Antoni Gaudí – a genius dreamer

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When you are  moving to another house you cannot help thinking about windows, stairs, IKEA and useful space. I have been doing that for a month, but let’s think about something beyond the usual. Let’s think about Antonio Gaudí – the most amazing mind ever born.

You know I love to share music to illustrate my posts. There is a 37 minutes long project of Alan Parson who is a legend himself. If you want to know more about Antonio Gaudí of Barcelona please find time to watch this video project from 1987:  Gaudí.


I took a few images of Gaudí’s strikingly beautiful  work –  Casa Batlló (1904–1906), a building designed to comfortably live in –  and the family did live there until the 1950s.

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The image from the beginning of the 20th century

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Another stunning building with the fleshy, organic look, Casa Milà (1906-1910)

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It is sad that many Gaudí‘s projects were turned down because the authorities didn’t like them or abandoned because there was no financial support. Casa Mila was a target for critics for decades and stayed neglected until the 1980s when it was finally restored.  Gaudí was too ahead of his time.  He designed three dimensional shapes a century before computer imaging.

Palau Güell (1885-1889), Gaudí‘s project for his friend and patron Eusebi Güell. He was the only man who supported Gaudí all his life and understood his vision and a courage of fanatic.

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In 1900 Güell and Gaudí started their unsuccessful housing project –  Parc Güell. They envisioned a community living in a beautiful natural park, but it didn’t work out the way it was intended.  Their project was appreciated a century later: nice to see that architecture has progressed beyond “less is more”,  finally.

The images of the exquisite furniture are taken in Gaudí‘s home in the park grounds where he lived until his death in 1926. His bedroom has rather ascetic look though.

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There are some more images from the park –  an archway designed by Gaudí – a place for beautiful walks and numerous performers.

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The archway designed to  be a part of the nature, and even the roots of the trees are growing through it.

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Park Güell looks like it came from a fairy tale.  It is so busy that it is difficult to get close to it’s famous sculptures and other features to take a photograph.

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The work of Gaudí‘s life is La Sagrada Familia. “My client is not in a hurry” he is said to have remarked, and it has been prophetic since the work is already going on for 130 years.

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There is an incredibly beautiful blog by Indah Susanti, and recently she posted series of exquisite images of Sagrada Familia sculptures. I share a few of my images from inside the basilica. Unfortunately there was no access to the central area of the main nave that day and  I was not able to get that iconic image of the ceiling, but I was happy to see the play of light high above, and sit there overwhelmed by unspeakable quiet joy.

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gaudi gaudi gaudi gaudiNot being a specialist in Architecture I cannot tell what is exactly work of Gaudí and what was added by other architects during almost 100 years since his death, but I am sure that no architect has come close to matching his genius. Completion of the work is expected by 2026.

Gaudí was buried in the crypt of La Sagrada Familia, his unfinished masterpiece. They say that half of Barcelona was gathered there.

A few more images from Barcelona in my next blog 🙂

Photography tip of the day: When you take pictures in the street watch your environment. To get extra light you can position yourself to have a white or light painted wall across from where you shoot so that it reflects light on your subject. In the bright light use an open shadow where it is possible.

www.inesemjphotography.comHave a wonderful week!

89 comments

  1. Great post! Now, I’m from Barcelona and in Barcelona at the moment so…Yes, we do have a wonderful city, although I remember it was not as popular as it is now when I was a child. The Japanese I believe were the first ones from abroad to notice Gaudí in mass (as a result of an ad that featured the Sagrada Familia as background, I think) and went mad about him, to the point where they wanted to buy la Casa Milà (that we call ‘La Pedrera’ from pedra (stone in Catalan). They didn´t manage. I recall as a child seeing only one person working on the Sagrada Familia, but thankfully tourism and a bit of a push has moved it on. You´re right Inese there´re plenty of Art Nouveau buildings and it was a very strong movement in the city (industrial revolution was quite big here and the new bourgeoisie had a fair amount of money, like some of the families who got Gaudí to build their houses). In Catalonia we call it ‘Modernisme’. He was a very religious man and that´s clear to see in La Sagrada Familia. There was no ceiling at all when I used to visit as a child so all that is fairly new (like are the towers at the back). I recommend the Palau de la Música Catalana if you like Art Nouveau, but…just explore…And even if you don´t like Picasso, the Picasso museum, because the medieval palace is also gorgeous… Sorry to go on…

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    1. Oh thank you for your comment Olga! I know you are from this wonderful city, and I always think about Barcelona as a city of artists and writers. One person working on Sagrada familia! Bless that man!
      I guess that Gaudi might have had different ideas about the construction, but he left very little sketches, so whatever is done by the other architects is all right and good enough. I love the spirit of this city.
      They don’t let you take pictures in Palau de la Musica Catalana, but i was inside and listened to the beautiful music – great acoustic.

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      1. I know what you mean. I prefer not walking with a stick. They always want to go in another direction than me. And two sticks always result in arguments. 🙂

        Walking with a stick,
        Making things more difficult,
        Ladybugs are fine.

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        1. I don’t blame you. Our holiday is tomorrow (Monday). It’s Columbus Day. However, I doubt that I will do anything special. Cheers! 🙂

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    1. Thank you so much, Andrea! Glad to hear you have been there, even for a short visit:) Many beautiful places we can visit through WordPress:) Sometimes I read about things I have never heard or imagine:)

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    1. Thank you for stopping to comment, Maria! He might follow the Art Nouveau, he was influenced by many styles while creating his own. When he became an accomplished architect, he was unique. His museum is something to visit! He took his inspiration from all the natural forms like shells, leaves, flowers, insects etc. Pity he didn’t write much, but is it possible to describe his work on paper? Computer graphic would do that 🙂 He was ahead of his time:)

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    1. Thank you so much for reading, Christy. No one heard of him 25 years after his death until the 1950s. He hasn’t left followers and writings, just a few letters and sketches. He came to this world, made an impact, and disappeared. True genius.

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  2. Stunning post dear Inese!…
    Marvelous tribute to Gaudi. What a genius he was, pure talent!…
    My favorite work by him is the Park Güell, but my dad, who is architect, is a huge fan of The Sagrada Familia… Which is your favorite one?
    Much love and many hugs to you, my friend!, Aquileana 😀

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  3. many wonderful photographs.. would love to see these houses.. noticed on your home page you’re interested in family history.. would love to find out more about my mums but because it is from somewhere else, having much trouble.

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    1. Thank you so much. What country is your mother from? Some countries have most of the records intact, easy to track. I can tell you a secret 🙂 When you start doing your family history work and when you feel that determination, everything starts to work out, little by little. Information comes from unexpected sources. Just start looking for it, and talk with the living relatives, possible neighbors, co-workers, anyone whom you consider relevant. Write everything down, every tiny detail. Start your search as soon as possible. 🙂

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      1. Thankyou, i talk too much 🙂

        ..thats the problem 🙂

        But have been getting lots of information from my mum and dad… before thet wanted to tell me and i didnt listen, head in clouds… sadly

        My mothers father is Ukranian and her mother probably Finnish or maybe Lithuanian – we dont know. My grandfather had a Jewish name. They married in a part of Germany which is now Polish and difficult to communicate and find the marriage record. They moved to Berlin but didnt stay togethor.

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        1. The War did lots of damage in these countries, many archives were destroyed. It is why I asked which country she is from – in some countries you can track the records back to the Middle ages. So the place to look for the records is Germany, right?

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        2. Thank you, thats very kind… someone in Berlin said they could see their marriage certificate online in a town where they married , now in Poland but the people there have told us they cant find it. Think this certificate might help to find out more about them. Only know that her father was Lutheran priest and she liked fairgrounds. The only things i know

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        3. If he was a priest, he kept the records in the church book.
          I got a free membership in one of the genealogy sites last week, but for some reason it didn’t let me in when I tried to log in – something wrong with my number. When I sort it out I will let you know.

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        4. thankyou … please dont worry, have been tracing my ancestors on one of these – my dads side is the easiest and have got back to almost 1600s… mostly fishermen and farmers.. the odd shoemaker and a smuggler or two supplementing their income on his dads side.

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  4. I loved all your shots but those last four are fantastic. They give such an impression of color and light and a sense of the space they occupy…a tricky shot to get! Well done!

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    1. Thank you! The place is designed to let the light work at any time during the day. Stained glass, shapes, openings, light beams and shadows – everything is calculated and works as a whole living organism. It is beyond any known architectural creation.

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  5. Hi Inese, Great post!!

    Barcelona. Have never been there. But now yes! You made me a shot trip to there. Really loved these interesting yet beautiful architecture of Gaudi. Really always love to watch your clicks.

    Be Bettr, Stay Bettr! 🙂

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  6. Great post of Gaudi! I love the way you combine it with the video, Gaudi was convincingly a genius dreamer through this post 🙂 The photos that you took in Sagrada Familia are beautiful!
    And many thanks for linking it to my post! Hope you had a wonderful weekend – I just return from a long weekend trip and now looking forward to catch up. Have a great week ahead!

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    1. Thank you! The city is old, beautiful and mysterious. I was there only three days, but I was already in love before I came thanks to the Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s books 🙂

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind comment! I wasn’t sure that many readers would like him and I really glad they do 🙂 There are just a few people like him born into this world, passing the eternal knowledge to humanity.

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  7. This has brung so many memories of Barcelona… Wonderful walks, facades… The inside of Casa Batlló is not of this world, the details are exquisite. This have been an unexpected and fantastic read. Thanks! Have a nice week 🙂

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    1. Thank you Montserrat! People who knew him personally are blessed, and especially people who understood his vision, like the family from Casa Batlló who trusted him to rebuild their home. I cannot believe that they actually lived there, in that sanctuary 🙂 Lucky people!
      Have a lovely week you too! 🙂

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  8. Love this post. I only discovered Barcelona and Gaudi about five years ago. I am not a thief but if ever I did decide to steal something then I would steal Barcelona it is a most beautiful city. Expensive though, every one of those museums costs and there are an awful lot of them. I loved your pictures, I took the same ones myself and seeing yours brought back really good memories. Thank you 🙂

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  9. Thank You for sharing these glorious pictures, Inese.
    Gaudi – my favourite architect of all time.
    i mention him in the poem Barcelona Grandmother,
    a small honour to a great man.
    Inese, thank you once again.
    john

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  10. The architecture is amazing. I really like the album. It has been years since I’ve listened to Alan Parsons. He get some periodic play on our local indie radio station.

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  11. He is so amazing. I have looked at hundreds of photographs of his work and always there are details I never saw before. Your photos are gorgeous – I love the shots you made of the stairwell in Casa Batlló. The show how he seems to have allowed the wood grain to create the design.

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    1. Isn’t it amazing? He was working with the simpliest things, sometimes with the waste materials. And as you say about that stairwell – he let the natural properties of material speak.

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  12. I have this “Gaudi” album. Yes, on vinyl. 🙂 Haven’t heard it for years. I will listen to it now. Thank you! I’ve not seen his architecture before. Complexly marvelous, Inese! He invented “over-the-top” looks to me.

    Have a great Sunday! Another dreamer, Uncle Tree

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  13. Thank you for this! I love his designs. You’re right, he was way ahead of his time.

    Building designs tend to be so rigid and angular… it’s refreshing to see something that ‘flows’ with the environment. And despite initial impressions that might lead one to think that it wouldn’t be ‘strong’ or ‘last’… due to the design, well, they past the test of time.:-)

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  14. my preferred artist…love Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain…and Sagrada Familia, spend more than 15 years holidays near Sant pol de Mar and near Ampurias/Gerona… 😉

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      1. most amazing impression watching FC Barca live Soccer…in Camp Nou from peak seating row early evening, very tiny players, but grandiose atmosphere…after finishing you got a bombastic sunburn too 😉

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