DESNOS, Robert; MIRO, Joan.

Pénaltiés de l'enfer ou les nouvelles Hebrides.


Pénaltiés de l’enfer ou les nouvelles Hebrides.

Paris, Arte Adrien Maeght, 1974.

In stock


A fine example signed by Miro in red pencil.

Both the Spanish artist Joan Miro and the French poet Robert Desnos were prominent figures in the Surrealist movement in Paris, where they met in 1925. Miro had long planned to illustrate a book by Desnos, but the project was delayed by the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War and subsequently the Second World War, in which Desnos was an active member of the French Resistance. He was arrested by the Gestapo in 1944 and sent to several concentration camps including Auschwitz and Buchenwald. Desnos survived the war only to die of typhoid a few weeks after the liberation of the camp where he was held.

Nearly thirty years later, Desnos’ widow approached Miro with the idea of illustrating his works again. In the end they settled on Pénalités de l’enfer ou les nouvelles Hébrides [The Penalties of Hell or The New Hebrides], Desnos’ first work in prose, written in Morocco in 1922.


Oblong folio, (29 x 40 cm). No 51 of 200 copies on Arches wove paper signed in red pencil by Miro, from a total edition of 220. Title, text and limitation on Arches wove paper, 25 lithographs in total (20 colour, 5 black and white), most double-page. Original paper wrappers with first lithograph printed on front, spine and back; set of six lithographs in black by or after the same hand, one with additions in red ball-point pen, in beige paper folder entitled ‘documents 1929,’ housed in publisher’s orange cloth covered box with artist’s and author’s names on spine.


Mourlot 959-90; Cramer 188.


Stock ID: 96271