Joan Miró Black and Red Series (Série noire et rouge) 1938

  • Not on view

Miró developed his Black and Red Series in the midst of the Spanish Civil War. He conceived the compositions as variants on a crowded scene in which three figures—sometimes interpreted as a mother, a daughter, and a father (a group that corresponds to Miró’s own family)—face a monstrous, long-nosed head that might symbolize General Francisco Franco, who would go on to rule as dictator for several decades. To create the prints, the artist worked with two etched copper plates, alternately inking them in red and black. He superimposed them in different combinations and positions that suggest varying degrees of tumult within an overall narrative of oppression and fear.

Gallery label from 2021
Series of eight etchings
plate (orientation varies, each approx.): 6 5/8 × 10 3/16" (16.9 × 25.8 cm); sheet (see child records): dimensions vary
Pierre Matisse, New York and Pierre Loeb, Paris
the artist at Louis Marcoussis's studio, Paris and Lacourière, Paris
Purchased with the Frances Keech Fund and funds given by Agnes Gund and Daniel Shapiro, Gilbert Kaplan, Jeanne C. Thayer, Reba and Dave Williams, Ann and Lee Fensterstock, Linda Barth Goldstein, Walter Bareiss, Mrs. Melville Wakeman Hall, Emily Rauh Pulitzer, and Mr. and Mrs. Herbert D. Schimmel
Object number
© 2024 Successió Miró / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris
Drawings and Prints

If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

MoMA licenses archival audio and select out of copyright film clips from our film collection. At this time, MoMA produced video cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. All requests to license archival audio or out of copyright film clips should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For access to motion picture film stills for research purposes, please contact the Film Study Center at [email protected]. For more information about film loans and our Circulating Film and Video Library, please visit

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].


This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].