Fact Check

Joan Miro Painting Sold for $37 Million

An image of a "child-like" Joan Miro painting was circulated on Facebook along with the claim that it was worth $37 million.

Published Dec 23, 2016

Claim:
A "child-like" painting by Joan Miro sold for $37 million.

An image of a painting by Joan Miro is frequently circulated on social media along with two claims: That it sold for $37 million, and that the painting could have been created by a kindergartner:

painting

This painting really was executed by Spanish artist Joan Miro, and in 2012 it sold at a Sotheby's auction for 23.56 million pounds (approximately $37 million).

Equating this painting, entitled "Peinture (Etoile Bleue)," with the work of a kindergartner and implying that it was vastly overpriced (or that kindergarten drawings are severely under-valued) is problematic.

There are numerous factors that determine the value of a piece of art, such as the reputation of the artist, the significance of the painting, and the rarity of the work. In this case, the painting was created by a world-renowned artist (and not a toddler). The work was also created relatively early in Miro's career and marked a "key" turning point in his style:

The picture, described by Miro (1893-1983) as a “key” turning point in his artistic career, incorporates surrealist symbols and elements that the painter would repeat in later works.

The intense blue of the painting influenced not only the artist’s later works, but also the style of other painters like Mark Rothko (1903-1970) and Yves Klein (1928-1962).

While the above-displayed painting may look like a kindergarden drawing to some, it was created by a famous artist, marked a significant turning point in his career, and ultimately influenced the styles of several other artists.

Sources

Ng, David.   "Miro Painting Sells for Record $37 Million."     La Times.   20 June 2012.

Latin America Herald Tribune.   "Miro Painting Sells for Record $37 Million."     June 2012.

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.

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