In around 1900, the world of books reflected the philosophical and aesthetic concerns of a Catalan culture which, in the space of 50 years, had gone from a growing realisation of its uniqueness (thanks to the Renaixença movement) to becoming consolidated as part of the latest European cultural movement: Art Nouveau.
As the industrialisation of graphic arts and the dominance of Barcelona’s publishing houses within Spain coincided with the cultural and artistic movement of Modernisme (as it was known in Catalonia), this encouraged the flourishing of the book-object, and particularly the illustrated book. By combining text and image in the same space, modernist symbolist poets and painters conceived the book as a work of Total Art.
As well as the books themselves, the exhibition explores the entire process of creating a book, from the illustrators making the original drawings, to the reproduction of these images in print (involving remarkable changes in size, colour and appearance) right up to the advertising generated by the publishing industry through the simultaneous movement of poster art.
Exhibition open until April 25, 2021