Lluís Domènech i Montaner's Barcelona
When Domènech i Montaner was completing the Castell dels Tres Dragons, which was the restaurant for the 1888 Universal Exhibition, he unveiled the essence of an architectural style defined by a blend of classic, historicist and traditional shapes with the colour and decorative symbolism of the buildings.
Only a humanist like Domènech i Montaner, who was also a historian, teacher, politician and architect, could epitomise the culmination of the modernista style in Catalonia, based on a modern architecture which reflected the Catalan national identity. Indeed, his commitment to the political and cultural Catalan movement, marked the life and work of this Barcelona-born architect. He is considered the master and founder of the modernista style and developed an innovative language based on the integration of all the arts.
This means that Domènech i Montaner's private residences – such as the Casa Lleó Morera, the Casa Fuster, the Casa Thomas and the Palau Montaner; in his decorative contributions to monuments, such as the column of the statue of Joan Maragall and the wrought-iron railings around the Josep Anselm Clavé pantheon, and his most widely acclaimed public buildings, including the Palau de la Música Catalana and the wonderful Sant Pau Recinte Modernista complex, which have both been declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites – skilfully combine the refined modernista aesthetic with its sinuous curves, plant motifs, with increasingly light and rational formal, functional and modern structures.
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