Biography of Antoni Gaudi - How Did He Create His Own Modernist Style?


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The full name of Antoni Gaudi was Antoni Placid Guillem Gaudi i Cornet. A little intricate like his architecture style! He was born on June 25, 1852, near Tarragona. What means “near” Tarragona? In spite of the fact that we are talking of the nineteenth century, nobody knows where he was born exactly. In this Gaudi biography, you will learn some important events in the life of this prominent person who changed the way the Art Nouveau architecture was after him. Gaudi was a Catalan architect, a genius, and precursor of modern architecture, who created his own style. He deserves mention since the Antoni Gaudí art pieces are among the most famous Barcelona Sightseeing places and constitutes the top attractions in the city.

Antoni Gaudi Crypt at Colonia Guell

The Learning Period of Gaudi

Since he suffered a rheumatic illness from his early years, he missed the school classes with a particular frequency. With such a health problem, he was not able to walk normally or even play with other children. This circumstance allowed him to have enough time to observe nature.

Gaudi studied in a very well known religious school in Reus. It seems that at that time he was a regular student with excellent grades, but not a genius. He was superb in geometry. The influence of the religion on him probably begun during these years. After this school period, he moved to Barcelona to study architecture. He passed several preparatory courses before entering the University.

He was an excellent student. He received some good grades again. Do you imagine what? Yes, of course, in the course of building design projects! His graduation as an architect was finally achieved in 1878.

Antoni Gaudi young

The Young Gaudí

He used to read books about the Gothic art styles, as well as others regarding oriental buildings and also from the Renaissance times. Books on medieval architecture mainly influenced him. All this, added to his own experience of observing the forms in nature.

As a result, you can appreciate today such a unique, eye-catching style and simplicity in every creation of the Master. In case you discover a straight line in his works, we promise to reward you! Gaudi used to work for some builders to help his father to pay for his education. His personality? Well, he was really a bad temper person, unable to control this characteristic.

After some projects, he started to earn some money and begun to live part of the life he missed as a student. He used to dress very well, with a real touch of distinction. This fact and his good appearance helped him soon to get contact with the high society. Just imagine. Young, elegant, with good appearance and enough money in his pockets! Now you can understand why he never married.

Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia
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Gaudi, The Architect

Antoni Gaudi was a successful professional and lived the good times of the industrial Barcelona, which took place at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century. He developed several projects during those years, not only for the well-positioned people of the society but also projects like houses for factory workers. He was moving very well in the world of the high society, but he never forgot his origins and maintained good relations with the workers.

Gaudi begun to be famous because he presented this project during the Paris World Fair in 1878. There, he had the opportunity to meet Mr. Guell, the person who became his best friend. So, Gaudi architecture had begun to be known.

After the Paris World Fair, he participated in several projects in Barcelona in cooperation with other architects. This relationship with other colleagues, allowed him to assume the responsibility of a huge project in 1883, which was previously initiated by his former professor, Francisco de Paula del Villar. This project was the Sagrada Familia, the "Gaudi church", through which he was known all around the world. He worked more than forty years for this fantastic project. Gaudi still developed and participated in more projects. From all of them, those more important are perhaps the Guell Palace, the Astorga Palace, Casa Batllo and Casa Mila (La Pedrera). During the era of the Antoni Gaudi Modernism, he started with a project which is unfinished, but worth to mention. It is the church at Colonia Guell known as the Gaudi Crypt.

Antoni Gaudi eBook Guide - The gaudi Tour

The Gaudi Tour - eBook Guide

Gaudi Tour – Gaudi Architecture Tour

If you are interested in Gaudi architecture and the history behind his works, we recommend what is perhaps the most comprehensive self-guided tour eBook. You will know how to do the Gaudí Tour in Barcelona on your own. This Self-Guided Gaudí Tour eBook will guide you to all famous Gaudí works, and more. You will see the best of Gaudi architecture in Barcelona with this Gaudi walking tour, which is probably the most complete and best Gaudi tour in Barcelona that you can do on your own.

Read more about the Self-Guided Antoni Gaudi Tour

The old Antoni Gaudi

The old Gaudi

Antoni Gaudi Facts - The Old Gaudí

The years of the beginning of the 20th century, have been perhaps the best times for him. His fame was at the top during that period, as well as his renown. But the coming years played a significant role in his life. The architect changed his social attitude. This change was probably due to circumstances which happened around his social and private life. He used to live together with his father and a niece.

  • His niece died in 1912
  • In 1914 died his most important collaborator
  • He was also in litigation with the family Mila, due to some problems with professional fee payments
  • The construction of the Colonia Guell was stopped
  • During the crisis of 1915, there were some problems regarding the continuity or not of the Sagrada Familia
  • In 1918 died his best friend, Eusebi Guell

And nobody knows what else happened to the poor old Gaudi! With such a lot of misfortunes in his life, it is entirely understandable that he had important reasons for his changes in attitude. During that time, he used to dress without any care at all. He also avoided any contact with journalists. He was not the man who had been before.

One year before his death, he moved his residence to the studio he had at the premises of the Sagrada Familia. He worked exclusively on the Sagrada Familia until his death. His last misfortune brought him to death in June 12, 1926. He died because of an accident. A tram ran him over. Because of his dress, the people thought that he was a vagabond and nobody wanted to take him to the hospital.

The body of the Master was buried in the crypt of the huge building for which he worked more than forty years, the Sagrada Familia. There is no other better place to honor this genius!