This is one of a group-of six paintings with the same landscape format that Miró painted at the family farm at Montroig, a small village about 60 kilometres south of Barcelona, in the summer of 1927.1 Within this group the Australian National Gallery's painting is conspicuous for its sparing use of images; its resonant, colour-filled emptiness.
In an interview with Margit Rowell in 1972, Miró identified the rubbery yellow creature on the left as the head of a rabbit (looking left) and the round orb in the sky as an egg, a typically non-committal naming of images made so carefully curious and suggestive.2 After all, Miró's 'egg' floats in the sky like a sun, a 'solar egg' perhaps, and is sprinkled with glinting seed and linked to the earth by a fine line, suggestive to some of a flower; before the 1972 interview with Rowell the painting was commonly called Landscape with rabbit and flower.3 Miró himself preferred to give the same title to all the paintings in the group — simply 'Paysage' — leaving their interpretation open-ended. 'In a picture it should be possible to discover new things every time you see it', he said. 'A picture must be fertile. It must give birth to a world. Whether you see in it flowers, people, horses, it matters little, so long as it reveals a world, something alive'.4
It is the emptiness of the landscape, however, or rather the image of the landscape itself which is the most striking feature of the Gallery's painting; a dramatic juxtaposition of red earth, painted flat and opaque, and an' airy blue sky made by scumbling the thinned paint into the weave of the canvas. This landscape had its roots in the real countryside around Montroig. 'I was very aware of wide, empty spaces punctuated by one tiny object. Miró later recalled. 'I was particularly inspired by Cornudella, near Montroig, where my grandfather came from; the soil is so incredibly red.'5 Yet Miró's painted landscape clearly transcends locality. Emptiness, sensitised by colour alone, was one extreme towards which his art constantly gravitated. 'In my painting there are often tiny forms in vast empty spaces. Empty spaces, empty horizons, empty plains — everything that has been stripped bare has always impressed me.'6 Being the most 'stripped bare' of the Montroig landscapes of 1927, it is likely that the Gallery's painting was the last of the group.
A preliminary drawing for the Gallery's painting can be found in the early sketchbooks housed in the Joan Miró Foundation, Barcelona.7
Michael Lloyd & Michael Desmond European and American Paintings and Sculptures 1870-1970 in the Australian National Gallery 1992 p.170.