The Life and Times of Joan Miró

“The outer world, the world of contemporary events, always has an influence on the painter…The forms expressed by the individual who is part of society must reveal the movement of a soul trying to escape the reality of the present… in order to approach new realities, to offer other men the possibility of rising above the present.” –Joan Miró, 1939

Use this interactive timeline to learn more about Miró’s personal life, career, and the global events that helped shape him and his generation. ;xNLx;;xNLx;Instructions;xNLx;;xNLx;1. Firmly touch the timeline ruler at the bottom of the screen to navigate to the year you would like to explore.;xNLx;;xNLx;2. To learn more about a particular event, firmly touch that event panel to enlarge it. ;xNLx;;xNLx;Note: Miró’s life events are contained in brown panels. Global events are contained in red panels. ;xNLx;;xNLx;3. A lightbox will appear that contains more information about that event.;xNLx;;xNLx;Note: If there is a photo in the event lightbox, you can zoom in on it by rolling over the image, then pressing on the magnifying glass icon in the upper right hand corner of the image. To close an event lightbox and go back to the timeline, press on the “X” in the upper right hand corner of the lightbox.

Joan Miró is born in Barcelona

Joan Miró is born in Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, a region near the northeastern coast of Spain. With a distinct history, language and culture dating back to the early middle ages, Catalonia has been part of Spain since the 15th century. A campaign for political autonomy began in the 19th century, which started a revival of the Catalan language and a renewed sense of a Catalan identity. Spain became a republic in 1931 and Catalonia was given broad autonomy until the dictatorship of Francisco Franco following the Spanish Civil War in 1939. Under Franco’s rule, Catalonia lost its autonomy and the use of the Catalan language was restricted. As the industrial center of Spain, Catalonia again gained greater autonomy following the death of General Franco in 1975.

Miró commences studies in Barcelona

At 14, Miró studies at the Barcelona school of Commerce but also takes classes at La Llotja School of Fine Art.

World War I

World War I. Spain remains neutral during the conflict.

Miró joins the military

Miró undergoes mandatory military service in Barcelona until 1917.

Miró waxes poetic

Miró develops a strong interest in poetry and begins reading avant-garde Catalan and French literary journals.

Miró establishes the Courbet group

Founds the Courbet group with Barcelona artists Albert Ràfols-Casamada, Francesc Domingo, and others. The group is named after the French painter Gustave Courbet, in homage to Courbet’s dedication to realism and his revolutionary stance.

Miró makes a trip to Paris

Despite financial difficulties, Miró makes his first trip to Paris, France, where he encounters diverse artistic communities first hand and meets Pablo Picasso, whom he greatly admires.

Miró joins the Parisian literary scene

Miró moves to a studio in rue Blomet, Paris, where his neighbor is the artist André Mason. A gathering place for leading poets and artists, he is introduced to the poets and writers Max Jacob, Michael Leiris, Robert Desnos, Paul Éluard, and later, André Breton. He immerses himself in the literary scene, which opens entirely new creative possibilities to him.

Miró begins 'The Farm'

Spends the summer at the family farm in Montroig, Spain where he begins The Farm, then finishes in the winter of 1922 at the rue Blomet studio. The painting is later purchased by Ernest Hemingway.

'La Peinture Surrealiste' exhibition is held

The exhibition La Peinture Surrealiste is held at Galerie Pierre in Paris Paris and includes work by Miró, Masson, Man Ray, and others.

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