Reus 1852 -
The Catalan architect, designer, and all-round artist Antonio Gaudí y Cornet was born in Reus, Tarragona, the son of a coppersmith. From 1869 until 1874 Antonio Gaudí studied science at Barcelona University before switching to architecture at the Escola Provincial d'Arquitectura. From about 1880 Antonio Gaudí collaborated with the architect Joan Matorell, who designed buildings in the Neo-Gothic style. From 1882 Antonio Gaudí worked for Count Eusebi Güell, who would become his most important patron.
As an architect, Antonio Gaudí designed total works of art. He designed furnishings and entire interiors, working them out down to the most minute detail. Antonio Gaudí chose to work with organic forms and naturalistic motifs, which corresponded to the forms of Art Nouveau and Jugendstil. Most of Antonio Gaudí's buildings are in Barcelona. From 1883 until 1888 Gaudí worked on "Casa Vicens" and, from 1886 to 1889, the "Palau Güell", his patron's town house, later followed by "Parque Güell" (1900-14) in the old part of Barcelona. From 1889-1900 Antonio Gaudí worked on Casa Calvet, followed by Casa Batlló (1904-06). By 1883 Antonio Gaudí was hard at work on building the Church of the Sagrada Familia, begun the previous year in the Neo-Gothic style by the architect Francisco de Paula del Villar. The Sagrada Familia became Antonio Gaudí's most important work, to which he was passionately committed for the rest of his life although it remained unfinished when he was run over by a tram in 1926 and died in tragic circumstances.
The Spanish Modernisme style was to a great extent shaped by Antonio Gaudí, who even before the heyday of European Art Nouveau and Jugendstil developed a similar yet distinctively personal language of forms.