d'historia del Casal
decisive changes in artistic tendencies lived in Europe during the end of
XIX century and first years of XX (see Art Nouveau),
had been extended to all type of arts (see Architecture,
Literature and Music)
related or not with architecture.
The new tendencies in line design and shapes following the nature, had a
tremendous influence in all the arts, firstly in architecture and
decorative arts but later, in other arts like literature and music.
Into that explosion of new attitudes in front of artistic fact, any object
of common use will evolutes to an artistic object frequently
manufactured with new materials: glasses, ceramics, forged iron, new
woods of high quality, etc.
architects of that period were professionals with enormous knowledge's and capacities to develop his ideas based on Art Nouveau. For them the
buildings were, not
only the structures and basic architectural elements, but also all
the decorative objects developed during "Art Nouveau" period,
frequently by themselves. That is the way followed by Gaudí,
Puig i Cadafalch,
Domènech i Montaner and others in Catalonia (for this reason this
exceptional architects are classified not only as architects but also as decorators and
designers of furniture, ceramics, textile ornaments etc.) as in other European
countries other architects as Guimard,
Van de Velde, Victor
Otto Wagner did.
development of arts and crafts during the XIX century helped that process.
That development assured the progress of a big infrastructure of specialists, craftsmen,
and artists, making possible to manufacture any type of artistic objects
with shapes frequently didn't technically possible before.
The role of decorative arts was essential in the development of Art
Nouveau in Catalonia and the collaboration between architects and
craftsmen helped that evolution.
The movement Arts and Crafts was rapidly assimilated and adapted to the
needs of a different national circumstances. The industrial development
and new social values together with the surpass of the rigid previous
eclecticism, were essential for the development of new ideas.
The Catalan craftsmen of
Art Nouveau period known a big activity improvement, from the works of
Francesc Vidal i Jevellí (1848-1914), decorator, joiner and
founder, who developed an enormous activity in interiors decoration.
process, the Workshop of the “Castell dels Tres Dragons” that prompted Lluís Domènech i Montaner, was a pioneering
initiative created with the objective to recover arts and old procedures,
to apply them to the new modernist (Catalan Art Nouveau) architecture.
The Workshop was created because of the World's Fair of the 1888, the most
important event of the Barcelona of last years of the 19th century. Once
it closed, the biggest part of the buildings were demolished excepted
some, like the Coffee-Restaurant of Domènech i Montaner, called popularly
“Castell dels Tres Dragons”. As the building was not completely finished
for the Exhibition, the City Hall entrusted to Domènech to direct again
the works in order the building become Museum of the History.
Domènech accepted the offering and to carry it out, he finished the
highest tower, called Homage Tower, the decoration and carried out other
reforms of conditioning. A decisive approach for the future of the
Modernism, was the installation of various workrooms in which the presence
of artists as the sculptor Eusebi Arnau, the glassmaker Antoni Rigalt or
the ceramicist Pau Pujol i Vila (owner of the factory Son of Jaime Pujol i
Bausis), architects as Gallissà and Josep Puig i Cadafalch. All they had
interested in find again the methods and procedures used by the old
artisans, to recover, to adapt and to apply them to the modernist
The contacts between these artists and artisans were very beneficial,
because they permitted them to exchange experiences, to discuss proposals
and to draw models. Unfortunately the Workshop was a very short experience
because the installation on the same place of the Museum of the History.
All the know-how that this initiative permitted to accumulate, is nowadays
present in all the geography of Catalonia, in hundreds of modernist
next arts will be developed progressively on specific pages
were of very common use in the Art Nouveau period, because it is a
traditional way to cover building surfaces in Catalonia.
Three basic types of
architectural ceramics had been employed during Art Nouveau period: the
standard "rajola" (tile), the moulded relief's ceramic, and the
trencadís who is a decoration made with small ceramic irregular broken
pieces of various colours, plentiful used in Art Nouveau.
important ceramic craftsmen were Pujol i Bausis, Hipolit Monseny,
Germans Oliva. The most interesting designs were made by
Lluís Brú and Josep Maria Jujol
are present in buildings as the Pere Mata Institute,
the Hospital de Sant Pau and the
Park Güell in Barcelona.
Another very different area in the Art Nouveau ceramics, was the
manufacture of decorative objects as pitchers, vases, figures, etc. that
we will group in a next future in a page that will be named
was obviously essential in the finishing of Art Nouveau buildings
and was carefully developed by architects together with a lot of
high quality designer and craftsmen as Francesc Vidal, Joan
Busquets and Gaspar Homar.
Riquer, also developed an important task as decorator.
had a strong presence in Art Nouveau buildings through
gratings, fences, doors, balustrades in forged iron and doorknockers, shooters,
handles, etc in brass with excellent
manufacturers as Masriera i Campins.
and joiners had an essential activity in the interiors
decoration. Furniture design was based in different shapes and materials
of high quality as tropical woods and textiles adopted designs
frequently following the "coup de fouet" lines.
designers were Antoni Gaudí, Josep Maria Jujol and
Domènech i Montaner
and the most known craftsman in that activity were Joan Busquets i
Jané, Gaspar Homar and Francesc Vidal i Jevellí. In a more specialized
Alexandre de Riquer stand out on it.
The technology of Catalan glaziers was strongly developed from the
work of the architect Joan Martorell i Montells, who was the first to
recover the Catalan neo-gothic. Martorell worked together with the
glazier Eudald Amigó to restore the stained-glasses of the churches of
Santa Maria del Mar and El Pí in Barcelona and built the stained-glasses of
Monastery of Saleses, the Paranimf of Barcelona University and others.
The works of
Alexandre de Riquer
are also interesting in this matter.
The Art Nouveau stained-glasses featured a wide range of colors and
shapes as printed glass, circles, stars, serpentines and others.
also an important presence into Art Nouveau arts. Instead of the designs
made by jewellers like the Masriera brothers, Cabot or Carreras,
sculptors as Eusebi Arnau and Pau Gargallo, architects as Domènech i
Montaner and Josep Maria Jujol and other artists as
collaborated with jewellers to design personal objects as jewels,
household furniture as cutlery, coffee sets and liturgical elements as
also the new taste imposed by Art Nouveau. Waiting for a more movement
freedom for ladies, the corset was eliminated and clothes showed a more stylized
The best representative fashion designer in Catalonia was
surfaces by inlaying small pieces of stone, marble, glass, ceramic, etc.
was a very common decoration in Catalan Art Nouveau.
The design was
frequently made by artists as Josep Maria Jujol, Gaspar Homar and the realization
by craftsmen as Geroni Granell, Lluis Brú, Mario Maragliano
or Domènech Sugranyes.