25 June 1852, Reus, Catalonia – 10 June 1926, Barcelona
Antoni Gaudí i Cornet was a Spanish architect and leader of Catalan Modernism, whose distinctive style is characterized by freedom of form, voluptuous colour and texture, and organic unity. Gaudí’s works reflect his highly individual and distinctive style and are largely concentrated in the Catalan capital of Barcelona.
Much of his career was occupied with the construction of the Expiatory Temple of the Holy Family (Sagrada Família), which was unfinished at his death in 1926.
Much of Gaudí’s work was marked by his big passions in life: architecture, nature, religion. Gaudí studied every detail of his creations, integrating into his architecture a series of crafts in which he was skilled: ceramics, stained glass, wrought ironwork forging and carpentry. He introduced new techniques in the treatment of materials, such as trencadís, made of waste ceramic pieces.
As an admired, if eccentric, architect, Gaudí was an important participant in the Renaixensa, an artistic revival of the arts and crafts combined with a political revival in the form of fervent anti-Castilian Catalanism. Both movements sought to reinvigorate the way of life in Catalonia that had long been suppressed by the Castilian-dominated and Madrid-centred government in Spain.