In the tree-lined streets of Barcelona's Montjuïc district, the Joan Miró Foundation does not go unnoticed. It houses more than 14,000 items of the surrealist artist's work, including sculptures, paintings and ceramics. Guided tours of the Foundation are included in the Unique Experiences offered by BBVA in Switzerland.
Joan Miró (1893-1983) was one of the most influential 20th century Spanish artists. Born in Barcelona, his father was a goldsmith and watchmaker and his mother was the daughter of a cabinet maker from Palma de Mallorca. His pieceFemme entendant de la musique, painted in only three days in May 1945, was sold for $21,687,500 at the beginning of the year.
The permanent collection: the artist's journey
The Foundation's permanent collection offers an insight into the different phases of the artistic journey of the painter and all the techniques he worked with.
The first paintings show the clear influence of French impressionism, fauvism and cubism (for example, Chapel of Sant Joan d’Horta, 1917, and Portrait of a young girl, 1919); after this, the artist embarked on a surrealist phase (The bottle of wine, 1924) and produced his famous collages (Homage to Prats, 1934); the final phase contains works from his constellations series.
Other important works include the large canvases painted by Miró from the late 1960s onwards, characterised by large areas of colour and gestural brush-strokes.
The space: a combination of art, architecture and landscape
The museum does not only stand out for the artwork it houses but also for its architectural structure. The genius wanted to create a space that was a source of future inspiration, not a temple of collectors' items, but a place of discovery and debate. With this aim, he asked the architect Josep Lluís Sert to construct a building that had its own personality.
The result was a building that is the best possible showcase for the artist's work and has become one of the city's cultural icons.
Did you know?
Miró's first solo exhibition, held at the Dalmau Gallery in Barcelona in the 1920s, was highly criticised. His work was ridiculed by the public.
The Foundation has almost all drawings and preparatory sketches, and over 8,000 items of his work.
Picasso was his life-long friend and his mentor in Paris from the 1920s onwards.
A large part of the works that currently make up the collection were donated by the artist in 1975.
Miró sold one of his most famous pieces of art to Ernest Hemingway in 1923. While in Paris, he had friendships with other great writers such as Michel Leiris and Max Jacob.
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