I discovered the works of Antoni Gaudí when I was in 11th grade while preparing a speech for Spanish class. In an attempt to get on my teachers good side, I searched for famous people from Spain (which is where my teacher was from), and soon I found Antoni Gaudí. I was fascinated by his works and the unique beauty of the shapes and colors. Since then, I have drooled over pictures of his work, and just this past Christmas, I received my very own poster showcasing his mosaics from none other than my lovely cousin, Sibley. Since his work is definitely a “Must Visit!” attraction, I thought I would give a little introduction. In a future blog, I will feature some of his most famous works.
Antoni Gaudí was born in Catalonia in 1852. He studied architecture in school, where he was inspired by the shapes and designs of India, Persia, and Japan, while also drawing influence from Gothic architecture. He is most known in style for Modernisme, but even within his style, he was considered to have a unique interpretation. Despite his fame now, at the time he was heavily criticized, and famous people such as George Orwell and Picasso were said to have expressed distaste in his work.
Gaudí’s work pretty much defines Barcelona. Seven of his works there have been chosen as UNESCO World Heritage sites. His architecture included designs for both public and private spaces, including parks, churches, and private family homes. UNESCO describes his work as exhibiting the artistic and cultural values of the time and representing an exceptional creative contribution to architecture.
Here is a sample of one of Gaudi's works, the Casa Batllo, also known as the "House of Bones" for it's skeletal shape. It is meant to look like a giant coral reef, incorporating the colors and flowing shapes found in the sea.