Le renversement (Somersault) Artist: Joan Miró (Spanish, 1893–1983)


Modern and Contemporary Art

On view, 3rd floor, Modern and Contemporary Art and Design

Painted in the summer of 1924 during Joan Miró's annual sojourn in Montroig, Spain, Le Renversement ("The Toppling") offers a glimpse into the artist's imagination. Here, Miró's rotation of the customary horizontal orientation of landscape painting is only one of a series of reversals in a painting that suggests a Surrealist dream-world. The mustachioed stick figure, flanked by exclamations "AH!" and "HoO!", inhabits a world of text and image, sight and sound, drawing on Surrealism's roots in poetry. The title provides a significant key to the work's central idea, suggesting the deliberate overthrow of traditional, rational relationships.


Oil, graphite, charcoal, and tempera on canvas board


36 3/8 × 28 11/16 in. (92.4 × 72.8 cm)
framed: 37 9/16 × 30 × 2 1/4 in. (95.4 × 76.2 × 5.7 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of Collection Société Anonyme

Accession Number



20th century


Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.

  • Ruth L. Bohan et al., The Société Anonyme: Modernism for America, ed. Jennifer Gross, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2006), 179, 199, ill
  • Elan Vital oder das Auge des Eros, exh. cat. (Munich: Haus der Kunst, 1994), 563, no. 438
  • Robert L. Herbert, Eleanor S. Apter, and Elise K. Kenney, The Société Anonyme and the Dreier Bequest at Yale University: A Catalogue Raisonné (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1984), 462, no. 470, ill
  • Ruth L. Bohan, The Société Anonyme's Brooklyn Exhibition: Katherine Dreier and Modernism in America (Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan Research Press, 1982), 150, fig. 10
  • Harold Rosenberg, "Fertile Fields," New Yorker (December 23, 1972), 61–64
  • Joan Miró, exh. cat. (New York: Acquavella Galleries, Inc., 1972), no. 10
  • Collection of the Société Anonyme: Museum of Modern Art 1920 (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1950), 108-09, ill
  • James Johnson Sweeney, Joan Miró, exh. cat. (New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1941), 28–29
Object copyright
Additional information

Object/Work type

abstract (general art genre), words, numbers, symbols art (visual works)


Signed and dated l.r. "Miro. 1924".

Technical metadata and APIs


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