The Coronation of the Virgin by Antoni Gaudi
Title: The Coronation of the Virgin
Artist: Antoni Gaudi
Location: Sagrada Familia, Barcellona Spain
Medium: Relief on Cathedral
Dimensions: 90x45x60 m
Antoni Placid Guillem Gaudi I Cornet was born on June 25, 1852 in Tarragona, Spain. His parents Antonia Cornet and Francisco Gaudi were both boilermakers meaning they were able to create three dimensional objects from sheets of metal. This is where Antoni received his imagination from and his skilled ability to make things. Gaudi spent much of his time helping his father in the laboratory. He went to school in Reus, a small town in Spain attending the College of Piarist Reus, but then moved to Barcelona to attend the University of Barcelona. After four years there, he began his studies in architecture at the Escuela de Bellas Artes where he worked as a craftsman to pay for his schooling. Throughout school, Gaudi was agitated at the geometry that he learned because it gives a set way of creating architecture. He very much loved theatre, music, biology, and medicine. When working as a craftsman, he studied the Romanesque and Renaissance era and was influenced especially by Gothic style. He finally graduated in 1878, receiving the official title of architect. His fist major work was Casa Vicens, a palace for the family of Potter Vicens. Its construction was from 1883 to 1888 and was made with a variety of materials: stone, brick, tiles; giving it a Moorish style. He did smaller projects afterwards such as the Finca Guell, another home, and the designing of an altar for the chapel of Josep BocaBella. His second biggest project was the the Palau Guell located on La Rambla. This Gothic, six floor palace contains a long hall, a balcony with a chapel, over one hundred columns, and many works of art. While this was being created, Gaudi had already drawn out a map plan for one of his biggest creations yet, La Sagrada Familia Cathedral. Beginning in 1882, architect Fracesc de Paula Villar had a simple vision for this church but Guadi argued against him and took lead in building it. He changed Villar’s idea completely by including religious detail. He wanted to stray away from any secular art that he had made in the past and devote himself to the religious aspect of the Sagrada Familia. He worked on this project for over 40 years but unfortunately died in 1926 before he was able to complete it. Therefore, Domenech Sugranyes took over but stopped working on it during the Spanish Civil War in 1935 because many of the Catalan anarchists destroyed it. Construction picked up in the late 1950’s and, to this day, is still not completed; estimation date is 2026. The cathedral includes 8 of 18 towers that represent the Twelve Apostles, 3 facades, and its interior. The coronation of the Virgin is on the Nativity façade that is dedicated to the birth of Christ and where Gaudi expressed most of his influence in. There is also a Cypress Tree located at the top symbolizing the tree of life. On the inside, the crypt contains Gaudi’s deceased body and also includes a small museum of his career and the history of La Sagrada Familia.
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Sacred Destinations. La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona. 2010.