Cadaqués & Barcelona shaped by modernism
Art Nouveau - The buildings of this design movement always attract attention. Decorated with organic details, such as flowers, small birds and mosaics, the architects of this epoch were able to combine very different scenes in one building. Many examples of the style are still standing splendid today with all their elaborate details. Few places have more Art Noveau-style buildings than Barcelona, where every day they impress locals and visitors alike with coloured window glasses and ceramic elements. They are part of European art and architecture history.
Modernism (Art Nouveau) is a cultural-social renewal movement in the Catalan-speaking world, which found its expression in art, architecture, literature and music. The architectural style, which was internationally-recognised, developed from about 1885 to 1920 in Catalonia, mainly in Barcelona, and had, as its main representative, the eccentric genius Antoni Gaudí. Modernism was part of the Art Nouveau movement that encompassed all of Europe.
Origin of modernism
This movement aroused the neo-Gothic and neo-Romanesque aesthetics of the nineteenth century and ended when there was a marked shift towards architectural rationalism in the 1920s and 1930s. Architecturally, this movement may have developed into the most advanced form of Art Nouveau.
Modernism in the European context
Towards the end of the 19th century, there was an increasing tendency in Europe to break with the traditional features of architecture and to look for suitable designs for the 20th century. This urge was fundamentally a reaction to the industrial age which had brought the steam engine, railway and electricity and had fundamentally changed the life of the population and led to the growth of cities where industries settled and, paradoxically, an urban bourgeois flourished. Modernism (and Art Nouveau in general) is therefore an urban and bourgeois style. In painting, influences from Impressionism and Symbolism were the main characteristics of a movement that had no stylistic roots, but as a common trait: the will to be modern.
From 1906, Modernism was replaced by the Catalan form of neoclassicism or rationalism, the Neocentrism. Their representatives accused modernism of being an anarchic and decadent art form. In contrast to the "romantic chaos" of modernism, they advocated the order, the clarity, the harmony, the measure and the rationality of architecture.