Following my return from Barcelona, I felt inspired by this city’s prominent architecture emblematic of neo-Gothicism, Gothic Revival, and Modernisme, but mostly a personal style that the architect Antoni Gaudi created; one that does not fit a particular era, but is descriptive exclusively of his creations.
Antoni Gaudi was a Catalan architect, most renowned for his masterpiece the Sagrada Familia basilica. The artist was born in 1853 and died in 1926. What is most interesting about this individual is that he never ceased to explore different crafts and different mechanical building structures in his countless creations across the beautiful city of Barcelona.
Gaudi was inspired by arts deriving from the orient (Persia, Japan, and India) as well as by neo-Gothicism, following the French architect Viollet-le-Duc. Most of his works however, were less representative of specific arts or architectural eras, and rather adoptive of an extremely personal style conceived of organic components inspired by nature as well as religion.
The Renaissance of Catalan Style, beginning in the second half of the 19th century incorporated Gothic forms, combining a sense of nationalism and cosmopolitanism, while at the same time participating and integrating into the European modernizing movement. Its predecessor Modernism however, was made up of features such as anticlassicism, and therefore a tendency to subjectivity, an area where Gaudi really managed to exalt himself.
Gaudi’s architecture is therefore brimming with decorative ornaments, combining crafts and materials such as ceramics, stained glass, carpentry, ironwork, and forging. These materials come together in his works to create a language for the architect. This mixed constructional language is not only complex and rich in contrast, but it is also representative of the era’s prosperity as well as of the aesthetics of the period’s bourgeoisie.