Aestheticism was based on art as a decorative element; its drawings display clear Gothic and Japanese influences, including linear features.
The great illustrators of Aestheticism were Lluís Domènech i Montaner, Josep Lluís Pellicer, Josep Pascó, Alexandre de Riquer and Apel·les Mestres.
Their illustrations, both inside the books and on their covers, together with their sophisticated decorative styles heralded the form that aesthetics would take within Modernisme.
The method made it possible to produce images in various colours on the book covers, and this led to the emergence of a high-quality figurative style of bookbinding which reproduced images that were simple, stylised, symbolic and decorativist in style.
Antoni Fabrés i Costa (Barcelona, 1854 – Rome, 1938)
Portrait of Alexandre de Riquer, 1875
Pen and ink, brush and gouache on paper
Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, Barcelona. Acquired from the Casellas collection, 1911