Joan Miró – Souvenir du Parc de Montsouris, 1937
Gouache and Indian ink on paper
50.2 x 65 cm
"Souvenir du parc du Montsouris" from 1937 was created during a difficult time for Joan Miró. One year earlier, after the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, he had to leave Catalonia and flee to Paris. This drastic experience had a significant influence on his artistic work, yet this work on paper seems to be more reminiscent of the playful and dreamy aspects of a carefree past. A small stick figure floats with a canoe on dark water in an enchanted environment that resembles a jungle. The artist has placed his signature near the oval head, which makes it clear that he identifies himself with this person. The sickle moon indicates that the scene takes place at night. Large, meandering aquatic animals appear in front of the figure and seem to swim away to the left.
Like many of Miró's drawings, the composition is captivating due to the contrast between the softly coloured areas and the clear black lines. The intuitive placement of the few pictorial elements forms the scenery as if in passing and yet creates the illusion of a landscape with a dense forest,, rippling waters and fantastic creatures. From 1935 Miró began to entitle his drawings. "Souvenir du parc du Montsouris" refers to the Montsouris park in the south of Paris. However, Miró shows us only a memory of this park, which, due to the surrealistic elements, seems like a dream of the artist.