Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Antoni Gaudi

Antoni Plàcid Guillem Gaudí i Cornet (1852-1926) – was catalan architect who belonged to the Modernist style (Art Nouveau) movement and was famous for his unique style and highly individualistic forms.

In 1868, he decided to study architecture in Barcelona, in a college dominated by neo-classical and romantic trends. Thus, his first architectural production swung between a reinterpretation of historical canons with oriental influence and the recovery of medieval events.

Despite his youth he received the first assignments from the ecclesiastic world and the bourgeoisie, who would always be his main clients. Among these, the Association of Devotees of Saint Joseph stands out as they commissioned him with the Expiatory Temple of the Sagrada Familia (the cathedral of the modern Barcelona). Of equal importance was the industrialist Eusebi Güell, the best client and essential patron, who entrusted him with the construction of a palace, the church for an industrial colony, some pavilions for his summer residence and a city-garden, the very known Parc Güell.

Gaudí's first works were designed in the style of gothic architecture and traditional Spanish architectural modes, but he soon developed his own distinct sculptural style. French architect Eugene Viollet-Leduc , who promoted an evolved form of gothic architecture, proved a major influence on Gaudí. But the student surpassed the master architect and contrived highly original designs – irregular and fantastically intricate. Some of his greatest works, most notably La Sagrada Família, have an almost hallucinatory power.

Gaudí, throughout his life, studied nature's angles and curves and incorporated them into his designs. Instead of relying on geometric shapes, he mimicked the way men stand upright.

Because of his rheumatism, the artist observed a strict vegetarian diet, used homeopathic drug therapy, underwent water therapy, and hiked regularly. Long walks, besides suppressing his rheumatism, further allowed him to experience nature.

Gaudí loved for his work to be created by nature as he used concrete leaves and vine windows to create his ideas for him, so his work is not just because of him but because of nature as well.

After his death in 1926, the international movement recuperated his figure while presenting him as an example of modernisation and renewal of 20th century architecture.

If you wish to admire all his work, check out apartments in Barcelona.

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