The acclaimed painting, “Harlequin’s Carnival (Spanish: Le Carnaval d’Arlequin),” interpreted as an elucidation of the human subconscious mind, was a masterpiece by the famous Spanish painter, sculptor, and ceramist Joan Miro (1893-1983). Modest and secluded in nature, Joan was the son of an affluent Goldsmith. Created during 1924-25, “Harlequin’s Carnival” measures 66cm x 93 cm. This oil painting on canvas, conceived in France, well represents ‘Surrealism,’ the preferred style of the painter. Being magnificently unconventional, “Harlequin’s Carnival” has ever attracted criticism from the art experts for not conforming to the customary eloquence of artistry.
The carnival shown in “Harlequin’s Carnival” is a merry making festival, a period of revelry that concludes before the Ash Wednesday in the Christian Calendar. The end of the carnival marks the beginning of the season of LENT, commemorating the Passion of Christ through individual sacrifices for the next forty days. At the carnival, people celebrate by disguising themselves into funny characters and objects called floats and move around the place, entertaining others, and building a pleasant, festive ambience. Joan Miro depicts many enthusiastic and colorful characters in “Harlequin’s Carnival” as an unprecedented collection, with most of the images and shapes created probably with a frolicsome frame of mind.
The central character of the painting, Harlequin, is a person who wears a mask or disguise for fun. The painting brings forth the hidden expression of a man imagining himself amongst an entertaining and joyfully spirited environment. Some of the other prominent characters of “Harlequin’s Carnival” are two cats sharing the same piece of wool for play and an inquisitive sun peeping through the window. There are similar looking musical notes flowing next to a violin. A yellow masked tall man is shown at the centre and a man disguised as a guitar, seen next to him. The feet of this man are quite visible, as he stands next to the dice, where a busy insect is seated. There is a ladder on the left of the painting and atop are two human shapes swaying in the gentle breeze, enjoying themselves in an imaginative trapeze form. A man with two colored, red and blue, face with a long moustache is shown and you can also see a fish on the table. Several other unidentified images are there in “Harlequin’s Carnival,” as a part of the festival mood.
Overall, definitely Joan’s painting brings about a carnival’s fervor time in the viewer’s mind. “Harlequin’s Carnival” has been defined as “a random choice of images in an illogical arrangement.” The painting currently graces Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo.