Femme Assise Joan Miro Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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Femme Assise is 1933 painting by the Spanish artist Joan Miro. The title of the painting literally means 'sitting woman', however Miro's highly abstract style means that it is not immediately evident that this is the painting's subject matter.

It is interesting to note that 'Femme Assise' is also the title of a painting executed by Miro's fellow Spanish artist Pablo Picasso in 1919. This Cubist-expressionist work by Picasso is likely to have been one of the sources of inspiration for Miro's work in 1933 and both paintings are placed within a long tradition of female portraiture in art. Born in Barcelona, Miro did not just work with paint but with a variety of media - notably ceramics. His work is often described as abstract or surrealist because of (on the one hand) his almost geometric use of blocks of colour and isolated forms and (on the other) his eclectic juxtaposition of different images which owes not a little to his contemporary, Salvador Dali.

It is difficult to categorise Femme Assise as either an abstract or a Surrealist work. It definitely makes use of abstract shapes that seem to be taken in isolation - it is only when we know the painting's title that we attempt, perhaps, to assemble those forms into the overall form of a woman. Whether or not it is a Surrealist painting of a woman sitting depends on your viewpoint, perhaps. Many Surrealist painters, such as Dali painted hyper real, almost photographically accurate images, and then warped them or juxtaposed them in surprising ways to create something surreal. Arguably, Miro does not do this in Femme Assise, and so this may be more of an abstract work than a definitively Surrealist one.

All in all, Femme Assise is a work of art that is immediately recognisable by Miro. This is the technique for which he is probably currently most famous: the use of abstract shapes in bold blocks of colour, with black, precise lines drawn over the top of them.