New Trends in the 19th & 20th Centuries



 




Art Styles in 19th century - Art Map


 







The Modern Style




Art Nouveau


 


 Antoni Gaudi

 


The Catalan Modern style


As the Modern style developed across Europe, the form that it took in each country depended on particular local trends and tastes. In the architectural examples of the Spanish Modern Style, also known as Modernisme. and especially in the extraordinarily inventive work of Antoni Gaudi, a taste for flamboyant Gothic and Moorish styles is evident, as well as a preference for tiles, mosaics and the use of colours inspired by the Mediterranean tradition. The influence of medieval Catalan architecture was obvious in Gaudi's work -Modernisme art was significant in Catalan nationalism and was linked to the aspirations of the Renaixenca group, which aimed for for political and cultural autonomy. Gaudi regularly encountered members of this group in Barcelona at the house of his friend and patron Eusebi Guell. As a result of knowing Guell, a wealthy industrialist who was keen to help with all Gaudi's experiments and ambitious plans, the architect was commissioned to design the entrance to the Guell Estate (1884-87), the Guell Palace (1886-87) and the Guell Park (1900) under commission. The park covered 50 acres (20 hectares) and was initially designed as a residential garden-suburb, equipped with all the services necessary for a community to function. In his use of styles from the past, Gaudf remained faithful to the principle that to be original required the artist to revisit his or her origins. He mixed these with literary references, whimsical elements, and mystical vision, while also basing his design on the natural movements of the earth. The rocky landscape is broken up into hills and valleys with avenues and seats, sweeping and sloping walkways, and winding colonnades.
Gaudi's design for Casa Mila in Barcelona (1906-10) also looks as if it were the product of ancient movements in the Earth's crust. It has a large rocky facade, "exposed" to the elements and opening into niches, and is sculpted in undulating lines that recall the motion of the sea. Some years before (1905-7), the architect had restored Casa Batllo in the centre of Barcelona, covering the entire former structure with a mosaic in coloured glass tiles. The discs are arranged at different angles in the walls so that they reflect light in different ways. Gaudi also oversaw the ornamental details of the exterior, which featured wrought-iron work balconies and coloured ceramic tiles on the borders of the windows and the roof. Considering the smallest detail of each of his buildings, he also created the interior furnishings, paying special attention to the materials and colours.
Gaudi's piece de resistance, however, was the church of the Sagrada Familia, also in Barcelona. Its construction spanned the best part of his productive life and drew not only on his intellectual interest in capturing both the traditional and the modern, but also on an religious commitment that became more mystical as time passed. Begun in 1882, the church is still unfinished today. It remains, however, the most extreme example of the Art Nouveau interpretation of Gothic art.

 


Antoni Gaudi
Casa Mila,
Barcelona
1906
 

 

 




 

Gaudi Antoni

(Encyclopaedia Britannica)

born June 25, 1852, Reus, Spain
died June 10, 1926, Barcelona


Spanish Antonio Gaudí Y Cornet Catalan architect whose distinctive style is characterized by freedom of form, voluptuous colour and texture, and organic unity. Gaudí worked almost entirely in or near Barcelona. Much of his career was occupied with the construction of the Expiatory Temple of the Holy Family (Sagrada Familia), which was unfinished at his death in 1926.



Life.

Gaudí was born in provincial Catalonia on the Mediterranean coast of Spain. Of humble origins, he was the son of a coppersmith who was to live with him in later life, together with a niece; Gaudí never married.

Showing an early interest in architecture, he went in 1869/70to study in Barcelona, then the political and intellectual centre of Catalonia as well as Spain's most modern city. He did not graduate until eight years later, his studies having been interrupted by military service and other intermittent activities.

Gaudí's style of architecture went through several phases. On emergence from the Provincial School of Architecture in Barcelona in 1878, he practiced a rather florid Victorianism that had been evident in his school projects, but he quickly developed a manner of composing by means of unprecedented juxtapositions of geometric masses, the surfaces of which were highly animated with patterned brick or stone, gay ceramic tiles, and floral or reptilian metalwork. The general effect, although not the details, is Moorish—or Mudéjar, as Spain's special mixture of Muslim and Christian design is called. Examples of his Mudéjar style are the Casa Vicens (1878–80) and “El Capricho” (1883–85) and the Güell Estate and Güell Palace of the later 1880s, all but “El Capricho” located in Barcelona. Next, Gaudí experimented with the dynamic possibilities of historic styles: the Gothic inthe Episcopal Palace, Astorga (1887–93) and Casa de los Botines, León (1892–94) and the Baroque in the Casa Calvet at Barcelona (1898–1904). But after 1902 his designs elude conventional stylistic nomenclature.

Except for certain overt symbols of nature or religion, Gaudí's buildings became essentially representations of their structure and materials. In his Villa Bell Esguard (1900–02) and the Güell Park (1900–14), in Barcelona, and in the Colonia Güell Church (1898–c. 1915), south of that city, he arrived at a type of structure that has come to be called equilibrated—that is, a structure designed to stand on its own without internal bracing, external buttressing, and the like—or, as Gaudí observed, as a tree stands. Among the primary elements of his system were piers and columns that tilt to transmit diagonal thrusts, and thin-shell, laminated tilevaults that exert very little thrust. Gaudí applied his equilibrated system to two multistoried Barcelona apartment buildings: the Casa Batlló (1904–06), a renovationthat incorporated new equilibrated elements, notably the facade; and the Casa Milá (1905–10), the several floors of which are structured like clusters of tile lily pads with steel-beam veins. As was so often his practice, he designed the two buildings, in their shapes and surfaces, as metaphorsof the mountainous and maritime character of Catalonia.

As an admired, if eccentric, architect, Gaudí was an important participant in the Catalan Renaixensa, an artistic revival of the arts and crafts combined with a political revival in the form of fervent anti-Castilian “Catalanism.” Both movements sought to reinvigorate the way of life in Catalonia that had long been suppressed by the Castilian-dominated and Madrid-centred government in Spain. The religious symbol of the Renaixensa in Barcelona was the church of the Holy Family, a project that was to occupy Gaudí throughout his entire career. He was commissioned to build this church as early as 1883, but he did not live to see it finished. Working on it, he became increasingly pious; after 1910 he abandoned virtually all other work and even secluded himself on its site and resided in its workshop. In his 75th year, while on his way to vespers, he was struck down by a trolley car, and he died from the injuries.

In his drawings and models for the uncompleted church of the Holy Family (only one transept with one of its four towerswas finished at his death), he equilibrated the cathedral-Gothic style beyond recognition into a complexly symbolic forest of helicoidal piers, hyperboloid vaults and sidewalls, and a hyperbolic paraboloid roof that boggle the mind and outdo the bizarre concrete shells built throughout the world in the 1960s by engineers and architects inspired by Gaudí. Apart from this and a similar, often uncritical, admiration for Gaudí by Surrealist and Abstract Expressionist painters and sculptors, Gaudí's influence was quite local, represented mainly by a few devotees of his equilibrated structure. He was ignored during the 1920s and '30s, when the International Style was the dominant architectural mode. By the 1960s, however, he came to be revered by professionals and laymen alike for the boundlessand tenacious imagination that he used to attack each design challenge with which he was presented.


Assessment.

The architectural work of Gaudí is remarkable for its range of forms, textures, and polychromy and for the free, expressive way in which these elements of his art seem to be composed.The complex geometries of a Gaudí building so coincide withits architectural structure that the whole, including its surface, gives the appearance of being a natural object in complete conformity with nature's laws. Such a sense of total unity also informed the life of Gaudí; his personal and professional lives were one, and his collected comments about the art of building are essentially aphorisms about theart of living. He was totally dedicated to architecture, which for him was a totality of many arts.

George R. Collins
 

 

 

 

LA SAGRADA FAMILIA

"The straight line is the line of man and the curved line is the line of God,' stated Gaudi, who at the beginning of the 20th century became the apostle of a new mystical and visionary religious architecture. It was regulated by geometric structures, including parabolic curves, ellipses, and hyperbolas. The church of the Sagrada Familia was begun in 1882, following the original Neo-Gothic design by the architect Villar; by 1893. only the apsidal area had been completed. Gaudi's contribution to the project was a complex symbolic plan. Adopting an exuberant and imaginative style, his intervention changed the existing structure and decoration in a way that blended in without appearing artificial. He introduced a continuous narrative into the decoration, employing popular characters, academic references, and religious symbols in a way that is both realistic and allusive. The features seem to grow naturally out of the architecture, altering and modelling the geometric structure of the front and the towers and transforming the vertical supports into a forest of tree shapes. Work on the Sagrada Familia proceeded with much difficulty, especially as Gaudi felt a need for the church to be incomplete and imperfect. When he died in 1926, only the first of the four Nativity towers was finished. In f976, the Passion facade was completed, featuring Cubist-Expressionist elements.
 

Antoni Gaudi
La Sagrada Familia

 

 

 


Church of the Holy Family

The monumental church El Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família (Expiatory Temple of the Sacred Family) is Gaudí's most famous work, the finest example of his visionary genius, and a world-wide symbol of Barcelona. The architect undertook the task in 1883 on the site of a previous neo-Gothic project begun in 1882 by F. del Villar.  Gaudi dedicated his life, in his later years to the exclusion of all else, to carrying out this ambitious undertaking which due to his sudden death was left unfinished.

Gaudí wanted to create a "20th century cathedral", a synthesis of all his architectural knowledge with a complex system of symbolisms and a visual explication of the mysteries of faith. There would be facades representing the birth, death, and resurrection of Christ with eighteen towers symbolizing the twelve Apostles, the four Evangelists, and the Virgin Mary and Christ. This latter, the tallest, would stand 170 meters high. The church was based on the plan of a Gothic basilica with five naves, a transept, an apse, and ambulatory. Gaudí planned monumental facades on the central nave and the arms of the transept. He wanted to give the edifice a spectacular vertical dimension by way of an effusion of pinnacles and high, spiral-shaped towers which would be covered in abstract patterns of Venetian glass mosaic crowned by Episcopalian symbols and the cross.

Works personally undertaken by Gaudí are the neo-Gothic crypt, the constructed part of the apse, and the magnificent facade of the Nativity (Eastern side) with a purely naturalistic exuberance in its decoration; figures are directly molded from nature, animals, plants, clouds, etc. Of the four towers of this facade, Gaudí only saw that of St. Barnabas completed.

Gaudí became obsessed with the church to the point that not only did he focus all of his creative energies into it, but he set up residence in his on-site study as well.   On June 7, 1926, Gaudi was hit by a street car while crossing the Gran Vía at Gerona.  Three days later not having regained consciousness, Gaudí died at the age of 74.

Work continued on the church, however, until it was interrupted in 1936 when the crypt and Gaudí's study holding his notes and designs were burnt by Spanish Civil War shelling. The project was resumed in 1952 using drawings and maquettes as a base although the continuation of the work gave rise to much debate. From 1954 to 1976, the facade and the four towers of the Passion (Western side) were completed. The sculptor Josep. M. Subirachs joined the project team to work on the sculptures on the Portal of Passion in 1987. Today, the constructed part is open to visitors as well as the small Museu del Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família with maquettes and drawings showing the construction process. The towers can be climbed as well offering incredible vistas of the city.
  

 
 
 

Antoni Gaudi
La Sagrada Familia




 

Antoni Gaudi
La Sagrada Familia



 

Antoni Gaudi
La Sagrada Familia



 

Antoni Gaudi
La Sagrada Familia



 

Antoni Gaudi
La Sagrada Familia
 


 
 

Antoni Gaudi
La Sagrada Familia



 

Antoni Gaudi
La Sagrada Familia



 

Antoni Gaudi
La Sagrada Familia



 

Antoni Gaudi
La Sagrada Familia
 


 
 

Antoni Gaudi
La Sagrada Familia
 
 

 

Discuss Art

Please note: site admin does not answer any questions. This is our readers discussion only.

 
| privacy