Art Nouveau in Catalonia (Evergreens)

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9783822882559: Art Nouveau in Catalonia (Evergreens)
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This architectural movement was closely related to Art Nouveau but its artistic expression was clearly distinct from the related European movements of this period. Modernisme was a widescale movement across all of the arts, not just architecture, which co-incided with the Catalan Renaissance taking place during the same period. As Catalonia grew in wealth and power around the mid-19th century, the region strove to re-establish its national identity, separate to Castilian Spain, firstly by restoring its language (after 150 years of oppression), but equally by a conscious injection of modern ideas designed to invigorate and lift Catalan society and culture as it approached the 20th Century. The Renaissance's main vehicle was Modernisme, which is simply the Catalan word for 'Modernism' and refers to the region's cultivating of fin-de-siecle ideas and trends from the Art Nouveau movement, which was already taking place in England, France, Belgium, Germany and elsewhere in Europe. However in no other part of the world did Art Nouveau leave such a strong architectural legacy as in Catalonia, thanks to the enormous pace of urban growth which took place at that time and the boundless talent of those who championed the movement. Following essentially the same principles as Art Nouveau worldwide, Modernista architecture can be characterized by the use of the curve over the straight line, organic and botanical shapes and motifs, a great richness of ornamentation, bright colours, a disregard of symmetry and a wide use of symbolism. In Catalonia specifically, you will see influences from traditional Catalan rural life and Catalan mythology, as well as Arabic patterns and decorations. The overall effect is a style of architecture which is very dynamic, very human, very colourful and often absurdly over-the-top when it comes to details and adornment.

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