On the trail of Miró in Spain
Get ready for a journey through the land and the work of one of the most original, influential artists of the 20th century: Joan Miró. Your travelling companions will be rebellion, imagination, eccentricity, colour, strange geometrical constructions, and surrealist collages and sculptures.We will be stopping in the city of his birth, Barcelona; in Mont-roig, a destination which captivated Miró; in Madrid and its famous Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, and in Palma, where Miró spent his final years.On this journey, you will feel the special connection between Miró and the nature that surrounded him in Mont-roig and in Mallorca, experience the intensity of seeing his work in person, and find out more about this artist, recipient of awards ranging from an honorary doctorate from Harvard to Spain’s Gold Medal of Merit in the Fine Arts. And above all, you will have an unforgettable holiday.Let's go.
- 1 Barcelona, city of his birth
- 2 Mont-roig del Camp, the artist's refuge
- 3 Palma de Mallorca, the final years
- 4 Madrid, the perfect complement
Barcelona, city of his birth
Joan Miró was born in Barcelona in 1893, and the city was also the site of his first solo exhibition and the birthplace of his only daughter. This fabulous city which today attracts tourists of every stripe is full of the “tracks” that this artist has left, who oddly enough, began his career as an accountant, only to end up creating amazing paintings and a plethora of sculptures and prints. We suggest taking at least a weekend to discover the most important sites. And if you have longer, that's even better.If you are flying in to Barcelona – El Prat Airport, Miró himself will welcome you, as the huge ceramic mural in Terminal 2 of the airport is one of his creations.
Once you are in the city, your first stop should be the Joan Miró Foundation, created by the artist himself, where you will find such well-known works as The Gold of the Azure and The Morning Star, and enjoy any of the temporary exhibitions that takes your fancy.After this visit, armed with much more knowledge about Miró, you can seek out other creations, such as the imposing sculpture Woman and Bird, over 20 metres high, in Parc de Joan Miró, or the pavement of Pla de l'Os, on Las Ramblas, one of the most popular areas in the city centre.We also suggest something different: the lovely Montjuïc cemetery, surrounded by Mediterranean plants and sea views, where the artist is buried. Guided tours of the cemetery are available on the second and fourth Sunday of each month.
Mont-roig del Camp, the artist's refuge
You will find this small town in Tarragona province, around 120 kilometres south of Barcelona. In 1911 Miró caught typhoid fever and spent time convalescing in a farmhouse his parents had recently bought here. It seems that he fell in love with the place and its natural setting, as he would go on to spend a great deal of time in Mont-roig and drew inspiration from its landscapes. He even said that “all my work is conceived in Mont-roig”. Did you know that one of his most important works, The Farm, is based on this place?
Oficina tècnica 'El Paisatge dels Genis'
To explore the Mont-roig that Miró knew, we recommend visiting the chapel of La Virgen de la Roca (where the red of the rock made a great impression on him) and La Pixerota beach, where he drew the stars that are so characteristic of his work.You can also go to the Miró Centre to see his series of paintings relating to Mont-roig, the original tapestry “The Lizard with Golden Feathers” and several interesting audiovisuals about the artist.The town has also designed a route to see the “originals of the originals”, based on the places that inspired Miró.
Palma de Mallorca, the final years
According to Miró, “Mallorca is really a very lovely country, where some places still have the freshness of the first days of the creation.” We are in full agreement with the artist. He had a special relationship with Mallorca: his mother was from there, as was his wife Pilar Juncosa, whom he married on the island, and he died there. You will love this beautiful Mediterranean island and its turquoise waters. A good way to get here is to fly from Barcelona to the airport of Palma de Mallorca, the capital (the flight takes just one hour).
In 1956 Miró moved to Palma permanently, where he had built a house and the studio he had always dreamed of, designed by his friend Josep Lluís Sert.This studio is now part of the Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró which of course we recommend you visit, in part because the centre is designed by Moneo and holds around 6,000 works by the artist. In summer, ask if there is a concert in the gardens.While you are in Palma, as well as a delightful swim in one of the island's coves, or visiting its most famous sights, such as the Cathedral or Bellver Castle, you can visit other museums with works by the artist, such as the Juan March Foundation or Es Baluard Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art.
Madrid, the perfect complement
Miró's fame transcends frontiers, and there are works by him in important museums in Chicago, Houston, Milan, Paris, New York, Washington and beyond. And also, of course, in Madrid.
Spain's capital enjoys excellent transport links (the flight from Palma de Mallorca takes around an hour and a half, and the options for travelling between Madrid and Barcelona include an Air Shuttle with daily flights up to every 20 minutes on working days).In the city centre, you’ll want to visit the famous Reina Sofía National Art Museum to see works by Miró like Femme, oiseau, étoile (Homenatge a Pablo Picasso) (Woman, Bird and Star [Homage to Picasso]). You will also have two more world-famous museums nearby: the Prado and the Thyssen-Bornemisza.Another essential stop is the Espacio Miró at the Mapfre Foundation (Paseo de Recoletos 23), a permanent exhibition with 65 of his works. And if you want to see the last work of art by this artist, just go to the Parliament building (Palacio de Congresos, Paseo de la Castellana, 99) to see the mural by Miró facing Avenida General Perón.
Tips and interesting facts
- If staying in Palma, you may be interested to know that this city has the first and only theme hotel devoted to this artist, the Hotel Joan Miró Museum. The rooms are all themed, and the public spaces are decorated with works by the painter.
- Have you looked carefully at our website? Pay special attention to our logo in the upper left corner. Do the lines and colours seem familiar? That's right, it's a design by the artist himself, the famous Miró Sun.
- The influence of this artist on later creators is undeniable. He said himself: “What counts is not the work itself, but the course of one’s spirit throughout one’s entire life. It’s not what you’ve done during your life, but what it will enable others to see and do in the short or long term.”
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