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Cau Ferrat Museum

SPACE 1 Mosaic and its “Little Brother”, Trencadís. The Art of Fragmenting to Create an Undivided Whole

The Legacy of Ancient Mosaics


Since the mid-nineteenth century, architects have been attracted to the beauty of the tile compositions on the walls of Spanish-Arabic buildings made with tiling, small pieces of regular-shaped ceramic pieces.

Gaudí’s trencadís was inspired by this type of covering, deconstructing regular geometry.

Having been born in Reus, he had the opportunity to see some samples in the cloister of Poblet Monastery that was still preserved on site.

The Legacy of Ancient Mosaics


Since the mid-nineteenth century, architects have been attracted to the beauty of the tile compositions on the walls of Spanish-Arabic buildings made with tiling, small pieces of regular-shaped ceramic pieces.

Gaudí’s trencadís was inspired by this type of covering, deconstructing regular geometry.

Having been born in Reus, he had the opportunity to see some samples in the cloister of Poblet Monastery that was still preserved on site.

«When a thing is on the path to perfection, it must be squeezed to the end.» (Antoni Gaudí)

The term “mosaic” means an elaborate composition “piece by piece”. The Art Nouveau mosaic gathers and recovers this
technique from classical and Hispano-Arabic heritage and reinvents it to apply it to the new architecture.

Gaudí used all the types of mosaic available at the time: Roman, stone, ceramic and their original derivation, trencadís which, despite being a manual technique, saved time and money.

Other industrial products also defined as mosaics appeared at that time: hydraulics and ceramic stoneware pieces with which Gaudí experimented with surprising results.
 

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