Joan Miró Maternité [Maternity] 1924 © Successió Miró. All rights reserved. ADAGP, Paris and DACS London 2023


Born 1893
Died 1983
Nationality Spanish
Birth place Barcelona
Death place Palma

Miró was born in Barcelona and moved to Paris in 1920. His early work combined miniaturist detail with a cubist fragmentation of space. In Paris he abandoned this style and began to paint an imaginary world full of strange, insect-like figures and forms, which seemed to float in space. This fantastic sign language, which was partly inspired by images from the artist's unconscious mind, soon became a hallmark of Surrealist art. Although he spent time away from Spain, Miró remained interested in Catalonian folklore throughout his career.

Glossary terms

Glossary terms


A painting, drawing or writing process that aims to suppress rational thought, allowing the subconscious to take control. This spontaneous approach is associated with Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism.

School of Paris

A loosely affiliated group of artists working in Paris in the early years of the twentieth century up to the Second World War.


A literary and artistic movement that sought to challenge conventions through the exploration of the subconscious mind, invoking the power of dreams and elements of chance. It is now regarded as one of the most radical movements of the twentieth century.