About This Artwork

Joan Miró
Spanish, 1893-1983

The Kerosene Lamp, 1924

Charcoal, with red Conté and colored crayons, touches of graphite, and scraping, heightened with white oil paint, on canvas prepared with a glue ground
810 x 1003 mm
Inscribed lower center, in blue gouache over black pencil: "Miró/ 1924"; verso, upper left, in brush and black ink: “La lampe a Pétrole / 1924”

Joseph and Helen Regenstein Foundation, Helen L. Kellogg Trust, Blum-Kovler Foundation, Major Acquisitions and gifts from Mrs. Henry C. Woods, Members of the Committee on Prints and Drawings, and Friends of the Department, 1978.312

© 2018 Successió Miró / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

The Spanish artist Joan Miró was one of the leading exponents of Surrealism. His drawing The Kerosene Lamp has often been interpreted as autobiographical—a view of the artist's studio—but the elements of his work are intended to be suggestive rather than specific in meaning.

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

Paris, Galerie Pierre, "Exposition Joan Miró," June 12-27, 1925, cat. 5.

Paris, Galerie Vendôme, "Exposition Joan Miró," March 27-April 28, 1945, cat. 9.

Paris, Galerie Charpentier, "Cent Chefs-d’oeuvre des peintres de l’ecole de Paris," May 24-July, 1946, cat. 136.

Brussels, Palais des Beaux Arts, "Joan Miró," January 6-February 7, 1956, cat. 12; also traveled to the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, February-March 1956.

Kunsthalle Basel, "Joan Miró," March 24-April 29, 1956, cat. 8.

Aix-en-Provence, Pavillon de Vendôme, "Collection d’un amateur parisien," July 15-September 28, 1958, cat. 27.

The Art Institute of Chicago, "Great Drawings from The Art Institute of Chicago: The Harold Joachim Years 1958-1983," July 24-September 30, 1985, pp. 208-209, cat. 98 (ill.), cat. by Martha Tedeschi.

Art Institute of Chicago, "Twentieth Century Collection Reinstalled," June 8, 1991-February 28, 1992.

New York, The Museum of Modern Art, "Joan Miró," October 13, 1993-January 18, 1994, cat. 33.

Publication History

L’Ami des Arts, 3 (June 30, 1928), p. 17 (ill.).

Maurice Croizard, "Miró," Libertés, 76 (May 11, 1945), p. 4.

Paul Caso, "Rétrospective Miró," Le Soir (January 8, 1956), p. 5.

Jacques Dupin, Joan Miró: Life and Work (New York, 1961), pp. 144 and 508, no. 88 (ill.).

Sotheby’s Annual Review 218th Season (October 1961-August 1962), p. 74 (ill.).

The Burlington Magazine, 104 (June 1962), p. 34 (ill.).

Louis Aragon, "Barcelone à l’aube," Les Lettres Françaises (June 11, 1969), pp. 1-2 (ill.).

Joan Miró, "Ceci est la couleur de mes rêves," Entretiens avec Georges Raillard (Paris, 1977), p. 204.

The Art Institute of Chicago, "The Art Institute: A Century of Greatness. A Special Issue on Its History, Treasures, and Future," The Chicago Tribune (April 4, 1979), section 9, p. 25 (ill.).

E.A. Carmean, et al., The Morton G. Neumann Family Collection (Washington D.C., 1980), p. 38.

Jean-Charles Gateau, Paul Eluard et la peinture surréaliste, 1910-1939 (Geneva, 1982), pp. 140-1.

Joan Miró: Anys Vint - Mutació de la realitat (Barcelona, 1983), p. 40 (ill.).

Fundació Joan Miró, Center d'Estudis d'Art Contemporani, Joan Miró, anys 20: mutació de la realitat : 90è aniversari de Joan Miró (Barcelona,1983), p. 40 (ill.).

Guy Wheelan, Miró (New York, 1984), pp. 56-57 (ill.).

Pere Gimferrer, "De Montroig à Varengeville," Picasso, Miró, Dalí: Evocations d’Espagne (Brussels, 1985), pp. 62-65 (ill.).

Evan Maurer, "‘The Kerosene Lamp’ and the Development of Miró's Poetic Imagery," The Art Institute of Chicago Museum Studies, 12 (Fall 1985), pp. 60-75.

Pere Gimferrer, The Roots of Miró (New York, 1993), pp. 48-52.

The Art Institute of Chicago, "From Maineri to Miró: The Regenstein Collection Since 1975," The Art Institute of Chicago Museum Studies, 26 (2000), pp. 90-91 (ill.).

Gene Mittler, Creating and Understanding Drawings (New York, 2000).

The Art Institute of Chicago, Treasures from The Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago, 2000), p. 264 (ill.).

Ownership History

Possibly Paul Eluard, Paris [New York 1993]. Mme Marie Cuttoli (died 1973), Paris, by March 1945-at least 1962 [New York 1993; Dupin 1962]. Sold, Sotheby’s, London, July 4, 1962, lot 246 to Richard Feigen and Company, New York [sale catalogue addenda]. Sold by Ellen J. Myers, New York, to the Art Institute, 1978.

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