The brilliant colors in Miró's early work owe much to Fauve examples, but the details of the bird and flower already show his interest in playful depictions of nature. Painted when he was only twenty-four and still going to art school, the picture was shown at Miró's first one-person exhibition, at the Galeria Dalmau in Barcelona.
Inscription: Signed (lower left): Miró
the artist (1917–18; sold in 1918 to Dalmau); [Galeries Dalmau, Barcelona, from 1918]; Helena Rubinstein, Paris and New York (until d. 1965; her estate sale, Parke Bernet Galleries, New York, April 20, 1966, no. 51, sold to Thaw and Hahn); [E. V. Thaw & Co., Inc. and Stephen Hahn, New York, 1966–67; sold on April 5, 1967 to Gelman]; Jacques and Natasha Gelman, Mexico City and New York (1967–his d. 1986); Natasha Gelman, Mexico City and New York (1986–d. 1998; her bequest to MMA)
Barcelona. Galeries Dalmau. "Exposició Joan Miró," February 16–March 3, 1918, no. 44 (as "El nú de l'aucell i la flor").
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Twentieth-Century Modern Masters: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection," December 12, 1989–April 1, 1990, unnumbered cat. (p. 154; as "Seated Nude Holding a Flower").
London. Royal Academy of Arts. "Twentieth-Century Modern Masters: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection," April 19–July 15, 1990, unnumbered cat.
Saint-Paul-de-Vence. Fondation Maeght. "Joan Miró: Rétrospective de l'œuvre peint," July 4–October 7, 1990, no. 5 (as "Nu assis tenant une fleur," lent by the Collection Jacques and Natasha Gelman, New York) [joined the exhibition following the close of Exh. London 1990].
Martigny. Fondation Pierre Gianadda. "De Matisse à Picasso: Collection Jacques et Natasha Gelman," June 18–November 1, 1994, unnumbered cat. (p. 178).
Mexico City. Centro Cultural Arte Contemporáneo. "Joan Miró, la Colección del Centro Georges Pompidou, Musée National d'Art Moderne y otras colecciones," February 12–May 24, 1998, no. 1 (as "Desnudo Sentado Sosteniendo una Flor [o Desnudo con Pájaro y Flor] [Nu à l'oiseau et à la fleur]," lent by the Collection Jacques and Natasha Gelman).
Jewish Museum, New York. "Helena Rubinstein: Beauty is Power," October 31, 2014–March 22, 2015, unnumbered cat. (p. 39).
Joan Miró. Letter to Josep Dalmau. April 12, 1920 [published in Ref. Santos-Torroella 1993, pp. 66–68, letter no. III and Ref. Ainaud de Lasarte 2009, pp. 177–79, letter no. 86], calls it "Nú de l'ocell"; relates that when he arrived in Paris and the crates containing this picture and the "Portrait of Ramón Sunyer" (1918; private collection; Dupin and Lelong-Mainaud 1999, no. 55) arrived in Paris and were opened, the customs agents joked that the two sitters were a married couple; reports that the paintings are being stored at Bedel et Cie.
Jacques Dupin. Joan Miró: Life and Work. New York,  (French ed., 1961), p. 80, as "Nude with Bird and Flower"; indicates that its location is unknown.
Sabine Rewald inTwentieth-Century Modern Masters: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection. Ed. William S. Lieberman. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1989, pp. 154–55, 159, 227, 306, ill. (color and bw), notes that it is Miró's first painting of a nude, probably completed in early 1917; states that it has not been exhibited since Exh. Barcelona 1918 when it was purchased by Josep Dalmau.
William S. Lieberman inTwentieth-Century Modern Masters: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection. Ed. William S. Lieberman. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1989, pp. 9, 14, fig. 3 (color, installation photo).
Jacques Dupin inTwentieth-Century Modern Masters: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection. Ed. William S. Lieberman. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1989, pp. 48–49.
Robert S. Lubar. "Joan Miró before "The Farm," 1915–1922: Catalan Nationalism and the Avant-Garde." PhD diss., New York University, 1989, pp. 289, 302, fig. 31, calls it "Nude with Bird and Flower" and dates it winter/early spring 1917; notes that the sitter was a model in a life drawing class attended by Miró at the Cercle Artistic de Sant Lluc in Barcelona.
Harry Bellet inJoan Miró: Rétrospective de l'œuvre peint. Ed. Jean-Louis Prat. Exh. cat., Fondation Maeght, Saint-Paul-de-Vence. Paris, 1990, pp. 24–25, 199, no. 5, ill. (color), notes that the motifs of women and birds would dominate Miró's painting fifty years after this picture.
Rafael Santos-Torroella. "Unas Cartas de Miró a Dalmau." Kalías 5, no. 9 (1993), pp. 67, 68 n. 2, p. 70 n. 4, ill. p. 69 (color), calls it "Desnudo con pájaro y flor"; identifies this painting as one of two brought to Paris by Miró and placed in storage there while Dalmau negotiated the artist's first Paris exhibition [see Ref. Miró 1920].
Jacques Dupin and Ariane Lelong-Mainaud. Joan Miró: Catalogue raisonné. Paintings. Vol. 1, 1908–1930. [Paris], 1999, pp. 52–53, no. 59, ill. (color), as "Nu à la fleur et à l'oiseau (Nude with Flower and Bird)".
Joan Ainaud de Lasarte et al., ed. Epistolari Català Joan Miró: 1911–1945. Vol. 1, Barcelona, 2009, pp. 177, 179, ill. (color).
Eugenio Carmona. Picasso, Miró, Dalí. Angry Young Men: The Birth of Modernity. Ed. Eugenio Carmona. Exh. cat., Palazzo Strozzi. Milan, 2011, p. 125, ill. p. 127 (color), calls it "Nude with Flower and Bird" and erroneously locates it in the Seattle Art Museum.
Jacques Dupin. Miró. [1st ed., 1993]. Paris, 2012, p. 60, fig. 59 (color), as "Nude with Bird and Flower"; tentatively identifies the same model in "Standing Nude" (1918; Saint Louis Art Museum; Dupin and Lelong-Mainaud 1999, no. 57).