Barcelona Photoblog

Monday, February 8, 2021

Sant Pau Hospital: A History of Fervent Passion and Anonymous Endeavor

Sant Pau hospital detail a history of passion and endeavor
Amidst the weird silence imposed by this pandemic disgrace, these stone marvels strike us as significant reminders of past religious devotion, of saints like Santa Eulalia (hanging up there on this side of the Modernist compound of Sant Pau Hospital - Cartagena street façade), of the fervent passion and disinterested endeavor of women and men who invested their lives in that of others not only to seek salvation but out of pure love for their peers.
Sant Pau Hospital
Thanks to the skillful hands of Catalan artists who set out to venerate these acts of faith against the wrath of merciless plagues, against the paradox of so much suffering cast upon the human race, we can remember them and resume this endless fight on the very places where we once perished.  

From here we, your descendants. shall honor your lives and rise on our knees to overcome this Covid mess, just like you banished your misfortune one day, in unison and anonymously for the sake of our fellow men.  

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Alice of Penelles - Foxx and Zeso, LLeida

Alice of Penelles, Lleida by Foxx and Zeso

About 130 kms away from Barcelona, in the neighboring western province of Lleida in Catalonia, there is this little oasis of street art where almost every house is a public mural joyously adorned with graffiti. This town is called Penelles. I took pictures there a long time ago but never took the time to share it with you, not that I remember (I must be going nuts with these pandemic times). Not only do you find local ideas over there but also the work of international artists like the New Yorker or better said Long Islander BKFOXX and the French @zesoner who in unison delighted us with this wonderful and realistic Alice about to lead us through the rabbit burrow in the very corner of these two walls.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Casa Batllo, a Visionary Project by Gaudi

Casa Batllo Roof Tiles and Cross by Gaudi

Behold the triumphant cross of four arms by Gaudi that symbolizes the way in which the Gospel spreads out to every corner of the known world. Notice how such geometrical perfection resembles the hilt of a sword, maybe the very sword of Saint George, piercing through the arched scales of the horrendous dragon in its quest for the tender maid that rots in an infamous castle tower on any odd well protected rock in Montblanc, Tarragona. Just for this moment of transcendental reminiscing on the roof of Casa Batllo while watching Gaudi's magic your visit is worth the money. 

But we not only should thank Gaudi for his art here. As you know, most of the masterpieces that we admire today, are so, due to the disbursement of generous amounts of money by some unknown patron or businessman caring for his own well being. And so it was that in 1904, a well positioned family that had made a fortune in the textile industry and fostered five children bought this house at Paseo de Gracia 43. Believe it or not, Mr. and Mrs. Batllo first thought of tearing the whole place apart. No one wanted to be second best in this part of the city. Their house was in the middle of what is known today as the Apple of Discord, a small number of opulent houses off the old walls that were competing among each other to boast the best architecture in the brand new area of Ensanche. We have to say that hiring Gaudi was the most visionary decision of their lives and so we have to thank them on behalf of Barcelona and art. 

Other buildings in the Block or Apple of Discord have been dealt with in this blog in the past: The Lleó Morera house (1902) by Montaner and the Amatller house (1888) by Puig and Cadafalch. 

I took many other pictures but I leave you with this appetizer as I plan to save the rest for some other topics that elaborate on the famous history of Casa Batllo. Meet me there and thanks for dropping by after all the silence.

Check here Casa Batllo's Mask-Shaped Balconies in a previous Barcelona Photoblog post.

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