Jacques Dupin describes the early 1930s as years of great importance in the development of Miró's work: "... it was just at this time that his art underwent changes as sudden and far reaching as to deserve the term 'cataclysmic'. The serene works of the years devoted to concentration on plastic concerns and to spiritual control of figures and signs now gave way to a new outburst of subjectivism, to an expressionistic unleashing of instinctual forces. The volcano which for some years now had been quiescent suddenly erupted. The clear skies suddenly clouded over, and a violent storm proceeded to darken the peaceful artistic climate--indeed, to shake Miró's art to its foundation" (in Joan Miró, Life and Work, London, 1962, p. 262). Miró, from the early 1930s onward, went through a period of continuous experimentation in various different techniques and materials: paintings on cardboard, gouaches on a watercolor background, drawings in India ink on white paper and watercolor, and paintings on uralita wood, and sandpaper. He also began a series of egg tempera paintings on masonite and a series of oil paint on copper, which he finished in 1936.
The present work belongs to this period of fervent experimentations and creativity. In the mid-1930s, Miró often stayed at his family farm, Montroig, situated in a secluded village in Catalonia. Montroig was always a great source of inspiration for the artist and his time at the farm produced a series of humorous and inventive collage-drawings that differed from his previous works. Whereas the earlier collages were more rigorous in form and content and focused on images of machinery, these new works were composed of colorful and playful images, such as burlesque women taken from playing cards, and amusing animals appropriated from children's books. In the present composition, Miró randomly placed images of butterflies, fish, ducks and cherries were randomly placed upon the white sheet. He playfully drew around these images creating fantastic figures with quick strokes of a pencil or with a brush dipped in ink. For example, with five carefully placed lines, Miró created a seahorse from the large ink arabesque in the center of the composition. As Alberto Giacometti once related to Pierre Schneider "Miró was synonymous with freedom--something more aerial, more liberated, lighter than anything I had seen before. In one sense he possessed absolute perfection. Miró could not put a dot on a sheet of paper without hitting square on the target. He was so truly a painter that it was enough for him to drop three spots of color on the canvas, and it would come to life--it would be a painting" (quoted in P. Schneider, "Miró", Horizon, no. 4, March 1959, pp. 70-81).