Antoni Maria Gallissà, the decorator of modernism

Antoni Maria Gallissà was an important modernist architect, a close friend of Josep Puig i Cadafalch and a regular collaborator of Lluís Domènech i Montaner.

Gallissà was born on 10 September 1861 in Barcelona. After graduating with the highest marks at the age of twenty-four, he taught at the Barcelona School of Architecture. During this period he collaborated with Domènech i Montaner and began his political life. He became a member of the Catalanist Union and the League of Catalonia. Domènech i Montaner greatly influenced the architectural style of Gallissà.

Outstanding works

One of his most notable and well-known architectural works is the Casa Llopis Bofill in Barcelona. A modernist-style apartment building in the Eixample district with sgraffito artwork by Josep Maria Jujol. The complete decoration of the façade with ceramics designed by himself of this house stands out.

 

Despite being an architect, it must be said that the design of the decorative elements of Gallissà is particularly noteworthy. Most modernist architects designed, in addition to houses and buildings, furniture, ceramics, flags and all kinds of decoration, but those of Gallissà were particularly well known. A notable example of these decorative elements would be the Orfeó Català catalan flag in a mosaic by Lluís Brú in the Palau de la Música Catalana. Another remarkable design was that of the lighting and ornamentation of Carrer de Ferran (1902), inspired by medieval tile drawings, which he was fond of.

Gallissà was also a regular designer of ceramics at the Pujol y Bausis factory and of the Casa Escofet hydraulic floor tiles. One of his maiolicas was used in two buildings belonging to his friend Puig i Cadafalch: the Palau Macaya and the monumental Casa de les Punxes. This maiolica, like many of his other designs, has plant motifs, common in Catalan modernism. You can find an explanatory video about this maiolica on the YouTube of Casa de les Punxes

From a very young age, Antoni Maria Gallissà suffered from heart problems, of which he died prematurely on 17 April 1903 at the age of 42.