Artist Insights: Joan Miro

Updated: Mar 21

Joan Miró (1893–1983)

Miró always maintained a rigidly inflexible daily routine - both because he disliked being distracted from his work, and because he feared slipping back into the severe depression that had afflicted him as a young man, before he discovered painting. To help prevent a relapse, his routine always included vigorous exercise - boxing in Paris; jumping rope and Swedish gymnastics at a Barcelona gym; and running on the beach and swimming at Montroig, a seaside village where his family owned a farmhouse, to which Miró returned nearly every summer to escape city life and recharge his creative energies.

In Miró: The Life of a Passion, Lluís Permanyer describes the artist’s routine in the early 1930s, when he was living in Barcelona with his wife and young daughter:

At six o’clock he got up, washed and had coffee and a few slices of bread for breakfast; at seven he went into the studio and worked non-stop until twelve, when he stopped to do an hour of energetic exercise, like boxing or running; at one o’clock he sat down for a frugal but well-prepared lunch, which he finished off with a coffee and three cigarettes, neither more nor less; then he practised his “Mediterranean yoga,” a nap, but for just five minutes; at two he would receive a friend, deal with business matters or write letters; at three he returned to the studio, where he stayed until dinner time at eight o’clock; after dinner he would read for a while or listen to music.

Miró hated for this routine to be interrupted by social or cultural events. As he told an American journalist, “Merde! I absolutely detest all openings and parties! They’re commercial, political, and everybody talks too much. They get on my tits!”

From: Daily Rituals by Mason Currey