The Beggars Cathedral

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Modern Art

JOAQUIM MIR

The Beggars Cathedral

Barcelona, 1898

  • Oil on canvas
  • 209.3 x 253 cm
  • © The Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection of Catalan painting
  • 212858-000


This work dates from Mir's young period, when he belonged to the Colla del Safrà (Saffron Group, because of the shades of yellow with which they painted the Barcelona suburbs). It was first exhibited at the Exposició de Belles Arts in 1898 and subsequently at the famous premises of Els Quatre Gats. Mir painted this canvas at the Sagrada Família church itself and composed the scene in two clearly distinguishable parts: architecture in the background and the human figure in the foreground, achieving a perfect synthesis between the two. On top of the painting's interest for its unquestionable artistic value is added its iconographic value, as it depicts one of the most emblematic works of modern Catalan architecture shortly after building had begun.

  • Collection
    Modern Art
  • Artist
    JOAQUIM MIR, Barcelona, 1873-1940
  • Title
    The Beggars Cathedral
  • Date
    Barcelona, 1898
  • Generic classification
    Painting
  • Material / Technique
    Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions
    209.3 x 253 cm
  • Subject
    Genre and society
  • Acquisition credit
    Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, permanent free loan to the MNAC, 2004
  • Inventory number
    212858-000
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© MNAC, 2009 Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya Palau Nacional. Parc de Montjuïc 08038 Barcelona