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Arts & Culture

Catalan painters of the 20th century

Written by Christine

Catalonia, especially Barcelona, is a region that many of the greatest artists of our time have been proud to call home over the years. This city lives and breathes art and has held inspiration for aspiring artists throughout the ages. Discover some of the masters who used the Ciudad Condal as a muse and source of inspiration.

Antoni Tàpies

Photo by calafellvalo via / CC BY-NC-ND

Antoni Tàpies was a Barcelona native who loved to experiment with elements like geometrical patterns, colors, and magical objects. Born in 1923 to a wealthy family, he was a lover of art and literature from a young age. He drew inspiration from fellow Catalan artist Joan Miró, who was also interested in the magic of expression through art. To get a taste of his work or to know more about contemporary art, you should pay a visit to The Fundació Antoni Tàpies, which was created by the artist himself in 1984. The foundation’s purpose is to promote the study and appreciation of modern art. A large portion of Tàpies’ work is housed here, as well as an extensive library, and spaces for exhibitions and symposiums. This is truly the best way to immerse yourself in the work of one of Barcelona’s best-known native painters.

Address: Carrer d’Aragó, 255

Related article: Joan Miro: how a clerk got into magical realism

Salvador Dalí

World-renowned artist and one of the leaders of the surrealist movement, Salvador Dalí has roots that run deep in Catalonia to this day. Born in Figueres, Dalí studied and worked abroad before returning to Catalonia and setting up his residence and studio in Cadaqués. He lived there for many years, creating the house that now serves as a museum of his life and work. While samples of Dalí’s paintings can be seen in museums across Barcelona, true fans should take a trip up the Costa Brava to see the Cadaqués house or the museum that Dalí himself designed in Figueres. Both have collections of Dalí’s paintings and other artistic endeavors that any art lover is sure to enjoy.

Joan Miró

Photo by Thomas Hawk via

Another Barcelona native and leader of Surrealism is Joan Miró, who drew inspiration for his art from the Catalan countryside and life in Catalonia at the time. Miró experimented with different styles and mediums throughout his career but is perhaps most remembered for his stunning paintings. Much of Miró’s work can be found at The Fundació Joan Miró, located here in Barcelona. Miró created this space to showcase his work but also as a center of study for aspiring contemporary artists. The foundation has been promoting art studies and exhibitions in Barcelona since 1975, even endowing scholarships to young aspiring artists.

Address: Parc de Montjuïc, s/n

Related article: Famous Catalan Artists


Perhaps the father of modern art himself, Picasso is thought of to be an honorary Catalan due to his time spent in Barcelona and the artist’s belief that Barcelona was his “true home.” Born in Màlaga, Picasso lived in Barcelona during his childhood and teenage years and studied at the School of Fine Arts. A vast collection of his early work, which depicts Barcelona and life in the city at the time, can be found at Museu Picasso in the heart of the city. This museum has one of the largest collections of Picasso’s work all under one roof. Since its doors opened in 1963, countless visitors have come to see the more than 4000 pieces that make up this vast collection. Through his early work, you can experience firsthand the love that Picasso had for Barcelona.

Address: Carrer Montcada, 15-23

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About the author


Christine is a traveler, teacher, writer, and beach-lover, exploring Barcelona one tapa at a time!

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