A Modernist Stroll – Discover Barcelona
A contemplation of the façades on Barcelona Modernist houses means playing with the hieroglyphics and putting our imagination to the test. If coats of arms in Medieval times explained the lineage of noblemen, then any Modernism found on the façades of the houses depicted aspects of the lives of upper-class people.
Gaudi’s pieces of work throw us into disarray because of their ambiguity, which means they are open to interpretation. And perhaps, this was the genius’ intention: leaving room for the spectator’s mind to run wild.
During the 19th and 20th centuries, the Industrial Revolution turned Catalan bourgeoisie into a consumer society, who found a way of showing off their social and economic status through Modernist art, with Passeig Gracia avenue giving us the perfect showroom for it. This avenue started off as an old rural path that connected the city to the town of Gràcia, and turned into one of the city’s main arteries.
With our private tours, we can discover the most emblematic buildings from Passeig de Gràcia avenue:
Casa Mila – Pedrera: Owner Family: Roser Segimon, widow of a wealthy man who was 40 year her senior. Gaudi had to sculpt a rose in the top part of the façade in reference to the Virgin of Rosary and the owner too. ( ‘Roser’ means ‘Rosary’ in English)
Casa Batllo: Owner family: Josep Batlló, a businessman dedicated to the cotton fabric industry.
What a true work of art!! Gaudí masterfully played with the light and shade of the façade, as they changed throughout the day depending on the different tonalities of the sunlight that shone.
Casa Amatller: Owner Family: Antoni Amatller, manufacturer and grandson of the master chocolatiers.
The family business is reflected in the upper part of the staggered façade, reminiscent of a table of chocolate. A fondness for art and photography is represented in small artistic animal sculptures: frogs blowing glass, ceramic pigs, bear taking photographs and even donkeys writing books.
Casa Lleó i Morera: Owner Family: Albert Lleó i Morera inherited the house mid-way through its construction.
The mulberry tree flower is found all over the façade as a reminder of the family’s surname( ‘Morera’ in Catalan means’ mulberry tree’ in English)
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