advertisement

Revered as the embodiment of the artistic genius of the Catalan people, Joan Miró (1893–1983) was born in Barcelona in the Barri Gòtic and trained locally. This marvelous museum assembles 10,000 of his works, including paintings, graphic art, sculpture, and even tapestries. Like many artists of the early 20th century, Miró gravitated to Paris and ultimately fell in with Andre Breton and the Surrealist movement. But his surrealism was radically different from his slightly younger countryman, Salvador Dalí, and evolved into a personal vocabulary of abstract forms and brilliant colors. His strong sense of line and tendency to lay in patches of color like a cloissonné jeweler (his father was a goldsmith) gave him a style all his own. The original museum building was designed by Miró’s close friend, Catalan architect Josep Lluís Sert. A recent extension by Jaume Freixa has made it possible to display a number of pieces donated by Miró and others since the museum opened. The dimly lit Octagonal Room contains many of Miró’s drawings on paper—the medium where he generally worked out his personal visual language that informed his paintings. Don’t miss the amusing sculptures on the rooftop terrace, or the unusually good gift shop.