Antoni Gaudí was a native of Catalonia in Spain and a proponent of Catalan Modernisme, a style closely linked to Art Nouveau, before he went on to develop his own unique style. His buildings are world-renowned these days, although the best known is probably La Basílica de la Sagrada Família, at which construction is still going on. It will be completed in 2026.
At the time of writing, seven of his Gaudí’s buildings have been declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and although his popularity suffered a marked decrease after his death, as exemplified by the tragic destruction of many of the plans and designs he had for the Basílica de la Sagrada Família during the 1939 civil war, his work still fascinates the world.
Gaudí Found Inspiration Everywhere
Nature and the Roman Catholic were his main inspirations, with his faith in the later intensifying during his lifetime and religious images appearing in many of his works. Gaudí went on to earn the nickname God’s Architect and there were even calls for him to beatified!
Crafts also influenced this architect, and, when reviewing his work, you’ll see the effects of carpentry, ceramics, stained glass, and wrought ironwork forging, with these being incorporated frequently as well.
He Suffered from Ill-Health
Gaudí was a sickly child, suffering from rheumatism as a young boy which led to many other health concerns and led to him becoming vegetarian. This could be seen as a blessing in disguise, however, since it meant that he spent most of his compulsory military service on sick leave, allowing him to avoid the Third Carlist War and pursue his architectural studies instead.
He Showed Promise from Early On
Gaudí had many clients even as a draughtsman and undergraduate for renowned architects like
Cèsar Martinell i Brunet and Joan Rubió y Bellver. He put on a splendid showcase at the 1888 Paris World Fair of his design for a Compañía Trasatlántica building, which won him several important commissions.
It’s safe to say that, in a world where everything gets reviewed, from restaurants, sites offering real money UK bingo games, and items of clothing, Gaudí would have had no trouble getting word of his work spreading like wildfire!
He Led a Life Filled With Extremes
Gaudí was not a man for half-measures, as one would quite rightly deduce from his building designs. He dressed as a dandy, dined on gourmet meals, and arrived at his project sites with flair thanks to the horse-drawn carriage he used to get around!
And towards the end of his life, he opted to go to the other end of the scale, dressing so aesthetically that he was sometimes mistaken for a beggar. This had a tragic effect.
On the day he died, Gaudí was struck and rendered unconscious by a tram, but his injuries were such that he would have lived if he’d received medical attention immediately. But, because of his shabby clothing and lack of identification, he was assumed to be a tramp and did not get the treatment that would have saved his life.