Joan Miró  (1893 - 1983)
Self-Portrait, 1919
Oil on canvas, 75 x 60 cm
Musée Picasso, Paris

When you’re in Barcelona, be sure to visit Fundació Joan Miró. The artist was born and raised in this city. Miró exhibited a gift for drawing from childhood. His father, a goldsmith, wanted Joan to inherit his profitable company and insisted he study business. At the same time Joan, dreaming of becoming an artist, enrolled in Barcelona’s Academy of Arts.

After graduating from business school, he worked briefly as a clerk. But the work drove him to a nervous breakdown and his parents finally agreed with his decision to pursue an artist’s life.

Miró was 25 when his first solo exhibition was held. About the same time, exhibitions of Cubist and Surrealist artists appeared in Barcelona. They made a strong impression on Miró and influenced his decision to go to Paris.

There he met with his fellow countryman Pablo Picasso, for whom Miró brought goodies from his mother in Barcelona. Picasso was already famous and considered one of the fathers of Cubism.

This self-portrait, painted shortly after arriving in Paris, was made under the influence of Cubism. Picasso so liked the painting that he purchased it. Fundació Joan Miró used this self-portrait for the poster issued in honor of the 90th anniversary of the artist.