Vocabulary (SOS 4)

If you’re a regular visitor you won’t be surprised that architectural imagery is going to feature heavily in my Barcelona posts, partly because I love to view interesting designs anyway, but also because this city has some very significant contributions to make, from the most visited monument in all of Spain (Gaudí’s Sagrada) to the high-tech digit of Torre Agbar.


Some new vocabulary will be needed along the way, so let’s begin with Modernisme.

Something special was in the air at the end of the 19th Century.  In Britain the Arts & Crafts Movement was gathering pace under the influence of William Morris and John Ruskin, each of whom has appeared here before.  Whether as a result of this, or the same reaction against industrialism, Art Nouveau became established in Europe under a variety of different names.  (It even reached Havana!)

In Catalonia this was Modernisme; a celebration of craftsmanship in all it’s forms; furniture, jewellery, art, metalworking, stained-glass, ceramics, textiles and of course architecture.  In Barcelona you can’t escape it, at least if you keep your eyes open, and there’ll be lots in future posts.  It celebrates natural forms and curves, but also a romantic view of earlier times so a Gothic revival became part of parcel of the same movement; a strange juxtaposition to my eye.

Nevertheless, it all makes grist for the photographic mill!_PW_0003


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