* 1852 Reus
† 1926 Barcelona
The Catalan architect and designer Antonio Gaudí y Cornet was born in Reus, Tarragona, in 1852, the son of a coppersmith. At Barcelona University, Antonio Gaudí studied natural sciences from 1869 until 1874 before going on to study architecture at the Escola Provincial d'Arquitectura. In the early 1880s, Antonio Gaudí worked for the architect Joan Matorell, who designed buildings in the Neo-Gothic style. From 1882, however, Antonio Gaudí worked for Eusebi Güell, who would become his most important promoter and patron. Nearly all works by Antonio Gaudí are in Barcelona. Antonio Gaudí viewed buildings as total works of art, insisting on designing the interiors and furnishings of his buildings and lavishing painstaking care on the most minute details. Gaudí chose organic forms and naturalistic motifs corresponding to the forms of Art Nouveau and Jugendstil. The Spanish Modernisme style was shaped to a great extent by Antonio Gaudí, who, before the heyday of European Jugendstil and Art Nouveau developed a similar yet highly personal take on formal language. From 1883 until 1888 Antonio Gaudí was occupied in building "Casa Vicens"; the years 1886-1889 saw the creation of the "Palau Güell", his patron's town house and, from 1900 to 1914, the "Parque Güell" in the old section of Barcelona. In 1889-1900 Antonio Gaudí designed Casa Calvet and, between 1904 and 1906, Casa Batlló. By 1883 Antonio Gaudí had been commissioned to build the Church of the Sagrada Familia. The Sagrada Familia was to sum up Antonio Gaudí's life work. Although Gaudí was passionately committed to this huge church for the rest of his life, it remained unfinished. In 1926 Antonio Gaudí died a tragic death after being hit by a tram.