Date: c. 1903
Technique: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 280 x 190 cm
Es Baluard Museu d'Art Contemporani de Palma
Reg. no.: 566
It was in 1902, as a result of the construction of the Gran Hotel in Palma by Lluís Domènech i Montaner, that Antonio Albareda, the tenant of the building, commissioned seven panels to decorate the large dining room, a space of 140 metres: four were executed by Santiago Rusiñol and three by Joaquim Mir, to whom the specifications were given that they should be “marine, from the coasts of Mallorca”. Mir threw himself into the project with great energy; to carry out the commission, he moved to Pollença. He fell so far behind with the work that Rusiñol offered to complete it in 15 days, but the truth is that once the hotel was opened to the public, the works that were most admired were those of Mir. For Rusiñol this was a minor work, and he presented enlargements produced by Antoni Gelabert based on his oil paintings.
Mir painted the panels Posta de sol (Sunset), La cala encantada, Deià (“Deià, the Enchanted Cove”, a large-format repetition of an earlier version) and La cala Sant Vicenç (The Cove of Sant Vicenç). In them, the Barcelona-born painter consolidated his style and technique. Of the three large paintings, the smallest is this Posta de sol, which synthesises all of the transgressive and revolutionary values of the Mallorcan Mir: extreme solitude of the scenery, irregular rocky coasts, and a visionary realism that attains abstraction, with fluidity of tones and colours contrasted in zones. Posta de sol is the pictorial manifesto of Mir, this painter who found his expression in Mallorca and managed to become one of the most important landscape painters of the Europe of his day, and one of the most original and singular creators of the moment.
In 1941, the Gran Hotel closed down definitively and the works were provisionally transferred to the Museo de la Lonja in Palma; afterwards the paintings were passed around by different collectors until – as pieces of great value – they ended up in important collections: La cala encantada belongs to the Aena Contemporary Art Collection; La cala Sant Vicenç is part of the Museu de Montserrat Collection, and Posta de sol was acquired for the Es Baluard Collection.