Joan Miró

Photo of Miró by Man Ray
Joan Miró i Ferrà,
painter, sculptor, and ceramicist
was born in Barcelona, Spain,
April 20, 1893.
Associated with early Surrealism who’s however influenced Abstract Expressionists and Color Field painters, Joan Miró was a pioneer in avant-garde painting.

He was one of modern art’s greatest masters with his very own visual vocabulary. Like Klee, he uses a profoundly symbolic language, sensitive and unique.

Self Portraits

His own words though, are much more interesting than any description of his work…
Montroig village and church

“I work in a state of passion, transported. When I begin a canvas, I’m obeying a physical impulse, the need to throw myself; it’s like a physical outlet.”


“I try to apply colors like words that shape poems, like notes that shape music. ”

Women and bird in the moonlight

“The older I get and the more I master the medium, the more I return to my earliest experiences. I think that at the end of my life I will recover all the force of my childhood.”

Le coq

“Unless we make an effort to find out the religious essence, the magic meaning of things, we will only add new sources of stupefaction to the ones that are already being offered so abundantly”

The Vegetable Garden with Donkey

“The spectacle of the sky overwhelms me. I am overwhelmed when I see a crescent moon or the sun in an immense sky. In my paintings there are often tiny forms in vast empty spaces. Empty spaces, empty horizons, empty plains – everything that has been stripped bare has always made a strong impression on me.”

Landscape the hare

“My characters have undergone the same process of simplification as the colors. Now that they have been simplified, they appear more human and alive than if they had been represented in all their details.”

The red disk

“I begin my paintings because something jolts me away from reality. This shock can be caused by a little thread that comes loose from the canvas, a drop of water that falls, the fingerprint my thumb leaves on the shiny surface of this table.”

The birth of day

“For me a form is never something abstract. It is always a sign of something. It is always a man, a bird, or something else.”

The flight of the dragonfly in front of the sun

“I feel the need of attaining the maximum of intensity with the minimum of means. It is this which has led me to give my painting a character of even greater bareness.”

The skiing lesson

“What is very important for me is when I work without working….when I walk, when I do nothing, when I eat. When ideas come to me like that…when it bubbles in my head and in my mind this is what has an enormous importance.”

The birth of the world

“A form gives me an idea, this idea evokes another form, and everything culminates in figures, animals, and things I had no way of foreseeing in advance.”

The red sun gnaws at the spider

“The works must be conceived with fire in the soul but executed with clinical coolness.”

Standing nude

“I painted in a frenzy, with real violence so that people will know that I am alive, that I’m breathing, that I still have a few more places to go. I’m heading in new directions.”

Dog barking at the moon

“I have turned increasingly into a Man of Revolt. I am rebelling more and more against the world as it is.”

Prades, the Village

“I only use the objects I find. I gather them altogether in my studio, which is very large. I lay the objects all around on the floor and choose this or that one. I never make sculptures from sketches, I just put them together.”

Head of a woman

“Yes, it took me just a moment to draw this line with the brush. But it took me months, perhaps even years, of reflection to form the idea.”

Blue I – II & III

“My work is intended as a poem translated into music by a painter”

And these are a few composers known to have ‘influenced’ Miró and selections I could hear while looking at his paintings.

Ouverture [No.2] in B Minor, BWV 1067: VII. Battinerie

Johann Sebastian Bach

La Petite Bande • Sigiswald Kuijken

Poème Electronique

Edgard Varèse

Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra • Riccardo Chailly

The Rite of Spring

Igor Stravinsky

London Symphony Orchestra • Sir Simon Rattle


Iannis Xenakis

SWF Symphony Orchestra • Hans Rosbaud

Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion Sz110: III – III. Allegro non troppo

Béla Bartók

Martha Argerich · Nelson Freire · Peter Sadlo · Edgar Guggeis

Preludes, Book 1, L 117 – Des Pas Sur La Neige

Claude Debussy

Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli

His works are held in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Tate Gallery in London, and the Fundació Joan Miró in Barcelona, a museum dedicated to him and his legacy.

For more information and paintings by Miró, here are a few links:


Be Safe 🏡

53 replies »

  1. These are just terrific, Marina. The way you’ve reformatted the categories on the opening pag is beautiful. People only look at your latest post generally, but this way you’re inviting them in.

  2. Amazing! There’s so much art I’ve never seen, artists I’ve never heard of. That goes for music, too!
    Okay, now I’ll listen to your selections, while I edit photos!

    • Oh my…. listening to ‘me’ and not Oannes…. 😉 I hope you enjoy! 😉 Yes… so much art! I constantly see new things, not to mention seeing anew paintings I’m already familiar with! A never ending process [thankfully!] xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

      • Well, I listened to him first! LOL!!! 😉
        The Arts make life!
        Sex makes children!
        Love makes both! 😉 😉 😉 😉

  3. Happy birthday to an amazing, remarkable, brilliant artist. I love his thought: “When I stand in front of a canvas, I never know what I’m going to do – and nobody is more surprised than I at what comes out.”

  4. I am a big admire of Miró – or most of all his art. So I really enjoyed this post, Marina. I once visited his museum in Barcelona and it was a great experience. Thank you. Stay healthy.

    • Oh, I can imagine how great an experience it must have been! 🙂
      Thank you very much, Otto! I’m so glad you enjoyed this.
      You too stay healthy, my friend! 🙂

  5. I didn’t know about this painter, so thank you. Interesting how his work is wide-ranging to me … also meaning I really liked some of it and others not so much. Do you know the Spanish painter Alvar? We have several of his works in our home because my wife’s aunt had numerous pieces of his work.

  6. Simply stunning. This makes my beautiful day even better. Isn’t it interesting how the spiritual language of poetry suffuses the art of Miro, Kandinsky, Tarkovsky and so many others 🙂 And all the great music you’ve included? Superb!

  7. What a wonderfully put together post, Marina! Some of Miró’s paintings I could very well see him creating listing to that jarring “Rite of Spring”!

    • Oh, thank you for the compliment! I must confess it was quite ‘draining’ to draft and finish. What was unfortunate is that I couldn’t find quite a few of his paintings that I love, online. I’m thinking that maybe for my next love [more than Miró], Paul Klee [December 18 …I suppose I have plenty of time! 😉 ] I’ll scan paintings from my numerous albums! 😉
      You’re right on Stravinsky…

      • It shows you put in a lot of time and effort! Wow.
        Stravinsky… oy… my introduction to him was this piece… it was fine while watching a ballet but I just cannot listen to it just to listen to it!

        • It’s one of those musical pieces that grabs you fiercely and doesn’t let go till the last note… 🙂 …that’s when I get to breathe! 😉 If you let it do that… you’re in for a unique experience! It’s half an hour of ‘aggressive’ genius …and joy, from start to finish. 😉

    • Well… that’s how I first saw it too! 😉 However, I will copy the description given on my Miró album by Hajo Düchting: “Set against a dark blue, almost black surface, a white splotch of paint has been hurled out impulsively, and loses itself in innumerable spots and spatters, a cosmic gesture thrust against the empty void of nothingness – almost a metaphor of the artist’s creative activity. Some spots of colour flare up among this galaxy of creativity, of which the largest and most irregular is the red one which gave the painting its title. Minute symbols are scattered around the edges of the entire constellation – stars of hair and little hooks which give this action painting a new poetic dimension and connect it unmistakably with Miro’s world of symbols. “

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