, with nowaday objects[1] as the basket of the house. The huge size of the main elements, as the lute, corresponds to its importance in the scene and not to its real size or the proportions of the original picture. This ability to break the model by distorting the images (mainly sizes and shapes of the objects) is a key characteristic of Miró's style.[2] It doesn't go never very far away from the Flemish model. As Miró reported "I had the postcard pinned up on my easel while I painted"[3]

The colours belong to the same hue as in the original painting but with a greater intensity. They are pure and flat colours, not mixed ones, with special attention to green, white and brown.

Dutch Interior II[edit]

In this painting there are some repeated elements, like the dog and the cat, who dance with a group of children. The subject is not a description or a realistic work, but the music and the sound. Two red eyes are watching the scene and they foresse the fantasy touch of the third one, so the three paintings can be seen as a progressive series. Blue and brown are the main colours of the interior, while the cat serves as the spinning force of the whole composition.

It shows the aim of Miró to perform what it was called antipainting, influenced by Dada and Marcel Duchamp. When he takes a famous painting and transforms it, he is recognizing his debt with the model while he destroys it.[4] At the same time Miró is questioning his own previous work.

Dutch Interior III[edit]

The third painting of the series differs from the other two because, despite of being inspired by a domestic scene of a Flemish model, it changes the subject: the main character is a woman who isn't taking a bath but giving birth to a goat. This woman is impaled by a nail to the floor and is framed by a black line, one of the typical colours of Miró.[5] The cruelty of the scene is softened by the stylization of the details,[6] although the red of the blood makes it harder, attracting the attention of the viewer.


  1. ^Rosa Maria Malet, Joan Miró , Barcelona, Edicions 62 , 1992 ( ISBN 84-297-3568-2 )
  2. ^Pesquero, Saturnino. Joan Miró: la intencionalidad oculta de su vida y obra. Erasmus Ediciones, 2009.
  3. ^Painting's Description at Moma
  4. ^Dupin, Jaques, Miró, Flammarion, 2004
  5. ^Díaz, Jesús et al., Miró, Tikal, 2010
  6. ^Dupin, Jacques, Miró, Flammarion, 2004
  • ( ca ) Melania Rebull Trudell, Joan Miró, Barcelona, Ediciones y Globus Polígrafa 1994 ( ISBN 84-88424-96-5 )