Do you know the indispensable triad of Catalan Art Nouveau? I’m sure you’ve heard their names. Yes, yes… we are talking about Antoni Gaudí, Domènech i Montaner i Puig i Cadafalch. Who else! We’ll tell you a little about them, in case you don’t know them yet.

Domènech i Montaner (1850-1923)

This great architect was a contemporary of Gaudí and a very active figure in contemporary Catalan politics. His work history includes the famous Recinte Modernista Sant Pau and the well-known Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona. Surely you have heard of these buildings and their exuberant beauty. The style of its buildings is characterized by rational structures and highly ornate facades, with every detail in the decoration.

Antoni Gaudí (1852-1926)

Can something new be said about the great architect of nature? Who does not know the Sagrada Familia? or la Pedrera? Casa Batlló? and Casa Vicens? We would never finish, because in addition to being one of the best-known architects, he was very prolific. Yes, we can tell you a couple of curiosities that not everyone knows. For example, Gaudí almost never designed his works in plans, but he did it on three-dimensional models in every detail. Thus, the collaborators could see it as he had projected it in his mind. Another detail that we confess is that the famous technique of the “trencadís” that we can see in his work, was invented by himself and was used for the first time in the construction of the finca Güell.

Puig i Cadafalch (1867-1956)

The young Puig i Cadafalch was one of Domènech i Montaner’s disciples. He is considered one of the last representatives of Catalan Art Nouveau and one of the first of Noucentisme. His work is usually divided into three periods: the Art Nouveau, the rational idealist and the monumentalist. Like his mentor, Puig i Cadafalch was an active agent in the contemporary politics around him. In his Art Nouveau period he produced such well-known works as Casa Amatller, Casa Martí or one of its great culminations: Casa Terradas or Casa de les Punxes, recently opened to the public.

Francesc Berenguer was the son of one of Gaudí’s primary school teachers, with whom he would end up studying architecture and working.

Retrat de Francesc Berenguer i Mestres, arquitecte modernista català (1866.1914)

Francesc Berenguer i Mestres is a little-known figure in Catalan Art Nouveau. Although he worked as such, he never obtained the title of architect. This condition prevented him from signing projects, so that many of the works in which he collaborated are not recognised. Today, on the 153rd anniversary of his birth, we bring you his curious and interesting history.

Francesc Berenguer was born in Reus on 21 July 1866 and died 47 years later, on 8 February 1914. Francesc Berenguer was the son of one of Gaudí’s primary school teachers, with whom he would end up studying architecture and working. Berenguer studied architecture between 1882 and 1888 but never graduated, which meant he could not sign the plans he designed. Other Art Nouveau architects were those who claimed his plans, such as Juan Rubió, Pascual and Tintorer or Gaudi himself. From 1887 until his death, Berenguer worked for Gaudí, supporting him in large projects such as the Güell Palace or the Sagrada Familia. Most of his attributions are discussed due to the problems surrounding the authorship of the projects.

His son, Francesc Berenguer i Bellvehí, also studied architecture, obtaining the title in 1914. Berenguer’s son also adopted the Art Nouveau style in his works. He worked with Gaudí, his father and other Art Nouveau architects in and around Barcelona, as did his father, although he was able to sign his own projects.

Art Nouveau architecture hides the names of such curious figures as this one. Do you know everybody who collaborated in the construction and decoration of La Pedrera? Casa Amatller? Casa de les Punxes? Catalan Art Nouveau still hides many secrets in its museums in Barcelona.

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