Still Life with Old Shoe, 1937
Natura morta del sabatot
H.oil on canvas
H.81.3 X W.116.8cm
Joan Miró (1893-1983), Spain
Miró rarely created works of protest art. He stated that he did not begin Still Life with Old Shoe with a clear intent to represent the Spanish Civil War, although while painting it he recognized he was creating a work of tremendous gravity.
Only later did he become aware that he painted the fork, sinking into the apple, to represent the soldier’s bayonet, sinking into the flesh of the enemy. It was also later that he realized he meant the half loaf of bread to represent the hunger of the Spanish people.
Still Life with Old Shoe was criticized failed as an anti-war painting by external imposition of a symbolic interpretation. While Miró did not consciously create this piece as Picasso did with Guernica, can an artist witnessing an assault on his own people not reflect this pain, even in his own way?
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