From the Industrial Revolution to World War I, C. 1850–1914


Who was Antoni Gaudi?

Antoni Gaudi (1853–1926) was a Spanish architect whose fantastical style reflected the art nouveau aesthetic, and is most closely associated with a Spanish movement called modernismo. Gaudi was interested in developing a specifically Catalonian aesthetic within Spanish architecture, and his greatest works were constructed in the Catalonian city of Barcelona (Catalonia is a region in Spain and its people have a distinctive culture and language). Gaudi’s buildings are highly decorative, fluid, and imaginative often with bright colors, and glittering mosaic elements. For example, his design for Park Guell (1900–1914) includes a lizard-shaped fountain covered in mosaic tiles, seemingly lurching along a flight of stairs. Gaudi’s masterpiece is the perpetually unfinished Sagrada Familia cathedral complex, his first large commission. His unique design was inspired by Moorish architecture and features eight rounded stone spires. Gaudi’s highly individual architectural style is considered by some to be a precursor to Surrealism and went on to inspire early twentieth-century expressionist architecture.


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