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Joan Miro’s Self Portrait I Research Paper


Introduction

A self portrait encompasses an artist’s representation of himself. This paper’s major subject encompasses a 1917 self portrait by Joan Miro1. This portrait encompasses one of his earlier works that were produced before his first exhibition in 1918. The identification of themes is essential before the painting of a self portrait.

The painting’s major themes encompasses Miro as the painting’s painter and subject, political radicalism, positivity of western influence in the artistic styles of Catalan artists as well as the use of the varying artistic styles in the production of a personal artistic style2.

Though this self-portrait displays the art confusion facing Miro due to the influences of cubinism, dada arts style and fauvism, it can be described as a masterpiece that integrates the true feelings and emotions Miro had before his work was influenced by Surrealism.

To enhance the support of the identified thesis, such elements of analysis as line, shapes, forms, space, value, color and texture will be utilized together with such art principles as balance, contrast, movement, emphasis, proportion and unity.

Body

Analysis of Historical facts

The painting’s original setting is both in his grandmother’s native village of Majorca and Barcelona. After finishing his schooling in the private school of Art of Francisco Galy, he continued to stay in Barcelona, but he travelled to Majorca to acquire his painting inspiration. This original setting symbolizes the hostile period in which Miro initially became an artist.

This hostility culminated from the aged art world that not only locked itself in its original academies, but was also infuriated by the young artists whose art was aimed at climbing out of the old stifling academies of aged art3.

Though this original setting emphasized on the inheritance of “ism” from the 19th century that enhanced the liberation of painting from depicted recognizable subjects, Miro was being faced by the challenge of deciding what artistic style he would incorporate into his art work.

This is because by the time he had decided to start painting, the dada style had enhanced the meaning of art, cubinism hade assembled, enhanced and restructured subject matter and picture space in paintings, while the fauvists had started focusing on the use of nature to demonstrate paint, rather that using paint to demonstrate nature4.

For this reason, this painting incorporated the dada, cubinism and fauvism art styles, to bring out the major themes that occupied Miro’s mind during this period.

This clearly indicates that the painting’s original setting enhanced the recognition of Miro’s feeling and emotions before the changing of his artistic style to surrealism. As per the historical functions, Miro utilized it to ascertain his political radicalism and rejection of the classicalism supported by The Noucentists that ruled the art scene in Barcelona.

He felt that the Catalan artists should integrate western influences into their artistic style, as opposed to the selective judgment passed on by The Noucentists. Essentially, Miro utilized this painting to show that an artist can combine different artistic styles to form his own artist style He uses color symbolically like the fauvists and radically fragmented objects of cubinism in this portrait5.

The painting’s patronage lies on Van Gough, Picasso and the various fauvist artists. This is because most of his earlier art was influenced by dada artistic style that encompassed a continuation of the Van Gough’s artistic style. Essentially, he incorporated cubinism in his art, an artistic style that can be attributed to George Braque and Pablo Picasso. Inherently, he incorporates the color symbolism of fauvism.

Analysis of Work Content and subject matter

This portrait’s content encompasses Joan Miro as the subject and painter of the self portrait6. Though the painting encompasses a reflection of Miro’s self examination, its subject matter is political and artistic radicalism. The brown coat he wears in this painting symbolizes political and artistic radicalism.

Under political radicalism, he believed that all people in Spain should be accorded with a chance to make their own political choices void of the politician’s influence.

Under art radicalism, he believed that the Catalan artists as well as other artists in Barcelona should be accorded with the freedom of articulating other western artistic styles into the personal artistic styles. This would enable the young artists to formulate their own unique artistic styles that were unrepresented in the old art world.

Historical Context and Analysis of the Style

As per historical and artistic context, this self-portrait was painted using the artistic styles of cubinism, fauvism as well as that of Paul Cezanne. Under cubinism, radically fragmented objects were utilized, as opposed to the copying of texture, space, color and form.

In this case, it goes beyond the traditional techniques of chiaroscuro, foreshortening, modeling and perspective to incorporate picture place surface of a flat and two-dimensional nature7. As such, synthetic cubinism as utilized by Miro in the painting encompasses emphasizing on forms’ synthesis or combination, which enlarges and makes the flat fragmented two-dimensional images more decorative.

This is done by emphasizing on the strength of color. Fauvism encompasses the utilization of color to symbolize specific themes. Cezanne represented the impressionist artistic style. Under this style, thick paint implications, distinctive brush strokes, real-life-subject matter and vivid colors were utilized in art.

Formal Analysis

Having been a short man, he utilized vertical lines in the portrait to indicate height by extending his form upwards8. This was aimed at enhancing his height because after self-examination, he realized that his short stature could be regarded as a limiting factor.

The various lines utilized also aid in leading the audience’s eye from his predominant eyes to his coat and the other features of the portrait. In terms of shape, lines are utilized to form the circular form of his head. His body also reflects a two-dimension shape. In terms of form, his part of the body painted in the portrait reflects a two-dimension shape in terms of depth, length and width that cannot be viewed from all angles.

In terms of space, Miro’s figure encompasses the positive space while the green and yellow background reflects the negative space. The reduced negative space accords the audience with the chance to concentrate on the pronounced positive space.

In terms of value, the portraits background is light as compared to the central figure in the portrait; this contrast aids the audience to differentiate between the background and the Painting’s central figure. In terms of texture, the face is smooth, while the coat is hard and rough9.

Color is liberally utilized in the painting. The painting’s main focus includes the green and yellow color of the portraits background and suit coat’s brushwork which is done in an intense dark brown color to symbolize radicalism.

This portrait is balanced because the textures, form, shapes and colors have been harmoniously combined. Contrast is created through the positive and negative space as well as colors utilized in the portrait.

The varying lines, color and space are used to enhance movement between the background and the central figure in the portrait. In creating emphasis, Miro contrasts the color, texture and shape in the portrait. Proportion is essentially created by the harmonious combination of sizes. Unity is created through the harmonious combination of the principles of art in the portrait.

Conclusion

The 1917 self portrait by Joan Miro can be classified as a self portrait. Miro utilizes the portrait to bring out his nature as a subject as well as painter, his political and artistic radicalism and the utilization of various artistic styles in the production of a unique personal artistic style.

From an historical facts perspective, the portraits original setting is Barcelona and Majorca and its patronage lies on Pablo Picasso, Van Gough, Paul Cezanne and various Fauvism artists10.

In terms of work content and subject matter, the work content is reflected by Joan Miro, while the subject matter encompasses political and artistic radicalism. The historical context of the work encompasses Cubinism, impressionism and Fauvism.

In terms of formal analysis the work can be analyzed using the various elements and principles of art. In conclusion its contribution to the history of art encompasses an affirmation that various artistic styles can be combined to for a distinctive artistic style.

Works Cited

Hudson, Suzanne, and Nancy Noonan-Morrissey. The Art of Writing About Art. Australia: Thomson/Wadsworth, 2002. Print.

Mink, Janis. Joan Miró, 1893-1983. Los Angeles: Taschen GmbH, 2006. Print. Miro, Joan. Self Portrait. 1917. Olga’s Gallery, Coudersport.

Footnotes

1 Miro, Joan. Self Portrait. 1917. (Olga’s Gallery, Coudersport), 1.

2 Mink, Janis. Joan Miró, 1893-1983. (Los Angeles: Taschen GmbH, 2006), 7.

3 Mink, Janis. Joan Miró, 1893-1983. (Los Angeles: Taschen GmbH, 2006), 8.

4 Mink, Janis. Joan Miró, 1893-1983. (Los Angeles: Taschen GmbH, 2006), 9.

5 Mink, Janis. Joan Miró, 1893-1983. (Los Angeles: Taschen GmbH, 2006), 9.

6 Miro, Joan. Self Portrait. 1917. (Olga’s Gallery, Coudersport), 1.

7 Mink, Janis. Joan Miró, 1893-1983. (Los Angeles: Taschen GmbH, 2006), 10.

8 Hudson, Suzanne, and Nancy Noonan-Morrissey. The Art of Writing About Art. Australia: Thomson/Wadsworth, 2002. Print.

9 Hudson, Suzanne, and Nancy Noonan-Morrissey. The Art of Writing About Art. Australia: Thomson/Wadsworth, 2002. Print.

10 Mink, Janis. Joan Miró, 1893-1983. (Los Angeles: Taschen GmbH, 2006), 6.

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IvyPanda. (2019, June 4). Joan Miro's Self Portrait I. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/joan-miros-self-portrait-i/

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"Joan Miro's Self Portrait I." IvyPanda, 4 June 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/joan-miros-self-portrait-i/.

1. IvyPanda. "Joan Miro's Self Portrait I." June 4, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/joan-miros-self-portrait-i/.


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IvyPanda. "Joan Miro's Self Portrait I." June 4, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/joan-miros-self-portrait-i/.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "Joan Miro's Self Portrait I." June 4, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/joan-miros-self-portrait-i/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'Joan Miro's Self Portrait I'. 4 June.

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