Curves, colors, sculpture, mosaics and light help shape the magic and mystical genius of Gaudi. His work embodies the creative energy of Barcelona and no where is it more obvious than on a street called Passeig de Gracia in the beautiful L’Eixample area (which was our favorite area).
We spent Mother’s Day 2007 on a Gaudi hunt and found it a good way to celebrate. Barcelona has grown on us during our three weeks here this time and our favorite part has been Gaudi. We all find his work very interesting to look at and probably for different reasons. I like him because he dared to be different and find his work mostly pleasing to my eye.
We focused on Casa Batllo, Casa Mila (la Pedrera), and Park Guell on this lovely day with a good lunch in an outdoor cafe nearby. DaVinci has a special connection to Gaudi as he made an indelible impression on him when he first came to Barcelona and Spain twenty years ago. It made such a strong impression that it impacted his art for many years.
Mozart likes it all just because it is fun like the roof of La Pedrera where each chimney is an exotic masterpiece. Guell park’s famous mosaic lizard was a joy to climb or the dragon like park benches where we watched them do traditional Catalan dances at sunset. She enjoyed listening to the gushing audio tape tours as much as we did (albeit they were a little over the top for us in the praise department even for fans).
I can not do justice to these outstandingly beautiful and unique places in the few words and few pictures that the blog allows. They are fascinating eye candy that draw you in and the more one learns about Gaudi and his purpose behind each tiny detail (like how every handle suits the hand or how comfortable his chairs are) the more amazing it seems.
What really brought it all home for me was seeing the victorian furniture in Casa Mila showing just how far ahead of his time and out there Gaudi was. His ideas are still very futuristic today (some of it looks like George Lucas maybe got some ideas for Star Wars here), so it is mind blowing to think he got this much done and had this kind of leeway at the turn of the century. Just looking at how the families that lived here dressed, boggles the mind that they would commission and live in such places. What lively, creative, out of the box thinkers!
A big part of my respect for Barcelona is that they allowed Gaudi to do what he did. It is thrilling that others saw his genius and allowed him the freedom to create such wonderful works of art and architecture that we can continue to enjoy today. I think that is rare in an artist as controversial and unique as Gaudi and the Catalan spirit gets some credit for that courage to defy convention.
Mozart insisted on getting some pictures taken of the two of us in one of those photo booths at the train station going into Barcelona. It was a fun mom and babe thing to do and she picked 16 little photos of us hugging and smiling together and cherishes them as if they are gold.
Later she found a Gaudi-esque mosaic keychain to add to her touring collection which was a frame for a picture. Guess which picture fit perfectly into that frame? It will be a Mother’s Day Souvenir that we will both cherish forever and remind us of this special Mother’s Day on the road in Barcelona.