In 1925 Joan Miró embarked on what would be a two year long experiment into the world of ‘dream paintings’, the culmination of which can be seen in his Peinture of 1927. This small Miró painting is situated in the Roland Penrose room of the Edinburgh Dean Gallery, placed unassumingly to the left of a Giacometti sculpture Femme égorgée and above an Andre Breton assemblage Poème Objet. In line with the other two works which push at the traditional boundaries of their discipline, Miró’s Peinture quietly destroys the boundaries of conventional notions of painting. In the words of André Breton, Miró ‘crossed at one leap the final barriers restraining him from total spontaneity of action’.

However, although Miró stated that many of his works from 1925-7 were painted automatically, and indeed many of Miró’s paintings often started out as automatic drawings (with the hand being allowed to move randomly across the paper, or at least without a conscious form of self-censorship), the Fundació in Barcelona possesses an incredibly similar pencil sketch. Hence it would be extremely problematic to speak of this work as solely an outpouring of the much explored unconscious mind.

What Peinture does do, is represent a highly personalized language of pictorial forms and symbols – placed upon a loosely painted, many layered blue-grey background. Blue, universally being acknowledged as the colour of infinity (and a colour which Miró explicitly associated with dreams) is often seen as the background to what could be considered Miró’s ‘dreamscapes’.

Amelia Carruthers
Examining Miró’s Reality