Twenty eight original prints by the Spanish painter Joan Miro will be auctioned in London today, with profits donated to help the refugee crisis. The sale at Christie’s auction house in London is hoping to raise 50,000 euros ($56,600) for the Red Cross’s humanitarian organisation.
The Spanish Surrealist artist’s grandson stated; he would donate the proceeds of the sale because that is what Miro would have wanted. “I consider myself as the torch-bearer for his wishes and try to do what he would do if he was still alive,” Joan Punyet Miro said. “Miro was a man who endured many hardships throughout his life. He went hungry, and lived in exile through the Spanish Civil War.” He was also conscious of the Spanish refugees living in camps across the border in southern France during the 1936-1939 conflict, and of the 2,000-odd of their number who sailed from France to Chile on board the SS Winnipeg.
Miro lived in France when the Spanish Civil conflict began, and decided to stay in Paris. His wife and daughter joined him and lived in France until 1940, when the invasion of Nazi Germany saw him flee back to Spain. “He always wanted to help the most disadvantaged, the refugees and those in exile, and would be aware that what is happening today in Syria could happen tomorrow in Spain,” said Punyet. Miro, who died in 1983 aged 90, had personal reasons to be grateful for the work of the Red Cross. A doctor from the international organisation saved the leg of his only child, Punyet’s then 34-year-old mother, after a nasty car accident in 1965. She recovered after spending a year in bed. “My grandfather made a tapestry for the Red Cross in gratitude, because they had saved his daughter, his only child,” said Punyet.
Image: Joan Miro (1893-1983), Paysanne en colère. Image 630 x 890 mm., Sheet 715 x 1050 mm.. Estimate: £1,500-2,500. This work is offered in Prints & Multiples on 19 May at Christie’s in London