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Joan MIRÓ: the 5 most famous WORKS

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Joan Miró: most famous works

Joan Miro (Barcelona, ​​1893, Palma, 1983) is one of the most radical and imaginative artists, coming to create a original work using all kinds of artistic media and techniques, from painting to sculpture, engravings or ceramics. Miró was always between constant experimentation, objectivity and the subconscious, creating a own visual artistic vocabulary that makes his work unmistakable.

In this lesson from we offer you a selection of the most famous works of Joan Miró so you can understand and admire the work of one of the most nonconformist artists modern art.

You may also like: Famous surrealist painters and their works


  1. Characteristics of Joan Miró's technique
  2. The farm (1920-1921), first work by Joan Miró
  3. Carnaval de Arlequín (1924-1925), another of Joan Miró's works
  4. Dog barking at the moon (1926)
  5. Bleu II (1961)
  6. Moonbird (1966): an iconic sculpture
  7. Woman and Bird (1982): Miró's iconic work

Characteristics of the Joan Miró technique.

We will start by analyzing what Joan Miró's technique is so that you can better understand his work. He was a

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abstract art painter highly recognized and among the characteristics of his work we highlight the following:

  • Between the stylistic elements characteristic of Miro sThey find biomorphic shapes, geometric shapes, and abstract and semi-abstract objects.
  • Miró was a versatile and prolific artist that he tested multiple artistic mediums, from ceramics and prints to large bronze installations.
  • His radical and imaginative style he was a fundamental figure in the avant-garde of the early twentieth century, evolving into increasing and then complete abstraction.
  • Miró has partnered with the surrealism early, influencing the Abstract Expressionists.
  • He also invented a new kind of pictorial space in which the artist carefully places the objects. Some objects out of his imagination and that he juxtaposes with recognizable basic shapes.
  • Miró's art was never installed in the no objectivity, dedicating himself to exploring means to dismantle the traditional precepts of figurative representation.
  • Miró found the balance between the automatism and spontaneity of surrealism with meticulous and precise planning and representation.
  • His color palette is limited, always sticking to expressive colors, with flat backgrounds with soft color gradations and fields of color without mixing. Bold and valuable colors that served as inspiration for many artists.
  • Despite dealing with the same topics, he always did it in variety of media and achieving different and always surprising results.

The farm (1920-1921), Joan Miró's first work.

According to Miró, this work reflected all his years of his life in the field, putting on the canvas everything that he loved, from the greatest to the smallest. Thus, in an inclined image plane, the artist shows us his farmhouse, full of animals, plants and artistic tools. A canvas in which Miró recreates himself in every detail, also being a preview of his later surrealist work.

The artist always considered this work as one of the most important, marking a turning point in his artistic career. In it, a series of influences are also appreciated, including that of Catalan popular art, in addition to Cubism, but the artist refused to be pigeonholed into a single style, being an example of his restless and iconoclastic.

Among the most important innovations is the inclusion of various abstract elements, symbols such as stairs and letters, making the work both an image and a poem.

The history of the painting

The story behind the painting is also gripping. Miró looked for a buyer in the Parisian modern art market, very interested in cubism. A merchant suggested cutting it into several smaller paintings to make it easier to sell. A then unknown Ernest Hemingway, with whom Miró was friends, he wanted to buy the painting. The two used to get together for boxing sessions and Hemingway, after borrowing money and working as a grocery store clerk, was able to buy it and keep it for his entire life.

The writer confessed that he would not exchange the painting for any other in the world. "It has everything you feel for Spain when you're there and everything you feel when you're away and you can't go there." Today it is located in the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Joan Miró: most famous works - The farm (1920-1921), Joan Miró's first work

Carnaval de Arlequín (1924-1925), another of Joan Miró's works.

This oil on canvas depicts a joyous and festive scene in which one biomorphs Quixotic is caught in a party.

The characters are a harlequin, identified by the black and white pictures of the costume of the original figure of the commedia dell'arte Italian, with a distorted guitar-shaped body; a cat standing on his hind legs, as if he were dancing, his "arms" extended towards the scene, while his red and yellow face turned to look at the viewer; a yellow and black fish, musical notes on the wall, black and white snake tubes and a black and yellow creature that dances in the lower center grasping a thread that extends to the whiskers of the cat.

An imagined world that grabs the viewer and that constitutes a turn of the artist towards surrealism, being also one of the first works in which he used the biomorphic forms, evoking all objects to living organisms. A way to nullify the certainties of the conscious world and make the collective unconscious sprout.

Joan Miró: most famous works - Harlequin Carnival (1924-1925), another of Joan Miró's works

Dog barking at the moon (1926)

We are looking at another of Joan Mirá's most famous works: Dog barking at the moon. In a surreal and cartoonish landscape, a distorted dog with bright colors barks at the moon. The work conveys a sense of loneliness and mystery, including several words in his paintings, what Miró called "Painting poems".

Although Miró did not include the text in the painting, that feeling of communication between the dog and the moon is transmitted. It has been interpreted as a personal manifesto in which the young Miró sees himself as a puppy trying to find his voice within the avant-garde.

Joan Miró: most famous works - Dog barking at the moon (1926)

Bleu II (1961)

This is a monumental size canvas, 12 feet by 9, in a series of three using simple abstract shapes on a blue phone. Everything is painted with even brush strokes and a slightly diagonal red stroke is used to introduce a dramatic touch, thus giving more emphasis to an empty expanse. It also introduces some black and irregular shapes that also transmit energy.

Miró identifies the blue field with the sky and the world of dreams. Empty spaces and horizons overwhelmed him, impressing him greatly, and always introducing tiny figures into it. The narrow range of colors reveals the influence of Romanesque frescoes, like the small number of shapes.

Joan Miró: most famous works - Bleu II (1961)

Moonbird (1966): an iconic sculpture.

The sculpture represents a hybrid creature with moon-shaped face and horns, while his arms resemble wings without plumage. The figure is squatting with two limbs firmly rooted in the ground as if drawing its strength from the ground. The shapes evoke moons, birds and the tradition of Spanish bullfighting.

The play is a kind of totem full of strength and power, gathering Miró forms and metaphorical ideas from the natural and cosmic worlds to create a dreamlike character. Thus, the work has an organic aspect, showing all its key themes: the moon, the birds or the theme of Catalonia.

Joan Miró: most famous works - Lunar Bird (Moonbird) (1966): an iconic sculpture

Woman and Bird (1982): Miró's iconic work.

We are facing another monumental sculpture, 20 meters high, depicting a woman, painted in bright primary colors. The woman wears a tubular "hat" surmounted by a yellow bird that evokes a crescent moon.

But the work is ambiguous, as its phallic shape offers an initial misleading impression. As a result, the viewer has to pause and perform the play. The woman symbolizes the earth, the moon symbolized the sky and the birds connect both worlds. Due to its enormous size, it became a kind of talisman for Miró.

The sculpture was built with colorful broken tiles, was one of the first major initiatives of public art in Barcelona, after the restoration of democracy and is considered the last great work of Miró. The use of mosaic and irregular contours were a tribute to the great Barcelona architect Antonio gaudi, with whom Miró had studied.

Joan Miró: most famous works - Woman and bird (1982): iconic work of Miró

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  • Punyet Miro, Joan and Lolivier-Rahola, Gloria (2012). I look. Blume
  • Balsach, M.J (2007). Joan Miro: Cosmogony of an original world (1918-1939). Galaxy Gutenberg
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