Escola d’Olot

The School of Olot or "Escola d'Olot" in Catalonia is regarded as one of the most remarkable Spanish contributions to European Pleinairism in the second half of the 19th century. Joaquim Vayreda i Vila (1843-94), who had received his education from the great Catalan realist Ramón Martí i Alsina, is regarded as the main representative and the founding father of the "Escola d'Olot".
This term groups all those artists who dedicated their art to open air painting in front of nature around the village of Olot. The volcanic landscape, by which the Catalan town is surrounded, seemed to be worthwhile depicting for the artists of the "School of Orlot". Thus the "Escola d'Olot" carries forth the accomplishments of the School of Barbizon: The realistic beauty of nature is capturen en pleinair, making the plain nature of their home the subject of their art. Landscapes were therefore the preferred motifs of the members of the "School of Olot".
The school was given a sort of official character towards the end of the 1860s, when the "Centre Artístic-Cultural d'Olot" was founded by Joaquim Vayreda. Josep Berga i Boix was appointed first director of this school. Other members of the "Escola d'Olot" were, besides Josep Berga i Boix and Joaquim Vayreda i Vila, his brother Marià Vayreda i Vila, Modest Urgell, Melcior Domenge i Antiga, Enric Galwey i Garcia and numerous other artists. Overall, the "School of Olot" had great influence on the development of Spanish painting.