©Fundació Mas Miró, 2018.

Miró and Mont-roig

"All my work is conceived in Mont-roig."

The origins of Joan Miró’s work and his artistic universe can be traced back to Mont-roig and, in particular, to Mas Miró and its surrounding landscape. It was here, in 1911 after a depression, that he decided to devote himself fully to painting.
The land, the farmworkers’ labours, nature and the landscape are recurrent themes in all his early paintings. 

Joan Miró and Mont-roig del Camp

Miró invariably spent every summer through to 1976 at the farm that his parents had bought in 1911. His deep-rooted sense of attachment to the landscape of Mont-roig and later to that of Mallorca, his final home as from the 1950s, would play a decisive role in his work and in his artistic language. Barcelona, Mont-roig, Mallorca and also Paris (in the 1920s), New York (in the 1940s) and Japan (in the 1960s) were all his emotional landscapes–although Mont-roig would always act as a counterpoint, the source of that initial impact which he revisited time and time again.

©Hereus de Joaquim Gomis. Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona.

The “Miró’s emotional landscapes” route: Mont-roig - Mas Miró

Several places in Mont-roig del Camp served as a model for paintings by Joan Miró. La masia (The Farm), Mont-roig, el pont (Mont-roig, the bridge), Platja de Mont-roig (Mont-roig, the beach) and Poble i església de Mont-roig (Village and church of Mont-roig) are some examples of paintings inspired by the municipality’s landscapes. 

Today, these sites can be visited on a route called “Miró’s emotional landscapes”. This features a number of signed identified spots where visitors can see for themselves the landscapes that Miró transformed into world famous works of art. Mas Miró complements the tour by adding another fundamental ingredient: the scene depicted in the painting La masia (The Farm) and, more importantly, the place where the artist once lived and worked. 

Mont-roig as a model

Mont-roig and its scenery were a focus of attraction, model and source of inspiration for many of Joan Miró’s early paintings.  

The striking image of La Roca inspired a painting clearly influenced by Cézanne entitled Mont-roig, Sant Ramon (1916). Miró said that the secret of this painting was its balance. Sant Ramon hermitage’s perching position, the red crag’s cubic shapes and the whole combination’s acrobatic balancing act fascinated the young Miró.  

Platja de Mont-roig (Mont-roig, the beach) (1916), with its Impressionist influences, shows the beach where Miró so often used to bathe, after travelling down to it from Mas Miró along Pixerota gully. With his gifted eye, Miró would comb the beach for stones, trunks and roots which he later transformed into sculptures. Mont-roig, el poble (Mont-roig, the village) (1916), with a view of the village from Les Creus where a majestic new church can be seen, dates back to the same period. 

During his early period, Miró sought inspiration and a wide variety of themes for his paintings in the landscape and in other features close to the farm, such as trees, bridges and watercourses. Two good examples are Mont-roig, el riu (Mont-roig, the river) (1917) and Mont-roig, el pont (Mont-roig, the bridge) (1917).

After his first solo exhibition in 1918, where his early work was seen together for the first time, Miró decided to take a new approach to his work.  He began to paint in a very meticulous way, in a style similar to calligraphy, paying attention to every single detail. The outcome of this painstaking stage are paintings like La casa de la palmera (House with palm tree) (1918), Hort amb ase (Vegetable garden with donkey) (1918) and Les roderes (The rut) (1918), three different views of the same house next to Mas Miró. 

Poble i església de Mont-roig (Village and church of Mont-roig) (1919) is a new vision of the village, this time from the first bridge. This painting is a synthesis of his work up until that point and a foretaste of the new phase that he would embark on. He concluded this figurative stage with La masia (The Farm) (1921-1922), taking the façade of Mas Miró as his model. 

Mont-roig del Camp today

Today, Mont-roig del Camp combines its traditional charm with the attraction of sun and sand tourism. For more information, see the following links:

Mont-roig del Camp Town Council
https://mont-roig.cat/

Mont-roig Miami Tourism Office
http://www.mont-roigmiami.cat/