Joan Miró, (born April 20, 1893, Barcelona, Spain—died December 25, 1983, Palma, Majorca), Catalan painter who combined abstract art with Surrealist fantasy. His mature style evolved from the tension between his fanciful, poetic impulse and his vision of the harshness of modern life. He worked extensively in lithography and produced numerous murals, tapestries, and sculptures for public spaces. In spite of his fame, however, Miró, a taciturn, introverted man, continued to devote himself exclusively to looking and creating. His art had developed slowly from his first attempts at expression to the apparently playful masterpieces of his later period. In his late works Miró employed an even greater simplification of figure and background; he sometimes created a composition merely by setting down a dot and a sensitive line on a sea-blue surface, as in Blue II (1961). The whimsical or aggressive irony of his earlier work gave way to a quasi-religious meditation. In 1980, in conjunction with his being awarded Spain’s Gold Medal of Fine Arts, a plaza in Madrid was named in Miró’s honour.