We find tones of blue, red, black, white and a sort of mustard yellow which are found throughout much of Miro's career. He didn't only limit the detail in his abstract paintings, but also the palette, having originally been the complete opposite. He went into extraordinary detail earlier on in his career and produced some stunning artworks but slowly moved further into abstraction over a period of a decade or so. Today, most remember him for his surrealist, abstract artworks and the painting that we find in front of us here, Decoration of a Nursery, is a great example of that.

As compared to some of his other figurative, abstract works, this piece from Miro is a little easier to decipher. The figures themselves are much more clearly defined and we don't have the level of surrealism as used in other paintings from his career, where items are completely re-arranged into almost random positions. With the aid of the title as well, we can then quickly start to work out quite what is going on in this painting. There are two characters initially, one facing us, the other looking across the scene. There arms are long and elongated, stretching to unnatural positions and filling the majority of this wide canvas. There is then an additional person who appears upset, with a small red tongue appearing from their mouth. The artist dedicated this painting to his grandson and perhaps that third figure is the very same young boy.

The artist often used primer on his canvases before leaving fairly rough colours over the top. The same can be seen here, where essentially he was trying to create a plain background look which was not to look planned, but also should avoid grabbing one's attention away from the main content. It certainly works well here, and that is aided by the boldness of the colours in front, with blacks, reds and whites grabbing your view straight away.

Decoration of a Nursery in Detail Joan Miro