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Joan Miro Original Portrait of Miro Meeting Rita Hayworth

A True Icon of the Intersection of Art and Culture

An original paiting by Joan Miro graces Rita Hayworth's own copy of Joan Miro by Jacques Prevert and G. Ribemont-Dessaignes.

The work was the property of Rita Hayworth, is personally inscribed to her, and bears a portrait of her (and of Joan Miro), on the occasion of their meeting. The book is signed by both authors, each of whom has drawn flowers as a means of expressing devotion sentiment towards Rita Hayworth.

Published by Maeght Editeur in Paris, 1956, the text includes some 160 color and black and white illustrations, including 8 original lithographs by Joan Miro printed by Mourlot. 7 of the lithographs are in color, and among them are included several double-page gatefolds (see example below).

Right hand detail shown of Miro painting.

Author Jacques Prevert has boldly inscribed the volume at top:

A Rita Hayworth
en amite d'un soir et du [layt...?]
Jacques Prevert"

Price: $29,995.00

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View of Original Joan Miro Painting in Ink and Watercolor, Showing a Self-Portrait of the Artist Meeting Famed Screen Star Rita Hayworth

The painting by Miro is difficult to image. It extends across the entire page from left to right.

Medium: Miro has used a very heavy application of a 'China' rubber-based ink which appears to have been extruded rather than drawn. It rises up from the page like an oil paint, rather than being absorbed. The left panel, showing Miro waiting to approach Rita Hayworth, is tinted in a characteristic cloud of blue watercolor, perhaps chosen to evoke by the coldness and neutrality of the blue a sense that the room was cold away from Hayworth. The right panel, where Miro shows himself extended to kiss the hand of the glamorous Hollywood star, is tinted in a happier swirl of red, perhaps chosen to evoke the warming effect of being in Hayworth's presence.

It is SIGNED at far right by Miro, in a more traditional and lighter ink.

The book is also signed and warmly and boldly inscribed by the authors (prominent French art historians and critics) to Rita Hayworth.

The occasion must have been that of the opening.

Title page:

One of the classic Maeght works on Miro, with the text including 8 original lithographs created for this publication, printed by Mourlot.

A desirable and important text in its own right, this work is very seldom seen with original artwork by Miro.

Miro Self-Portrait (detail)

This left hand detail of Miro's painting shows Miro himself waiting to Meet Rita Hayworth. The characteristic blue swirl of cloud evokes chill and loneliness, much in contrast to the joyous and celebratory red warmth of his extended portrayl while later kissing her hand.

One of the Original Lithographs by Joan Miro

Here is an example of one of the 8 original Joan Miro lithographs contained in this book (of which 7 are in color and several double-page, folding). These original works of art were commissioned for this edition, and were printed by France's leading firm of stone lithographers, Mourlot (which is still extant).

The lithographs, as is shown, are in an excellent state of preservation.

Example of Text Illustration

This view of one of the ca. 160 color and b/w text illustrations (reproductions), shows that the orginal painting included with this copy was characteristic of Miro's work at this time.


There is chipping, some stains and wear to the spine and front cover of the outer just jacket, the rear panel of the outer dust jacket is lacking, and the rear cover of the binding has been evidently replaced. The text (but not the original lithographs) is printed on a white glossy stock, which in all copies seen has (from atmospheric adsorption), over time become age-toned at the outer edges.

The dust jacket included 2 original lithographs. That on the front cover has flaws as shown, that on the rear cover is lacking.


Rita Hayworth:

Called by the New York Times "The definitive femme fatale of the 1940s", Rita Hayworth (1918-1987) began her early Hollywood career under her real name, Margarita Cansino. She was the daughter of famed Spanish dancer Eduardo Cansino and a Ziegfeld Follies showgirl (Volga Haworth), and though in her early career (while under the name Cansino) she was very much the Spanish beauty with striking raven hair, she was transformed by Columbia Studios into a more Anglo appearance, and adopted a variation of her Mother's maiden name.

Oft-married, Hayworth had a long list of husbands including Orson Welles, Prince Aly Khan (son of the Aga Khan III), singer Dick Haymes, producer James Hill, and her manager Edward Judson...

Hayworth's long and celebrated career (in such landmark films as Howard Hawks' "Only Angels Have Wings", "Blood and Sand", etc.) placed her in leading or starring roles opposite a who's who of Hollywood leading men, including Welles, Sinatra, Tyrone Power, Fred Astaire, Charles Boyer, Gene Kelly, Robert Mitchum, Anthony Quinn, Glenn Ford, Ricardo Montalban, Yul Brynner, John Wayne, David Niven, Burt Lancaster, Rex Harrison, Gary Cooper, Charles Laughton, Victor Mature, Adolphe Menjou, Ralph Bellamy, Cary Grant,

1956 was the year that she starred, with Frank Sinatra & Kim Novak, in the classic film musical of John O'Hara's Pal Joey , which was released New Year's Day, 1957.

Joan Miro:

Joan Miro (1893-1983), born in Barcelona Spain, world-renowned Spanish member of the Surrealist movement, is generally considered to be one of the dozen most important artists of the 20th century. Miró?s first major museum retrospective was held in 1941 at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

1956 marked the high point of Miro's devotion to printmaking, and his experimentation with various forms of graphic art. This Maeght publication is a natural outgrowth of his fascination with and work in this medium. He received the Grand Prize for Graphic Work at the Venice Biennale in 1954, and his work was included in the first Documenta exhibition in Kassel the following year. Important Miró retrospectives have been held my MOMA, the Musée National d?Art Moderne, Paris, the Grand Palais, Paris, etc.

Miro's touching and clear affection for Hayworth may have been due, in part, to their common Spanish heritage.

Jacques Prevert:

Jacques Prévert (1900-1977) French poet, Surrealist and author of works on Surrealism, and screenwriter. His works are frequently anthologized in American collections of French poetry. He was the author of screenplays and dialog for a number of film, many by Marcel Carne, including most famously, "Les Enfants du Paradis" (1945).

As a leading member of the French cinematic community, Prevert's affection for Hayworth would have been natural.

G. Ribemont-Dessaignes

Georges Ribemont-Dessaignes (1884-1974) was not only one of France's leading art historians dealing with the Dada and Surrealist movements, but a former artist, associate of Tristan Tzara, and one of the literary pioneers of the Dada movement in his own right. The author of works on Dada, Surrealism, Miro, Man Ray (he authored the first monograph on Man Ray), he also collaborated on livre d'artiste with Max Ernst, Georges Braque, Picabia, et al.

Ribemont-Dessaignes had begun his career as a painter, and "Following a moral crisis in 1913... had abandoned painting, but after induction into the army in 1915 he began to compose music and poetry, and, in 1916, he wrote L'Empereur de Chine, which has been considered the first Dada play" (Camfield).