In this section we have talked about how we encounter art in everyday life, in every city and town across the world. Today we shall pick up one such town which bears perhaps the strongest imprint of its pet architect which is the defining aspect of the town, and of its life in the streets. This city has been much voted as one of the best places to live in and is one of the real fun spots of the world. It has a strong sports culture, fielding a superior world class football team which boasts of a stable of players that are among the best in the world. We are talking of – Barcelona! And its defining architect is Gaudi, Antoni Gaudi – Spain’s most famous figure in architecture.
Barcelona, the largest city of the autonomous community of Catalonia, and has a population of nearly 5 million, making it the 6th most populous urban area in the European Union. It is the largest metropolis on the Mediterranean Sea. Barcelona is one of the world’s leading tourist, economic, trade fair and cultural centres, and its influence in commerce, education, entertainment, media, fashion, science, and the arts all contribute to its status as one of the world’s major global cities. But most people know Barcelona as a fun city in the sun. And this city has been fashioned by Gaudi – whose works are not only seen in the buildings but also in the details that make up the metropolis.
Antoni Gaudí i Cornet ( 1852 – 10 June 1926) was a Spanish Catalan architect from Reus and the best known practitioner of Catalan Modernism. Gaudí’s works reflect an individualized and distinctive style. Most are located in Barcelona, including his magnum opus, the Sagrada Família.
Gaudí’s work was influenced by his passions in life: architecture, nature, and religion.Gaudí considered every detail of his creations and integrated into his architecture such crafts as ceramics, stained glass, wrought ironwork forging and carpentry. He also introduced new techniques in the treatment of materials, such as trencadís which used waste ceramic pieces.
Under the influence of neo-Gothic art and Oriental techniques, Gaudí became part of the Modernista movement which was reaching its peak in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His work transcended mainstream Modernisme, culminating in an organic style inspired by natural forms. Gaudí rarely drew detailed plans of his works, instead preferring to create them as three-dimensional scale models and moulding the details as he conceived them.
Gaudí’s work enjoys global popularity and continuing admiration and study by architects. His masterpiece, the still-incomplete Sagrada Família, is the most-visited monument in Spain. Between 1984 and 2005, seven of his works were declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. Gaudí’s Roman Catholic faith intensified during his life and religious images appear in many of his works. This earned him the nickname “God’s Architect” and led to calls for his beatification.
These pics are an example of what Barcelonans live with everyday. It is, truly, art in everyday life!
Salamander at Park Guell
Guell Dragon made of iron
Gaudi House – Park Guell
Dramatic Gaudi ceiling
Ceiling of a Gaudi Church
A Gaudi interior
The Park Guell