His most famous painting (Carnival of Harlequin) – Joan Miró

His most famous painting (Carnival of Harlequin) – Joan Miró

The acclaimed painting “The Carnival of Harlequin (Spanish: Le Carnaval d’Arlequin)”, interpreted as an elucidation of the human subconscious, is a masterpiece of the famous Spanish artist, sculptor and ceramist Joan Miró (1893-1983). Modest and reclusive by nature, Joan was the son of a wealthy goldsmith. Created in 1924-25, Harlequin’s Carnival measures 66cm x 93cm. Conceived in France, this oil on canvas painting well represents ‘surrealism’, the artist’s preferred style. Being gloriously unconventional, Harlequin’s Carnival has always attracted criticism from art experts for falling short of the usual eloquence of artistry.

The carnival depicted in Harlequin’s Carnival is a merry festival, a period of revelry that ends before Ash Wednesday in the Christian calendar. The end of Carnival marks the beginning of the season of LENT, commemorating the passion of Christ through individual sacrifices over the next forty days. During the carnival, people celebrate by dressing up in funny characters and objects called floats and moving around, entertaining others and creating a pleasant, festive atmosphere. Joan Miró depicts many enthusiastic and colorful characters in “Harlequin’s Carnival” as an unprecedented collection, most of the images and forms are probably created with a cheerful mood.

The central character of the painting, Harlequin, is a person who wears a mask or disguise for entertainment. The painting reveals the hidden expression of a person imagining himself in a fun and joy-filled environment. Some of the other prominent characters of “Harlequin’s Carnival” are two cats who share the same piece of play wool and an inquisitive sun peering through the window. There are similar-looking musical notes that flow to a violin. A tall man with a yellow mask is shown in the center, and next to him is a man disguised as a guitar. This man’s legs are quite visible as he stands next to the die where a scurrying insect is seated. To the left of the picture is a ladder, and above are two human figures swaying in the light breeze, enjoying themselves in an imaginary trapezoid shape. It shows a man with two colors, red and blue, a face with a long mustache and you can see a fish on the table. Several other unidentified images are in “Harlequin’s Carnival” as part of the festive mood.

All in all, Joan’s painting definitely evokes a carnival fervor in the viewer’s mind. “Harlequin’s Carnival” is defined as “a random selection of images in an illogical arrangement.” The painting currently graces the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo.

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