There is an old Catalan tale that inspired both this painting and also a study drawing that the artist completed first. It tells of a dog barking at the moon, which then replies dismissively. This sparse composition leaves the dog looking somewhat lonely, but the ladder to the left perhaps offers him hope.
This painting is relatively simple and straightforward as compared to some of the artist's other, much more complex, compositions. Joan Miro, across his career, varied the level of abstraction and detail that he put into his paintings and this is a good example of why he kept things relatively simple. That said, the key items found here are clear and easy to identify. The painting can now be found in the United States having been bequeathed by its owner to an institution in Philadelphia many years ago. Those who are able to visit the city should take the time to see this artwork up close and personal.
Joan Miro is both an abstract artist and also a surrealist artist but he varied massively the amount that he used these styles across his career. The earlier periods of his career would make use of much more detail but later on he slowly pushed more towards a complete abstraction. The end result is that we have an outstanding oeuvre, with a variety of work that should interest pretty much any fan of modern art. In truth this artist was a key member of the early days where these new art movements were formed and developed and without him it is possible that Catalonian art would not be held in quite the same record that it is today, even though there were other great contributors such as Dali and Gaudi.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art has a fine collection of European and American art and makes for a full day for any art follower. Whilst there you will also have the chance to see original artworks from the likes of Renoir, Monet, Manet, Degas and Cézanne. Thomas Eakins is also particularly well represented here.