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The Religious Affiliation of Painter
Joan Miró

Joan Miro is regarded as one of the greatest artists in modern history. He was born in and lived much of his life in the Catalonia region of Spain. Miro had a strong love for and identification with Catalan culture.

From: Robert S. Lubar, "Miro's Mediterranean: Conceptions of a Cultural Identity", in Joan Miro: 1893-1993 (produced by Fundacio Joan Miro), Little, Brown and Company/Bulfinch Press: Boston, Massachusetts (1993), page 25:

In one of his most revealing letters, Joan Miro expressed a sentiment that would form the emotional nucleus of his art for the next seven decades: deep attachment to the land, people, and traditions of his native Catalonia. Writing in August 1917 to his friend and studiomate Enric Cristofol Ricart from Ciurana, a remote village in the Tarragona countryside south of Barcelona, Miro described his introspective state of mind:

"The solitary life at Ciurana, the primitivism of these admirable people, my intensive work, and especially, my spiritual retreat and the chance to live in a world created by my spirit and my soul, removed, like Dante, from all reality. . . . I have withdrawn inside myself, and the more skeptical I have become about the things around me the closer I have become to God, the trees, the mountains, and to friendship. A primitive like the people of Ciurana and a lover of Dante." 1

Contrasting the volatility of modern urban life with an ideal pastoral existence in the Catalan countryside, Miro advanced his archetypal vision of a primitive Catalonia unaltered by time, industrialization, and political transformations. Miro's retreat to Ciurana signaled a return to mythic Catalonia, in which the symbiosis of the peasant with the land evoked images of stability, continuity, and cyclical renewal.

1 Miro to Ricart, correspondence of August 1917; translated in Margit Rowell, ed., Joan Miro: Selected Writings and Interviews (Boston, 1986), 50.

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