The Art Nouveau style: a radical reaction

Among the characteristics of Art Nouveau, we find both respect for materials and for the artist, who enjoyed absolute freedom during the creative process.

Art Nouveau architecture brings with it sinuous curves and natural elements against serial and soulless production and against the academic art that was imposed in Art Schools. The architects of the end of the 19th century debated between the technological advances generated by the Industrial Revolution, which subordinated the appearance of the building to its structure, and continuing to use traditional, more historical styles. The Art Nouveau architects demanded their own style, new, in keeping with the ambitions and expectations of a rejuvenated and restless society, instead of being confirmed by one of these options.

Art Nouveau draws as much from the advances made in building techniques and materials during the Industrial Revolution as from the revaluation that the Arts & Crafts movement brought to crafts. Among the characteristics of Art Nouveau, we find both respect for materials and for the artist, who enjoyed absolute freedom during the creative process.

This is the only way to explain styles as personalized as those developed by modernist architects such as Puig i Cadafalch (Casa Ametller, Casa de les Punxes), Gaudí (Casa Batlló, Sagrada Família, La Pedrera) or Domènech i Muntaner (Hospital de St. Pau, Palau de la Música).

These famous Catalan artists knew how to combine the best of both tendencies in the local panorama; making Catalan Art Nouveau a consistent movement and making possible, through their constructions in the Catalan capital, an Art Nouveau route in Barcelona like the one that can be done today.

Have you ever been to a museum in Barcelona to discover Catalan Art Nouveau? There are guided tours in Barcelona of Art Nouveau architecture such as the Casa de les Punxes by Puig and Cadafalch or the Pedrera by Antoni Gaudí.


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