Domènech i Montaner, the father of Catalan Art Nouveau

Domènech i Montaner was not only a well-known Art Nouveau architect of his time, but also the man in charge of training other great later generations of architects, including Gaudí and Puig i Cadafalch. We could consider that December is a month of great importance for this great protagonist of Catalan Art Nouveau, since both the anniversary of his birth and his death occur in this month. Do you know his figure?

Lluís Domènech i Montaner was born on 21 December 1850 in Barcelona and died on the 27th of the same month and in the same city in 1923. He is known for being one of the most recognized and valued artists of Catalan Art Nouveau. Several of his works currently have the status of World Heritage by UNESCO. He is the author of the Recinte Modernista de Sant Pau, the Casa Lleó Morera and the Palau de la Música Catalana, among other buildings.

After training in architecture and physical-mathematical sciences in his youth, he became a professor at the School of Architecture of Barcelona, of which he became director after several years of teaching, in 1900. It is in this school that he had the opportunity to train disciples as later famous as Gaudí, Puig i Cadafalch or Josep Mª Jujol.

Domènech i Montaner not only had an architectural facet, but also collaborated with various publishing projects. He was a regular contributor to the family business, the Montaner i Simón publishing house through which he created the Historia General del Arte, which was later continued by Josep Puig i Cadafalch. He also founded the magazine El Poble Català and collaborated with the main Catalan publications of the time, such as La Veu de Catalunya and La Renaixença.

Finally, like Puig i Cadafalch, Domènech i Montaner was a very active figure in the politics of his time. The well-known modernist artist was the founder of the Lliga Regionalista (1870) and the Unió Catalanista (1891). He later became a member of the Spanish Parliament in 1901.

Domènech i Montaner had eight children with his wife María Roure i Carnestoltes and died far from his active political life and architectural projects, focused on his historical studies of Catalonia. His works are currently among the most valued in Catalan modernism.


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