Maternity, 1924 by Joan Miro

The symbols in this picture are suspended precariously above an area consisting of delicate shades of grey, and although the wriggly little creatures are struggling to get away from the menacing sway of a pair of breasts, they are inextricably linked to them.

Instead of evoking associations of maternal comfort, the gigantic, black pendulum - a mother's womb - reminds one of the bizarre stories of Edgar Allan Poe. The reduction of the symbolic language in this picture gives it even more precision, thus opening a deeply symbolical dimension and expressing the fears and anxieties of early childhood - feelings which have a fundamental, formative effect on a human being, because of his long period of dependence and powerlessness.