The authenticity of this work has been confirmed by Mr Jacques Dupin in a letter dated 16 May 2001. 'The spectacle of the sky overwhelms me. I'm overwhelmed when I see the crescent of the moon or the sun in an immense sky. In my paintings, as a mater of fact, there are tiny shapes in great empty spaces. Empty spaces, empty horizons, empty plains, everything stripped down has always made a great impression on me' (Joan Miró, quoted in exh. cat., Joan Miró 1893-1993, Barcelona 1993, p. 423).
Femme et oiseau devant le soleil, was painted in Mallorca in the spring of 1942, while Miró found refuge on the island. He lived in secrecy in Palma, hiding in a house in the Carrer de les Minyones, since, like his artist friends Picasso and Gonz©alez, he was opposed to the Franco regime. On leaving France, where he had been staying in Normandy, he vividly recalled: 'I was shaking with fear when the police checked to see if my name was on the blacklist. A friend came to pick me up before the train reached its destination and he suggested that I hide in Mallorca' (quoted in M. Rowell, Selected Writings and Interviews, Boston, 1986, p. 293).
Femme et oiseau devant le soleil was created in a phase when Miró worked predominantly on paper. In fact, in 1942 he executed exclusively works on paper. '[Works on paper] are explorations undertaken with no preconceived idea' explains Jacques Dupin, 'effervescent creations in which the artist perfected a vast repertory of forms, signs and formulas, bringing into play all the materials and instruments compatible with paper... characterised by freedom of invention and a marvellous effortlesness. Women, stars and a few animals provide subjects at once commonplace and fantastic and lend themselves to endless imaginative combinations' (J. Dupin, Joan Miró, Life and Work, London, 1962, pp. 371ff).