Joan Miró (1893-1983)
    Untitled, 1934
    Pastel and India ink on paper laid down on Japan paper
    12-1/4 x 18-1/2 inches (31 x 47 cm) (sheet)

    The artist;
    Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York, acquired from the above, circa 1934 (inventory book: Pierre Matisse Gallery Archives: 51.ST 225, Box 171, Folder 34), with the title in English: Drawing on Rose Paper Three Figures;
    A. Everett Austin, Jr., Hartford, Connecticut, possibly gifted from the above, 1935;
    St. Armands Gallery, Sarasota, Florida;
    Private collection, Canada, acquired circa 1960;
    Private collection, acquired circa 2007.

    Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, Connecticut, "Paintings in Hartford Collections," 1936, no. 295 (catalogued as Three Figures on Rose);
    Mirada Maestras, Galería René Metras, April 25-July 7, 2008 (in the brochure as Trois Personnages).

    Eugene R. Gaddis, Magician of the Modern: Chick Austin and the Transformation of the Arts in America, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2000, p. 297;
    Jacques Dupin & Ariane Lelong-Mainaud, Joan Miro, Catalogue raisonné. Drawings, 1901-1937, vol. 1, Paris, 2008, no. 417, p. 203, illustrated.

    This lot is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity by ADOM, signed by Jaques Dupin, Paris, dated May 2, 2007.

    A. Everett ('Chick') Austin was director of the Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, Connecticut from 1927 until 1942. Harvard University educated, he was one of the most innovative and imaginative museum directors in twentieth-century America and among the very first to embrace modern art. His groundbreaking Newer Super-Realism (held at the Wadsworth Antheneum, 1931) was the first American museum exhibition to present Surrealism to a general public. During the 1930s, Austin acquired numerous important Surrealist works for the museum by Picasso, de Chirico, Dalí, Tanguy and Miró. In 1934, he organized a ground-breaking Picasso exhibition for the museum, the first American museum exhibition of Picasso's painting.

    Amongst the most important works in the collection by Joan Miró was the large-scale canvas Composition (1933), bought from the Pierre Matisse Gallery in 1934, a work which Austin was so proud of that he displayed it in his office at the museum following the acquisition. Pierre Matisse, son of Henri Matisse, was Miró's representative in New York. In 1936, Austin organized another ambitious exhibition, Paintings in Hartford Collections, which combined the museum's substantial holdings of European, Modern and Surrealist art with those of private Hartford collections, including his own, from which he generously lent ten pieces. As Eugene Gaddis (archivist at Wadsworth Atheneum and biographer of Austin) notes, "The European pictures in Hartford Collections show included a fifteenth-century portrait by Hans Memling and a drawing by Albrecht Dürer as well as oils by Magnasco, Bronzino, Constable, Gainsborough, Turner, Degas, Renoir, Toulouse-Lautrec, de Chirico, Dalí, Miró, Berman, Tchelitchew, and Picasso. Setting an example, Chick and Helen [Austin] had lent ten works: drawings by Jan Breughel the Elder, Renoir, Miró, and Charles Despiau... The show demonstrated that there were, after all, paintings of surprising quality in private hands in the region." Trois Personages, or Three Figures, is listed in the inventory of the Pierre Matisse Gallery (with the English description "Drawing on Rose Paper Three Figures") as having been acquired by Austin in January 1935 as a "gift." Perhaps Pierre Matisse wanted to thank Austin personally for the other acquisitions on the behalf of the Wadsworth Atheneum. The catalogue for the 1936 Paintings in Hartford Collections listed Miró's Three Figures on Rose (1934) as one of the loans from Austin and his wife's private collection.

    Estimate: $40,000 - $60,000.

    Condition Report*:

    The work is laminated on the back with a low weight Japan paper. The margins are yellowed by a previous frame. In the lateral margins are present losses consolidated with the lamination, and grafted with Japan paper. Good state of general conservation. Framed Dimensions 18.75 X 22.75 Inches

    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

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    Auction Dates
    May, 2017
    22nd Monday
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