Standing Nude, 1918 by Joan Miro

In this early work, painted in Barcelona, Joan Miro paints an imposing nude in an interior with ornate rug, a spindly plant, and a densely patterned oriental tapestry. The artist's faceted treatment of the nude's form indicates the influence of Cubism; the birds and flowers on the tapestry behind anticipate the organic themes of Miro's mature Surrealist work.

This painting is undoubtedly one of most irritating pictures of Miro's early period. The nude figure, with her doll-like face, seems to have been chiselled harshly out of granite, thus creating a sharp contrast with the flowery ornamental surface. Instead of merging nicely into the ornamental rhythm, this alien body in its shell refuses to yield to the temptation of turning into an organic creature. The lisdess posture and the shell-like appearance of the figure have nothing in common with the graceful sensuality of nudes of Henri Matisse. Rather, a traumatic mysteriousness seems to be hidden in these pictures - a mysteriousness which was to continue in his later works.