Fundació Miró

Son Boter

Son Boter is a typical Mallorcan country estate house that dates back to the 18th century, named after its 14th-century owner, the merchant Llorenç Boter(1). The property was initially a farm, and it was probably in the late 18th century that the Martorell family decided to build a house for the spring and summer months. Even though it was used for leisure, it was built following the architectural tradition of agricultural estates.

Son Boter was close to Son Abrines, where the studio designed by Josep Lluís Sert was located, and enabled Joan Miró to retreat to a new painting and sculpture studio, as he explained in a letter to Sert on October 9th, 1959: “I just purchased Son Boter, the magnificent house that is just behind ours. Aside from being a good investment, it protects me against potentially annoying neighbors. It will also be a good place for me to make monumental canvases and sculptures, freeing up my studio space”(2). It appears that Miró was able to acquire Son Boter with the funds from the Guggenheim International Award he received in 1958 for the two ceramic murals at the UNESCO building in Paris.

The Son Boter house has two floors plus an attic, covered by a hip roof. It also has several basement-level rooms and a mezzanine between the two main floors. As he had done in the Sert studio, Miró created an environment that would be conducive to his work with postcards, children's drawings, and a variety of different objects. In addition, he gradually took over the space with charcoal drawings on the walls, giving life to figures and characters related to his sculptures, and with drippings and splashes of paint on the floor. His graffiti enriched this example of traditional Mallorcan architecture, merging tradition and modernity, and forming a unique sample of the artist's expression.

The sienna-colored walls in one of the upstairs rooms contrast with all the other whitewashed spaces. This was the room where Miró would retire to rest: “This is the room where I rest. It’s just the way it was: the color, the built-in shelves. Here are Prats, Pablo, and my parents”(3). When he rested, Miró was surrounded by the oil portraits of his parents, Dolors Ferrà and Miquel Miró, and two photographs of two of his friends, Joan Prats and Pablo Picasso.

Years later, the Son Boter estate also housed engraving and lithograph workshops where Miró worked on his prints without leaving his studio spaces.

(1) Bartomeu Bestard, “Son Boter”, in Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró, Miró. Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró a Mallorca, Barcelona: Lunwerg, 2005.
(2) Letter from Joan Miró to Josep Lluís Sert, October 9th, 1959 (The Josep Lluís Sert Collection, Frances Loeb Library, Harvard University).
(3) Georges Raillard, Miró. Ceci est la couleur de mes rêves: Entretiens avec Georges Raillard , Paris: Seuil, 1977, pp. 150-151.