Lot 25
  • 25

Joaquim Mir

Estimate
80,000 - 120,000 GBP
Sold
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Description

  • Joaquim Mir
  • The Artist's House,  Vilanova i la Geltrú
  • signed J. MIR lower left
  • oil on canvas
  • 105.5 by 120cm., 41½ by 47½in.

Provenance

Acquired by the family of the present owners in 1922; thence by descent

Literature

Francesc Miralles, Joaquín Mir a Vilanova, 2007, p. 149, no. 93, illustrated

Catalogue Note

Suffused with light and teeming with colour, the present work is the most important depiction of the garden of the artist’s villa in Vilanova near Tarragona, the substantial property that Mir had acquired in 1922. The house became a meeting-place for painters and intellectuals, while the lush vegetation of the gardens became a sanctuary, open air studio, and repeated source of inspiration for the artist.

Mir had abandoned himself to colour whilst exploring the landscapes of Mallorca twenty years earlier. His experiments led to extravagant compositions verging on the abstract, but were cut short by a climbing accident on the coast and his ensuing mental breakdown. In Vilanova, where his wife had grown up, Mir settled into a reassuring daily rhythm. The house served as a gallery for his collection of paintings and ceramics, the grounds as a park, menagerie, and kitchen garden, giving the artist a much-needed sense of place and peace of mind through which to rediscover painting.

Explorations of colour through nature continued to define Mir’s oeuvre, and the vigorous palette in the present work reflects the artist’s renewed self-confidence. Inspired by painting trips to Alforja, Miravet, and the countryside around Barcelona, Mir's vibrant palette now became tempered by an increased sense of realism, balanced composition, and bold contrasts between light and dark. 
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