Gaudi believed that the straight line belonged to man and the curved line to God. His work has been called "impassioned, savage, and poetical to the point of frenzy." The most prestigious figure in Catalan architecture, his stature is due to... [more]
Gaudi believed that the straight line belonged to man and the curved line to God. His work has been called "impassioned, savage, and poetical to the point of frenzy." The most prestigious figure in Catalan architecture, his stature is due to the originality and audacity of his technical solutions, his ability to synthesize tradition, and his use of brilliant, unique, and creative ornamentation.
Antonio Placido Guillermo Cornet Gaudi was born on June 25, 1852, in Reus, Catalonia, to a family of coppersmiths. His development was influenced by the theories of Viollet-le-Duc, Ruskin, as well as the thought of the Modernist generation -- the Catalan movement that formed around the 1888 Barcelona World Fair corresponded to the Art Nouveau movement elsewhere in Europe.
Soon, however, Gaudi would move beyond the dominant styles of the nineteenth-century eclecticism to formulate his own aesthetic, one that would make his style unmistakable and difficult to classify. For a while, he was interested in rejuvenating Gothic and Neo-Medievalist styles; later he incorporated this approach with natural and organic forms as essential structural elements.
Gaudi's first major commission was to complete the Church of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, which had already been designed in a neo-Gothic style by Francisco de Villar. Gaudi, who worked on the church from 1883 until his death in 1926, transformed the original design into a fantastical, soaring work that incorporates Gothic, Moorish, African, and purely imaginative influences into its structure. Other works designed by Gaudiinclude the elaborately twisted Casa Mila, and the brilliantly mosaiced Guell Park, with its sculptured walls, and grottos. [show less]