JOAN MIRÓ 1893-1983
Montroig 1893-1983 Mallorca (Spanish)
Title: The Return Journey II, from: Series for King Ubu | Le Voyage de Retour II, from: Suites pour Ubu Roi, 1966
Technique: Original Hand Numbered Lithograph in Colours on Arches Wove Paper
Paper size: 54 x 75 cm. / 21.3 x 29.5 in.
Image size: 41 x 63 cm. / 16.1 x 24.8 in.
Additional Information: This original lithograph in colours is hand numbered in pencil from the edition of 75, at the lower left corner. There were also 25 hors commerce [out of trade] impressions.
This composition was published unsigned and exists only in this form.
The work was part of a portfolio entitled “Roi Ubu” [King Ubu] realised by the artist in 1966.
It was printed by Atelier Mourlot, Paris and published by Tériade Éditeur, Paris.
The paper bears the Arches watermark along the lower margin.
Note: Ubu Roi (Ubu the King) is a play by Alfred Jarry, premiered in 1896. It is a precursor of the Theatre of the Absurd and Surrealism.
It is the first of three stylised burlesques in which Jarry satirises power, greed, and their evil practices—in particular the propensity of the complacent bourgeois to abuse the authority engendered by success.
It was followed by Ubu Cocu [Ubu Cuckolded] and Ubu Enchaîné [Ubu Enchained], neither of which was performed during Jarry’s 34-year life.
Père Ubu first appeared in 1888 in a collaboration between Alfred Jarry and a fellow student at the Rennes Lycée, but his first public appearance came in 1893 when Jarry published some of prose works in an avant-garde review, the Minutes de Sable Mémorial. His triumph, however, was on the stage when the director of the Theâtre de l’Oeuvre, Lugne-Poe staged a production of Ubu Roi.
The audience received the play with screams, whistles, fist-shaking, the critics took up the cudgels and the play became infamous and its author an avant-garde hero.
Joan Miró used Ubu Roi as a subject of his most famous series, made of 50 1940 lithographs known as “the Barcelona Series”.
These pictures could be Ubu Roi but they also satirise General Franco and his generals after he had won the Spanish Civil War.
He revisited this subject many times in his oeuvre.
1. Mourlot, F. & Leiris, M. (1977). Joan Miró: Der Lithograph, Vol. III 1964-1969. Geneva: Weber.
Reference: Mourlot 429
2. Cramer, P. (1989). Miró: Catalogue des Livres Ilustrées. Paris: Edition Cramer,
Reference: Cramer 108
Condition: Very good condition. Very pale moisture staining in the upper right margin.