Gaudi’s vision


In order to appreciate Antoni Gaudi ‘s originative vision we must look at the context in which he worked. It seems that old surveies of Gaudi have non researched extensively into puting him within this cultural context ; and have instead preferred to sketch him as a alone recluse figure or concentrated on his luxuriant architectural signifiers. This thesis will research whether political, societal and economic developments in the late 19th and 20th Centuries in Catalonia and Spain proved standards for the designer, his work and his immediate circle ; and whether these factors influenced his originative determinations and have been overlooked throughout his life.

The work is composed of three inter-related subdivisions. The first subdivision will discourse Gaudi ‘s Catalan roots, and early societal influences. Park G? ell will be used to exemplify this. The 2nd subdivision explores Catalan patriotism, societal categories and the rise of Catalan industrial capitalist economy. It will besides analyze the political struggle and tensenesss between Castile and Catalonia, including the three Carlist wars, which were fought out on Catalan district, the black effects after Spain ‘s loss of her imperium in 1898, and the impact of Tragic Week in 1909. It will see how these may hold affected Gaudi and his working principle. This subdivision will be analysed through the illustration of the Casa Mila. The 3rd subdivision will analyze Gaudi ‘s displacement in religion and the impact that this had on his architecture. This will be shown through the illustration of the Sagrada Familia ( Holy household ) Cathedral.

This treatment starts by sing the position expressed by Clara Gari of the Catalan designer ‘s attack:

Possibly what makes a speedy apprehension hard in Gaudi ‘s work is its dare and absorbing uncertainness, that scope which slips between architectural ‘code ‘ and ‘structure ‘ . Such ambiguity is accentuated much more when the matrixes from which Gaudi extracts a determined stylistic ‘code ‘ are non ever clearly evidenced. But instead they appear, as frequently happens, equivocally confused as a effect of a kind of intercession, prior to the acceptance of the chosen ‘code ‘ , which by manner of a deformed lens, varies the aspects and the coloring material in it, flim-flaming us with a free all encompassing behavior, and with an underlying energy straight emanated from the cultural heritage which is hard to simplify ‘

Gari seems to be noticing that, despite Gaudi ‘s classical instruction and preparation as an designer, he could put on the line being really extremist in his usage of the recognized architectural codifications and constructions of his clip. In Gaudi ‘s work, codifications and constructions seem to be passed through the filter of his imaginativeness and his Catalan individuality, and are transformed into something which may look distorted but can hold a powerful consequence upon us as perceivers.

Gaudi ‘s Catalan roots and early societal influences

Antoni Placid Guillem Gaudi I Cornet was born in Tarragona, Catalonia, Spain on June 25, 1852, into a household which had come from a long line of Catalan merchandisers, mineworkers, husbandmans, weavers, boilermakers and coppersmiths. Gaudi was introduced to the household trade tradition at an early age when watching his male parent in his workshop. He was proud of this heritage and one time said: ‘I have the quality of spacial apprehensiveness because I am the boy, grandson, and the great grandson of coppersmiths… All these coevalss of people gave me readying. ‘ Gaudi ‘s predecessors came from a cross-Pyrenean civilization that bordered the Mediterranean Sea and were accustomed to absorbing influences from different civilizations, while someway retaining their ain Catalan individuality. The Catalan linguistic communication, for illustration,

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is closer to the lingua of Languedoc in France than it is to Castilian which is spoken in most of Spain. Joan Bergos explains in his book, Gaudi the adult male and his plants, that: ‘Gaudi ‘s line of descent therefore has deep, if distant roots in cardinal Europe, assorted with the virtuousnesss traditionally found among the people of Tarragona, a typically Mediterranean people, passionate, hardworking, brave in the face of hardship and slightly inclined to irony. ‘ The Mediterranean part of Tarragona, with its natural milieus and quality of visible radiation, are elements of the rural universe that Gaudi seems to supply as mentions to his architectural signifiers. His love of nature began as a little kid, when rheumatoid arthritis, made physical geographic expedition and drama painful and hard and he was restricted to siting about on the dorsum of a donkey, harmonizing to household narratives, he was able to analyze his natural milieus and to make his ain fanciful universe. Possibly because of his hard start in life Gaudi may hold developed an interior universe of phantasy, form, construction and coloring material, produced by his cognition of the craftsman ‘s trade and the natural signifiers found in his environment.

Gaudi came from a profoundly spiritual household and received a thorough Catholic spiritual instruction generated from the continuance of mediaeval Guilds. This would hold included obligatory supplication to the Virgin, Christian philosophy, spiritual ethical motives and spiritual history. By 1874, at the age of 22, Gaudi had moved to Barcelona with his brother Francesc ; and here he began his readying to develop as an designer at the Escuela T & A ; eacute ; cnica Superior de Arquitectura ( Upper Technical School of Architecture ) . Here he studied Spanish architecture which would hold focused upon its many cultural traditions, including: Phoenician, Roman, Greek, Visigothic, Celtic, Arab, Berber and Jewish. These would hold been wholly absorbed into the thought of modern-day design so that there was no bias against the acceptance of Islamic motives and symbols. One could conceive of how of import this multi-faceted cultural heritage of Spain would hold been for the development of Gaudi ‘s ain attack to architecture. Gaudi besides seemed to portion the concerns and ideals that surrounded the dynamic and rational ambiance during his young person, and would hold been influenced by the celebrated intellectuals of the clip: Pugin, Ruskin and Viollet-le-Duc. The latter was responsible for the Gothic resurgence in France and as a student of Le Grand Durand he had influenced France ‘s acceptance of Renaissance theoretical accounts and ‘rationalist ‘ attack to metropolis planning, which had put the state at the head of European artistic and architectural argument. One could besides assume that Gaudi had read the work of the English author Ruskin, in which he states, in his book: The seven lamps of Architecture:

‘ I say that if work forces truly lived like work forces, their houses would be like temples which we would non make bold to go against so easy and in which it would be a privilege to populate. There must be some unusual disintegration of household fondness, a unusual ungratefulness towards everything that our houses have given us and that our parents have taught us, a unusual consciousness of our unfaithfulness with regard and love for our male parent, or possibly an consciousness that our life is non for doing our house sacred in the eyes of our kids, which induces each one of us to desire to construct for ourselves, and to construct merely for the small revolution of our personal life. I see these suffering concretions of clay and limestone that shoot up like mushrooms in the boggy Fieldss around our capital… I look at them non merely with the repulsive force of the pained position, non merely with the hurting that is caused by a disfigured landscape, non with the painful foreboding that the roots of our national grandeza must hold infected with sphacelus right down to their tips from the minute that they were planted in such an unstable mode in out native dirt. ‘

It seems that Ruskin ‘s moral and aesthetic quandary was one that Gaudi would besides see as a immature professional designer, and he would travel between his support of socialist ideals and assorted privileged connexions with the nobility and upper center categories ( his possible clients ) throughout his life. Gaudi was discovered by the middle class without whom his architecture would non stand today. However it seems he was non apathetic to the societal life of his age and its contradictions. Other coevalss working towards these ideals, were: Elies Rogent ( 1821-1897 ) , whose design of Barcelona ‘s University edifice was influenced by the German Rundbogenstil, which was a Neo-classical rounded arch ; Joan Martorell ( 1833-1906 ) who designed the Neo-gothic brick and glazed-tiled church of Saint Francesc de Gross saless ( 1885 ) ; Josep Vilaseca who collaborated with Lluis Dom & A ; egrave ; nech i Montaner ( 1850-1923 ) on the Batlo grave ( 1885 ) . As his former professor at the Escuela T & A ; eacute ; cnica Superior de Arquitectura, Lluis Dom & A ; egrave ; nech i Montaner was at the head of the Catalan Modernist motion, besides known as the ‘Renaixenca ‘ ( or Rebirth ) , which encouraged art, theater and literature in the Catalan linguistic communication. He was besides responsible for planing the Palau de la Musica Catalana which symbolises the coming together of the Catalan nationalist sentiment and international civilization. It besides shows a peculiar connexion to Gaudi ‘s Colonia Guell, Casa Vicens and Park Guell, though its luxuriant ornamentation, sculptures and colorful ceramic mosaics, all of which seem to mention to a deep connexion with Catalan nature and patriotism that were evident at the clip. This connexion can be seen in the foliage and flower forms on the frontage of the Palau de la Musica Catalana which are inspired by Moresque architecture and followed the curvilinear design seen in Art Nouveau.

At the same clip, the civil applied scientist Ildefons Cerda ( 1815-1876 ) had been given the committee to spread out Barcelona ‘s boundaries by pulverizing its walls and supplying land for new residential countries. It seems that his programs were influenced by Haussmann ‘s redesign of Paris, and were based on a similar grid system. Cerda was shocked that the working categories were paying proportionally more in rent for their confined life adjustment than the wealthy paid for their epicurean lodging. The design for metropolis, although Neo-classical, was besides considered ‘realist ‘ because of Cerda ‘s apprehension of modern urban sociology and life conditions. It seems that this enlargement signalled to other designers that it was acceptable to research new ways of planing public and private infinites. This new sociological attitude towards urban infinites can be seen as the accelerator for the creative activity of the thought of the Garden City. The construct of puting up communities outside metropoliss was started by enlightened industrial altruists such as Robert Owen, Titus Salt and George Cadbury, making little lodging undertakings for their workers in England as far back as 1800. However, the most of import of the Garden City motion was Ebenezer Howard whose book ‘Tomorrow: A Peaceful Way to Real Reform ‘ , published in 1898, was to go extremely influential in town planning throughout the twentieth century. The Garden City motion is a good illustration of the altering societal attitude towards the built environment and can be seen in the ulterior be aftering texts of Tony Garnier and of Le Corbusier ‘s ASCORAL, foremost published as ‘Les Trois Establissements Humains ‘ in 1945. In a short text called Notes on the household house ( Casa Pairal ) written by Gaudi between 1878 and 1881, he reflects on the relationship between house and household:

The house is a little state of the household… The in private owned house has been given the name of Casa Parial ( household place ) who among us does non remember, on hearing this look, some beautiful illustration in the countryside or in the metropolis? The chase of boodle and alterations in imposts have caused most of these household places to vanish from the metropolis, and those that remain are in such a awful province that they can non last long. The demand for a household house is non merely limited to one age and one household in peculiar but is an digesting demand for all households.

The text seems to be mentioning to the integrity of a state and of its people, it reflects the apprehension of an designer who strives for sanitation and good being, every bit good as the anti-urban feeling which had arisen in England and spread throughout Europe. One could assume that it besides reflects Gaudi ‘s deep-seated connexion with the rural universe, that of provincial and craftsman, a universe from which he had come. Maria Antonietta Crippa explains in her book, Populating Gaudi that:

Gaudi ‘s attending was non directed instantly to the businessperson house, but to the “ demands of everyone ” . She goes on to state that ‘He does non conceal his malaise at the inordinate, over accelerated growing of metropoliss, which uproot many people from the land of their birth and coerce them to populate in rented houses in the “ land of out-migration. ” And he applauds the determination to abandon engorged metropolis centres for the broad, light-filled, leafy suburbs.

Possibly this sociological attack is what allowed Gaudi to believe up the inventive design that he created for Park G? ell in 1900. This was a garden metropolis which captured the spirit of the twentieth century and followed the stylish tendency in Europe for making big cosmetic infinites. It was a public infinite which would make a haven off from industrialization, where the common adult male, both affluent and hapless, could exert and see public events during their new-found leisure hours. It was besides designed as a infinite where upstart households could populate comfortably off from the crowded metropolis Centre. The park seems to uncover Gaudi ‘s extraordinary imaginativeness in what could be seen as an optimistic stage of his life. Maria Antoietta Crippa explains that: ‘Gaudi ‘s gardens are evocative of “ The Rose Garden, ” evoked in the first of T.S Eliot ‘s Four Fours: a topographic point that arouses memories of childhood, but which is besides a symbol of a past and a hereafter that are alive in our present: “ Humankind can non bear excessively much world. / Time yesteryear and clip future / what might hold been and what has been / point to one terminal, which is ever present. ‘ She goes on to explicate that the garden is a metaphor non merely for an earthly Eden, but besides of the power of human memory, another enlargement of Gaudi ‘s interior universe. The park draws together urban sociology, his early childhood involvement in nature and his strong sense of Mediterranean Catalan patriotism and symbolism. Gaudi uses the Moresque art of ‘trencadis ‘ , a method of intentionally interrupting tiles and re-arranging them into intricate forms. He uses this technique on the long serpentine bench-balustrade where broken ceramic pieces have been arranged into words and symbols with spiritual and Catalan nationalist intensions. Some historiographers have besides suggested that the Doric columns which consist of fluted shafts made of unsmooth rock, covered at the base with white ceramics, and joined to the ceiling by domes which are supported by gently swerving beams, non merely evoke the gesture of Mediterranean moving ridges but are besides evocative of the Temple of Delphos and reflect the civilization of Greece and the Mediterranean. They believed the construction of these columns existed as a testimonial to Greece, which had won its independency from the Turkish Empire, pulling analogues with the political state of affairs of Catalonia and the Catalans ‘ desire for independency.

Gaudi arrived in Barcelona at a clip of of import alteration in architectural thought and it seems that he benefited from meeting and taking designers of his twenty-four hours, who were involved in the regeneration of Catalan civilization, in which, the re-birth of the linguistic communication had a critical part in Catalan ‘s rediscovering their heritage and their common individualities. In the diary: Tongue tied: The function of linguistics in Basque and Catalan Nationalism, Ryan Barnes explains how of import the metempsychosis of the Catalan linguistic communication was:

Language has ever been an indispensable component of patriotism, supplying a typical characteristic and beginning of pride for a corporate people. The ability to pass on with one another is indispensable to constructing Bridgess between aliens and hammering the thought of a ‘nation ‘ , which instils the thought of integrity among a people that have ne’er met… Furthermore, communicating brings cognition with it. Language conveys the thoughts of a people or state through literacy plants such as verse forms or novels, which nationalists can look back on with pride.

It seems that Catalan subjects were comparing themselves, non to the intellectuals in the Spanish capital, Madrid, but to creative persons and interior decorators of other states in Europe who were more technologically advanced, such as: England, France and Germany. The Catalan linguistic communication had been suppressed for many old ages by Spain ‘s cardinal authorities but now Catalans seemed to take pride in self-expression, while being cognizant of developments from the other side of the Pyrenees, including the renovation of Paris and the creative activity of the London squares with their cosmetic gardens. They besides seemed cognizant of the Neo-gothic architecture which was encouraged by intellectuals such as Pugin, the designer of the Houses of Parliament and John Ruskin ‘s thoughts on workers ‘ instruction and benefits. It seems that Gaudi excessively was cognizant of these thoughts, and although Catalonia was insulating itself from the diminution of Spain, it was besides maintaining up with new and of import influences from abroad. Catalonia was going a developed part within an undeveloped state.

The history of Catalan patriotism, societal categories and the rise of Catalan industrial capitalist economy and political tensenesss in Catalonia and Spain.

Catalonia had become the industrial Centre for the remainder of Spain during the nineteenth century, a period when there was increasing unrest in the whole state. During the eighteenth century Catalonia had evolved from an economic system based on goods for local ingestion to an economic system with broad commercial aspirations. This industrialization took topographic point in a state of untapped natural stuffs and really low buying power. Catalonia ‘s fabrication enlargement depended upon its beginning of energy generated from hydraulic turbines on its irregularly flowing rivers, but in the twentieth century the hydroelectric potency of the Pyrenees was finally secured for progressing industrial production. The category system of Catalan society was mostly the consequence of three consecutive long moving ridges of industrialization and capital accretion, with the attendant growing of new factory-linked Centres, the monolithic importance of the work force, the consolidation of a skilled on the job category and a big in-between category, together with farther progresss in the way of secularization and urbanization. These three long moving ridges entailed the undermentioned developments: the growing of the businessperson category, the rise of an industrial society based, at first, as in so many other topographic points, on the fabric industry, and the constitution of great household lucks. Karl Marx was composing in Das Kapital at this period of clip about the enlargement of the middle class in Europe:

Changeless revolutionising of production, uninterrupted perturbation of all societal conditions, everlasting uncertainness and agitation distinguish the middle class era from all earlier 1s. All fixed, fast frozen dealingss, with their train of antediluvian and venerable biass and sentiments, are swept off, all new formed 1s become antiquated before they can ossify… The middle class has subjected the state to the regulation of the towns. It has created tremendous citations, has greatly increased the urban population as compared with the rural, and therefore rescued a considerable portion of the population from rural amentia.

In common with the middle class across Europe there was an increasing figure of freshly rich Catalan industrialists such as Eusebi G? ell and Pere Mila I Camps who were seeking the outward look of their fortunate place in society. The metropolis civilization of Barcelona attracted them because it offered them a manner of life that was tantamount to what they witnessed in other European industrialised societies. To show their power, and their love of the new, as Marx discusses, they needed modern stylish designers who could take advantage of the tendencies in design that were current in those other states.

Most of the designers at this clip were drawn into the Capitalist desire to utilize infinite as a trade good that could be built on and sold. Gaudi, although willing to offer his considerable endowment to industrialists who were geting land for edifice undertakings, finally rejected this attack to architecture in favour of a return to the traditional architectural signifiers, such as church edifice, as a symbolic representation of Catalan nationhood. Harmonizing to Maria Antonietta Crippa, Gaudi was already puting out on a different way in footings of the secularization of modern architecture, as will be demonstrated in the illustration of the Casa Mila. In her book, Living Gaudi, The designer ‘s complete vision, she suggests that:

… ( Gaudi ‘s ) buildings were built at a clip when a Utopian, secularizing tendency was developing in the universe of European architecture. This tendency, which was radically different from the way taken by the Catalan designer, proposed the creative activity of the new urban and residential infinites that would decide the instabilities caused by the violent growing of metropoliss and by the technological revolution that took topographic point in the 2nd half of the 19th century and the beginning of the twentieth.

Despite the seemingly epicurean life of Barcelona ‘s middle class, the political state of affairs in the whole of Spain was progressively unstable throughout the nineteenth century. Alternatively of developing a system of political parties Spain had been confronted by a series of military putschs ; and alternatively of political argument there were efforts to alter the written fundamental law. Between 1822 and 1875, resistance to broad capitalist economy led to five civil wars, which were fought out on Catalan district. The last three were to be known as the Carlist wars, in which monarchists and the armed forces opposed the progressives and Republicans, and this struggle continued into the twentieth century with increasing ferociousness and bloodshed. The Third Carlist war ended in 1876 when Gaudi was 24. Gaudi believed that: ‘war, offering force as a solution to any job, is necessarily corrupting. The Crusades were a failure and many reasonable Carlists abandoned that cause in the face of the behavior of the Carlist forces. ‘ It seems that Gaudi was interested in public personal businesss and followed developments on the political scene. He one time said:

I am really like my male parent. At one point, non long before he died, there had merely been elections, and he still had adequate enthusiasm for the topic to inquire me to state him which campaigners had been elected ‘ He railed against segregation and he defended energetically the thoughts of rationalism and a strong and united Spain. Gaudi was one of a big group of intellectuals known as the coevals of ’98. In 1898 the political diminution of Spain worsened when it entered a war with the USA, which it could non afford to contend. America supported the minority of plantation owners in the settlement of Cuba, who were doing demands for emancipation from Spain. Following Spanish reprisals against these Rebels, and supported by fabricated claims in the US imperativeness, America launched an onslaught on Spanish forces which caused tremendous loss of life and led to Cuba being

‘liberated ‘ into an American domain of influence. The daze of licking in Spain was overpowering, as Gabriel Tortella explains inThe Development of Modern Spain, an Economic History of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries:

… the loss of markets for industry and agribusiness, the loss of human life, of physical and military resources and income to the Treasury, the disappearing of assorted transit and communicating webs, and possibly the most of import, a widespread sense of repugnance and demoralisation.

For Spanish swayers and people, it seems that such a national humiliation inflicted by a comparatively immature democratic province would tag their state out as deeply flawed and unstable in the modern age of the early twentieth century, and would be linked to worsen, political pandemonium and eventual barbarous civil war in 1936-1939. A few old ages after this calamity, Gaudi began work on the Casa Mila, a edifice six narratives high, with eight flats on each floor grouped around two internal courtyards, one handbill and the other ellipse. It is designed so that light inundations in through the two inner courtyards which are unfastened to the sky. Gaudi ‘s thought was that the edifice should be a base for an tremendous statue of the Virgin Mary accompanied by two angels, which he had hoped would stand 25m above the roof of the edifice and would hold dominated the metropolis. The edifice seems to reflect Gaudi ‘s repugnance at the anti-clerical force in Spain and loss of religious significance in modern twenty-four hours society. Possibly he would hold agreed with Kandinsky ‘s position that: the incubus of philistinism, which has turned the life of the existence into an evil, useless game, is non yet past: it holds the waking up psyche still in its clasp.

It seems that Mila I Camps was uneasy about the visual aspect of the proposed huge statue of the Madonna on the roof of his belongings, as harmonizing to art historian Robert Hughes: … given the turbulency of 1904 it would likely take to the devastation of his edifice by angered anti-clerical rabble. It seemed that Gaudi was obliged to convey the importance and luxury of the life of this new entrepreneurial category, who: did non look to the past, but merely desired one thing: to contrive their ain hereafter. Alternatively of the statue of the Virgin Mary, Gaudi was compelled to replace it with airing towers, chimneys and sculptures. The step units are topped with crosses with four equal weaponries and the chimneys are surmounted by little domes similar to warrior caputs. Harmonizing to Maria Antonietta Crippa the ensuing sculptures on the roof: ‘ ( carry ) a powerful affectional charge ‘ . She goes on to state ‘ consider, for illustration, that manner that he uses catenary constructions and fluted surfaces, or the characteristics that appear in his unreal landscapes and rock gardens ; these elements all work to make a fantasy universe, as in the instance of the multitextured, rippling fa & A ; ccedil ; fruit drink of Casa Batllo, or the cryptic shade universe of the roof patio of Casa Mila. ‘ Could these anguished, distorted forms express Gaudi ‘s interior fantasy universe? Or so his mental province at the clip? Could they perchance convey the force of his times and his personal mournings? It is sensible to see that the designer ‘s originative procedure is strongly influenced by his unconscious head, as Karl Jung argues: Originals are numinous structural elements of the mind which have a grade of liberty and energy of their ain, which allows them to pull whatever contents of the consciousness that suit them. These are non familial word pictures, but instead certain unconditioned sensitivities to organize parallel representations, which I called the corporate unconscious. One could presume that these distorted signifiers were connected with his hurt at the loss of his preferable sacred symbol, the Mother of Christ, but may besides hold held a more personal significance as a representation of his ain female parent, who had died 30 old ages antecedently along with his brother Francesc. The period following their deceases, in 1876, had caused an all ‘enveloping depression ‘ for Gaudi.

Reflecting on the Casa Mila it was likely a good thought that Gaudi had non used the edifice as a life shrine, as violent protests once more erupted in the metropolis, and saw the combustion of 40 spiritual schools, convents and monasteries, and 12 Parish churches in 1909, the rioters sing the Church to organize portion of the corrupt businessperson construction. The alleged Tragic Week seemed to impact Gaudi profoundly ; possibly this is why everything he produced afterwards seemed to be built in the Catholic spirit of somehow devising damagess for the devastation. Could it be that he was transporting the load of unconscious guilt for his ain losingss and for those that had devastated the Mother Church? At the same clip as covering with this religious crisis, it seems that he was get bying with neglecting physical wellness. The decease of Gaudi ‘s frequenter Don Eusebi G? ell in 1918 land him to a complete arrest, after which it is presumed that he had a psychological dislocation. During his last eight old ages of increasing isolation, possibly he turned his dorsum on the helter-skelter events in his state and withdrew into a life of abstention and religionism. Upon these painful tragic loses, after his male parent ‘s decease and the decease of his sister ‘s girl Rosa, his sense of uncertainness about life and on enduring from turns of Mediterranean febrility. He began his descent into a rigorous life of religionism. My closest friends are dead ; I have no household, no clients, no luck, nil. Now I can give myself entirely to my church. Gijs Van Hensbergen summarises the crisis for Gaudi ‘s coevals when he explains in his book: Gaudi the Biography:

… Spain ‘s loss of her imperium in 1898 and the Tragic Week of 1909 in which convents and churches were burned down ; both had strong effects on Gaudi, his friends, frequenters and wholly changed his working forms. The political state of affairs in Catalonia was a complex, potentially explosive 1. Catalonia ‘s confederation with Spain ( Castile ) was one of huge tenseness… Before the civil war, some Spanish intellectuals and politicians recognised the dangers, but tragically they did n’t hold the power to hold the impulse of the nearing crisis. Few coevalss have of all time been so viciously self analytical as Gaudi ‘s. Few have put themselves through such painful find… These political and societal tensenesss between reform and reaction provide the subtext and concealed constructions of Gaudi ‘s work.

Shift in religion and its impact on Gaudi ‘s architecture

The wish to organize something unambiguously powerful and symbolic in a clip of unpredictable political and societal events may be at the bosom of Gaudi ‘s most celebrated design, the cathedral. A personal history of Gaudi is given by one of his close friends Joan Bergos who remarked on the transmutation in Gaudi during the latter old ages of his life, when he became wholly consumed by his originative chef-d’oeuvre. Bergos said:Faith changed the passionate, hotheaded, choleric young person into a serene, balanced, model adult male, who merely on rare occasions gave blowhole to any temperamental effusion and who radiated such a beneficent aura that he sometimes inspired transition and even epic forfeit in those lives he touched. Furthermore, Mark Burry suggests in his book Expiatory Church of the Sagrada Familia: Architecture in item: The Sagrada Familia is a life of a remarkable designer ‘s coming to footings with his clip, his personality and, finally, his exposure.

Besides one could besides see that Gaudi had been influenced by Viollet-le-Duc ‘s statement that:We must happen creativeness through an accurate cognition of the plants of our ascendants. Not that such cognition must take us to copy them slavishly, but instead it will uncover and do available all the secret accomplishments of our predecessors.Possibly what was of import for Gaudi was that a interior decorator must take from the traditional what he has absorbed into his ain cognition and re-interpret and re-work it so that it can look innovatory and familiar, every bit good as inspirational.

When Gaudi moved to Barcelona as a immature adult male, it seems that he had been impressed with its wealth of historical architecture, which dated back to the Middle Ages. He had visited the Basilica Church of Santa Maria del Mar in the Ribera territory which has three aisles organizing a individual infinite with no transepts and no architectural boundary between nave and presbytery. The simple ribbed vault is supported on slender octangular columns, and daylight watercourses in through the tall clearstory Windowss. The foundation rock was laid by King Alfonso IV in 1329 and the whole edifice was carried out by local people including stevedores, who collected the big rock slabs from nearby preies. The undertaking, which brought the full community together within the vision of a Christian household, was an architectural doctrine that Gaudi admired and that would back up the thought for the Sagrada Familia.

The Virgin Mary holds a peculiar importance within the Catholic religion as she is seen as non merely the Mother of God, but besides as the Mother of the Church. Gaudi ‘s household were devout Catholics, and it seems made regular visits to the Churches of Sant Pere and Sant Jaume. Religious pattern in Catholic Europe in the nineteenth Century was multifaceted and influenced by factors such as category, gender and part. Industrialization and urbanization presented the greatest challenges to the Church as they forced it to redefine its function in the community. Barcelona and Catalonia seem to hold embraced the Sagrada Familia as a symbol of Catalan Catholic individuality.

Gaudi was besides familiar with the black Madonna of Montserrat, which was a statue of the Virgin Mary and the infant Christ carved in wood in the early yearss of the Christian Church. Montserrat symbolises Catalan spiritual life, and is a celebrated topographic point of Catholic pilgrim’s journey throughout Europe. He was besides familiar with the thirteenth century monastery of Poblet in Tarragona, which he explored as a immature school male child. This was the burial land and Palace of Catalan Kings. The Cistercian monastery was founded in 1153 to honour the third Century Egyptian anchorite St. Anthony the Great and to convey back the Christian cloistered life of pureness, obeisance, poorness and celibacy, after release from 400 old ages of Muslim regulation. In the nineteenth Century, during and after the Carlist wars, the monastery was on a regular basis looted during anti-clerical rioting and left in a province of ruin.

Because of Gaudi ‘s life-long involvement in such sacred edifices, the building of the Sagrada Familia seemed to supply Gaudi with an architectural signifier for spiritual resurgence. It was a cathedral dedicated to Jesus Christ, and his parents, Joseph and Mary. The thought of the cathedral was to typify the theoretical account of Catholic Christian household values, which seemed to hold had been eroded by rampant philistinism. It was to appeal to the working categories who might place with Joseph as an ideal working male parent. It is sensible to presume that this undertaking may hold besides appealed to Gaudi because he felt indebted to his ain male parent for the support he had given him as an designer. At this clip Antoni and his male parent Francesc shared their place together until his male parent died in 1906.

Gaudi imagined the church in the form of a Latin cross surrounded by seven chapels. The full cathedral seems to depict Gaudi ‘s position on religion with the seven towers stand foring the seven yearss of creative activity, seven central virtuousnesss and seven opposing wickednesss. The 12 towers are dedicated to the 12 apostles, and the tallest 1 at 170 metres is dedicated to Jesus Christ. Each tower begins in the form of a square and at a certain tallness becomes a tapering cylinder. They are each finished off with a mosaic appliqu & A ; eacute ; . The mosaic ends represent the staff of a bishop. The Nativity Facade is inspired by the New Testament history of the birth, childhood and young person of Jesus. Plaster dramatis personaes were made from human topics, chosen to stand for the true character, instead than an idealized position of society ; the scope of topics included healthy persons, handicapped people and still born babes. The latter represented the kids slaughtered by Herod. Other sculptures included word pictures of Christ among the physicians, and the mature Jesus rehearsing his male parent ‘s trade, every bit good as birds in flight, the star of Bethlehem and natural zoology and vegetation. Gaudi said that‘Everybody will happen something in the church, husbandmans see pricks and biddies, scientists see the marks of the zodiac, theologians the family tree of Jesus, but the account, the ground behind it all, merely the erudite will cognize it, and it must non be divulged.


There will ever be elements of Gaudi ‘s architecture and life that we will ne’er to the full understand. Although there have been many diaries and books written about him, he is still a adult male of many concealed aspects, some of which are yet to be discovered. Yet it seems that the unseeable, is what was most of import for Gaudi ‘s architecture with the concealed symbolism and mentions to Catalonia and to the problems of his clip. His earliest influences seem to be his love of nature, closely linked to the landscape of his childhood Tarragona ; and 2nd, his artisanal background, which encouraged him to unite the basic techniques of building with the ability to get down visualizing in three dimensions. Teamed with his classical instruction and early influences from celebrated intellectuals, such as Pugin, Ruskin and Viollet-le-Duc, it seems that he was able to believe about architecture within its societal context in a modern industrialized economic system. It besides seems that the resurgence of art, theater and the Catalan linguistic communication, appealed to person such as Gaudi, who opted merely to talk his native lingua instead than Castilian, and who had a strong sense of patriotism towards his ain part. Park G? ell seems to reflect Gaudi ‘s patriotism at an optimistic and inventive phase of his life and seems to capture the spirit of the twentieth century. The park was merely made possible by Gaudi ‘s frequenter Eusebi G? ell who made his wealth from the fabric industry and was, like many, looking for new ways to put. One could propose that Gaudi was fortunate to happen person to fund his many undertakings, most of which would non hold been made possible without G? ell ‘s fundss. As a consequence of rapid alterations in industrial society and the growing of the businessperson category, every bit good as an progressively unstable political state of affairs, including the Carlist wars, Spain ‘s loss of settlements and Tragic Week, it seems that there was a major displacement in Gaudi ‘s working principle at the tallness of his calling. The Casa Mila shows Gaudi both compromising with capitalist economy and finally turning his dorsum on it, demoing repugnance for the philistinism of his clip. Here we see a adult male who is altering from an adventuresome immature designer into an single carrying unconscious guilt for individual calamity and a turning religious committedness to mend the destructiveness of his age. One could possibly propose that this was non surprising behaviour as Gaudi ‘s coevals, besides known as the coevals of 98 ‘ , who had witnessed so much desolation and bloodshed in their life clip. Possibly it is besides non unreasonable to anticipate work forces involved within the humanistic disciplines and of this coevals to show their interior feelings through their endowments, utilizing concealed codifications and symbols to show this. One could state that Gaudi has used his architecture to research the enigma of life and effort to re-create through his ain eyes. Gaudi one time said: ‘men may be divided into two types: work forces of words and work forces of action. The first speak ; the latter act. I am of the 2nd group. I lack the agencies to show myself adequately. I would non yet concretised them. I have ne’er had clip to reflect on them. My hours have been spent on my work. In the latter phase of Gaudi ‘s calling it seems that he became to a great extent involved with the Church and dedicated the remainder of his life to the Sagrada Familia. Could it be that in the Sagrada Familia Gaudi had found refuge from the political and societal pandemonium and from his personal tragic losingss? Could it besides be that he created an inspirational infinite in which God, and non modern adult male, was the maestro? It seems that he has been able to encompass people into his interior universe, into his vision as 1000s of tourers flock to see his iconic architecture every twelvemonth. Not merely did he reform the life of Barcelona through his architecture, but he sought influence in his times, and in return influenced the life of an full community.


Secondary Beginnings:

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Web sites:

  • ‘Religious Practice and Change in 19th Century Catholic Europe ‘ hypertext transfer protocol: // ( 21 November 2009 )
  • Wyly, Elvin, ‘Metropolitan signifier and spacial dealingss: the disappearing and return of Space ‘ , 2008, hypertext transfer protocol: // ( 21 November 2009 )
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