Gaudi from the end


It’s hard to know where to start with Antoni Gaudi and his importance to Barcelona.  the next several blog posts will be devoted to him and his work.  Just a little background. Antoni Gaudi lived 1852-1926.  He was one of the first “organic” architects and is often referred to as a Modernist though he rejected that label (also associated with Art Nouveau).  His patrons were the church and the Barcelona elite. He saw architecture as an art form and gave his attention to every detail of his projects from materials selected to the visual affects of the completed structures.  He was fascinated with and studied nature and geometry from an early age.  I’m going to start with his last project, the Sagrada Familia cathedral which he started on in 1884 and was unfinished at his death.  It is a work still very much a construction zone as you will see.  Its expected completion date is 2026.

We were fortunate to see an exhibit explaining Gaudi's philosophy so I'm going to intersperse these models and explanations as we look at the exterior and interior of Sagrada Familia.
We were fortunate to see an exhibit explaining Gaudi’s philosophy so I’m going to intersperse these models and explanations as we look at the exterior and interior of Sagrada Familia.
Sagrada Familia was started in 1883 and after a year the project was turned over to Gaudi who was a deeply religious man. He moved into the cathedral and lived there for the next 14 years. He died unexpectedly and work on his masterpiece continues as you can see.
Sagrada Familia was started in 1883 and after a year the project was turned over to Gaudi who was a deeply religious man. He moved into the cathedral and lived there for the next 14 years. He died unexpectedly and work on his masterpiece continues as you can see.
The darker stone that you see is the older portions of the building and the lighter colored stone is the newer portion.
The darker stone that you see is the older portions of the building and the lighter colored stone is the newer portion.
The towers are quite unusual as is everything about this building.
The towers are quite unusual as is everything about this building.
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About the pinnacles of the towers Gaudi said “Look at the top!.. This burst of mosaics is the first thing that sailors will see when approaching Barcelona; it will be a radiant welcome. It is true that Sagrada Familia can be seen from many parts of the city.
The base of a new tower that will be added to a make a total of 12 towers.
The base of a new tower that will be added to a make a total of 12 towers.
Serpents and lizards slide down the face of the side structures.
Serpents and lizards slide down the face of the side structures.
Notice the workers in red suits in the V between the two triangular shapes.
Notice the workers in red suits in the V between the two triangular shapes.
For the design of the capitals of the tops of the towers on the three facades Gaudi chose twinned polyhedrons, the result of studying crystals.
For the design of the capitals of the tops of the towers on the three facades Gaudi chose twinned polyhedrons, the result of studying crystals.
The sculptures were completed 1986-2000 by Josep Maria Subirachs, controversial for their abstract quality but most art historians think Gaudi would have approved.
The sculptures were completed 1986-2000 by Josep Maria Subirachs, controversial for their abstract quality but most art historians think Gaudi would have approved. Some of the controversy may be because the artist is a confirmed atheist.
This is the entry point and the most competed part of the cathedral finished in 1930.
This is the entry point and the most competed part of the cathedral finished in 1930.

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Detail of entry door.
Detail of entry door.
Inaugurated in 2010 the nave is a forest of fluted pillars supporting four galleries above the side aisles, while skylights let in natural light.
Inaugurated in 2010 the nave is a forest of fluted pillars supporting four galleries above the side aisles, while skylights let in natural light.
The transept.
The transept
The tree like columns
The tree like columns
Gaudi tried new ways of contracting, first at Colonia Guell (industrial village) and finally here. He is using parabaloid forms in many cases.
Gaudi tried new ways of contracting, first at Colonia Guell (industrial village) and finally here. He is using parabaloid forms in many cases.
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Stained glass windows in warm colors on one side. Notice the lights at the joints where the branches come off the main columns.
Capitol of each column features an ellipsoid form that resembles the tree in the photo behind it. It gives the whole structure added strength.
Capitol of each column features an ellipsoid form that resembles the tree in the photo behind it. It gives the whole structure added strength.
Wall of cool colors opposite.
Wall of cool colors opposite.

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About the new forms Gaudi was trying he said " the fact that they have not been applied before and that I am the first to do so has made me think a lot…I believe that, convinced as I am of the perfection they represent, it is my duty to apply them.
About the new forms Gaudi was trying he said ” the fact that they have not been applied before and that I am the first to do so has made me think a lot…I believe that, convinced as I am of the perfection they represent, it is my duty to apply them.
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A magnificent work of art that will continue to evolve.
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Models for some of the natural forms seen at Sagrada Familia

2 thoughts on “Gaudi from the end

  1. Wow, MINA, this is a terrific discussion of Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia. I learned a lot, and it brought back memories too (I was in Spain in 2005).

    Hope your trip home on Friday goes smoothly–

    Terri

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  2. Amazing to see how the Sagrada has evolved since we first saw it in the late 90’s then again in 2009 on our trip with Ezra. From dust covering all parts of the building in the 90’s to the semblance of light in the ’09, and now this..

    Thank you…Have a safe journey home!
    Claire

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