Mosaics and mosaic making information from The joy of shards Mosaics Resource


Barcelona Gallery Two  Gallery Three

I'm a big fan of the buildings designed by Antoni Gaudì (1852 - 1926) in Barcelona. However, it's generally overlooked that some of the most spectacular and innovative mosaics were the work of Gaudì's collaborator, Josep Maria Jujol (1879 - 1949). Like Gaudì, Jujol was an architect, and was given a free hand in producing the unique mosaics in the Guell Park. These include the snake-like bench and the overhead medallions in the hypostyle "Hall of a Hundred Columns".

Gaudì combined economy with aesthetics and practicality in the practice of trencadis (using waste tiles to clad buildings). Jujol developed this further, and sourced new tiles and also specially produced ceramics. Some of these he made himself, inscribing them with words that reflected his strong religious beliefs. In addition, he incorporated broken coloured bottles, plates from his own dinner service and even fragments of a broken china doll.

At the start of the twentieth century, this kind of collage approach was entirely new. Artists such as Dali and Picasso would later visit the Guell Park, and it seems likely that their assemblage and collage work had roots in Jujol's style.

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catalan crest

dog head

mosaic lizard

mosaic squares

gate house window

guell park gatehouse

jujol roof mosaic

hypostlye hall

Park Guell gates

parc guell plaza

butterfly mosaic

broken plate

park guell bench

mosaic bench

bench mosiac detail

The bench at the Guell Park snakes its way around the edge of a large open-air square. The park was originally designed as an idealistic housing complex, and was built between 1900 and 1914. Construction of the bench was in the later stages (1910 to 1913). Gaudì is said to have used seated workmen as actual models for the form of the seat. Jujol carried out the decoration, using tiles as trencadis, with handmade ceramics, including hand-painted discs. He added colour and graffiti (such as crosses, prayers to the Virgin Mary and his own signature) to tiles and fired them again. Much of this unique input remained undiscovered until 1964.

Barcelona Gallery Two  Gallery Three

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