Le Pot de fleurs et le citron was painted when Miró was twenty-three and residing in Barcelona. It reflects a synthesis of Miró's Catalan roots with the artistique techniques of the Fauves and Cubists, and other international trends. In 1914, Miró had recently finished a three year program at the Galí Academy under the influential tutelage of Francise Galí. Galí had recognized Miró's difficulty in transcribing literal forms and recommended that he draw from touch rather than sight. "This physical approach to form, aside from its extensions to the artist's later ceramic and cultural activity applies throughout his career to his painting as well. In effect, one of the constant features in Miró's art is the distinctive plasticity of his forms." (M. Rowell, Miró, New York, 1970, p. 8).
Miró was also heavily influenced during this period by the artistic currents emanating from Paris. Barcelona was a center of intellectual activity, and the artists and writers who lived there, looked to France for new stylistic trends. From 1916-1917, Miró's paintings reflected a wide amalgam of styles such as Post-Impressionism, Fauvism, Cubism and Futurism that came not only from reading and discussing articles in periodicals such as Les Soirées de Paris, Nord Sud and L'Instant but also from physically seeing the work of Parisian painters. In 1916, Ambrose Vollard took an exhibition of contemporary French painting to Barcelona and it had a profound effect on Miró. Already familiar with Cézanne, he now saw Fauve and Cubist works.
Le Pot de fleurs et le citron clearly declares the influences of the Fauves and the Cubists but also illustrates Miró's Catalan roots as well. Unlike the flat foreshortened perspective of synthetic Cubism, Miró propounds an illusion of volume that invests his still-life with depth and energy. There are obvious parallels with the Fauves in his color choice, but "one realizes that Miró's chromatic scale is in another key, at once more primitive and more baroque (paradoxical as this might sound) in its effects. On the most general level this can be explained simply on the grounds of a more impulsive temperament and less aesthetic reserve or discipline. More specifically, not only his hues but his tortured forms, and violent brushstroke permit analogies to Van Gogh, an artist whom Miró admits to having admired greatly at this point in his development." (M. Rowell, op. cit.).
Miro's "primitive and baroque" approach derives in part to his exposure to primitive Catalan art. As a young man, he visited ninth and twelfth century churches in Barcelona which were adorned with simply executed frescos. The lessons Miró learned from the artisans use of primary colors, heavy black outlines and disproportionate use of space, would appear in his work throughout his life. In Le Pot de fleurs et le citron, the distinctive combination of the dense muted colors, the vigorous almost primitive approach to form, and the jagged brushstrokes suggest that while he acknowledged the foreign influences, Miró's paintings of this time clearly suggest that he was a Catalan painter. As Dupin notes "all the great epochs of Catalan art have been marked by the assimilation of foreign elements and their recreation in a pure, original style" (J. Dupin, Miró, Paris, 2004, p. 14).