Public art in Barcelona is a designated group of monuments and outdoor sculptures in the city. Barcelona’s cultural legacy is immense. The city has a past closely linked to cultural and artistic production that has served as an inspiration to present-day generations. In addition to the architecture and a network of museums, parks, and gardens, the works put an artistic stamp on the Catalan capital. Artworks are typically located in the interior of niches and on the façades of public buildings. They are concentrated because of the city’s enclosure by medieval defensive walls. The walls were demolished in the 19th Century, sparking a boom in public works such as Ildefons Cerdà’s Eixample project.
The set of monuments and sculptures in the open air of Barcelona constitutes an outstanding sample of public art that grants to the Catalan capital, in conjunction with other elements like its architecture, its network of museums or its set of parks and gardens, an unmistakable artistic stamp, as the city of Barcelona has always been committed to art and culture as one of its main identity features.
The city’s public art heritage is extensive, although most monuments and statuary located in public places date from the 19th century onwards. The first monument located on the public road expressly and by municipal order that is preserved is the Monument to Santa Eulàlia, in Plaça del Pedró, from 1673; other previous works considered public art are either fountains or statues located inside niches, on the facades of public buildings, although in many cases they were private commissions that have subsequently become public property. It should be noted that until the 19th century the city was bordered by its medieval walls, having the city considered a military post, so its growth was limited, and the little space available was used primarily for the daily activities of the population, without being able to dedicate adequate spaces for large monuments.
The situation changed with the demolition of the walls and the donation to the city of the Fortress of the Citadel, which favored the urban expansion of the adjacent plan, and which was reflected in the Eixample project prepared by Ildefons Cerdà, which meant the largest territorial expansion that the city has had. Another significant increase in the surface area of the Catalan capital was the annexation of several bordering municipalities between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th. All this meant the adaptation of the new urban spaces and an increase in municipal artistic commissions on public roads, which were also favored by various events held in the city, such as theUniversal Exhibition of 1888 and the International of 1929 or, more recently, for the Olympic Games of 1992 and the Universal Forum of Cultures of 2004.
Barcelona’s public art is in charge of the Area of Urbanism, Infrastructures, Environment, Information Systems and Telecommunications of Barcelona City Council. Together with the city’s architectural heritage, it enjoys special protection under Law 9/1993 on Catalan Cultural Heritage, which guarantees the protection, conservation, research and dissemination of cultural heritage, with various degrees of coverage: level A (Cultural Asset of National Interest), level B (Cultural Asset of Local Interest), level C (Asset of Urban Interest) and level D (Asset of Documentary Interest).
Monumental public sculpture has a relative relevance in the urban context of a large city such as Barcelona, as the main urban guidelines are logically the adaptation of spaces for public use, infrastructure, transport, l housing, public hygiene and safety measures, environmental management, and other factors necessary for the coexistence of human beings in their natural and social environment. However, the natural sensitivity of human beings to art and beauty has motivated the enabling of certain spaces of an aesthetic nature in their daily environment, to set up a living space conducive and pleasant for coexistence and social relations.
Various disciplines are involved in urban planning, such as architecture, engineering, gardening, industrial arts and, in a way, sculpture. If urban planning deals with land use planning and urban planning in its practical application, urban design focuses on the most sociological aspects – including aesthetics – of the urban development of the city. On the other hand, urbanism is closely related to various fields and disciplines such as politics, economics, history, geography and sociology., so any urban planning requires the conjunction of multiple estates and institutions responsible for the development and maintenance of urban public space.
In the field of urban coexistence, however, several factors are involved, such as physiological, sociological and psychological. The latter should include the aesthetic needs of the individual, the existence in an environment that provides a dimension of retreat and rest, evasion of everyday problems, a certain component of beauty that dampens the harshness of an environment. hostile as is sometimes the urban environment.
In the conception of urban monumentalism, various aspects must be taken into account, such as location: a public work of art must be located in an environment of some relevance, which enhances the plasticity of the work, and must seek to facilitate a good perspective, for the correct vision of the set from several angles. Generally, the most used spaces for public works of art are parks and gardens, squares and crossroads especially if they are walks or avenues , or in the realm of public buildings, either at their gates. access, in courtyards or on its walls – usually in niches -.
Monuments and works of art of public consideration can be classified into several types: until the nineteenth century the most used were the column, the triumphal arch and the equestrian statue, three types of memorials inherited from Roman art. Later, various modalities emerged, from free sculpture or niche sculpture, to busts, medallions, fountains, stelae and pedestals, friezes, reliefs, plaques, tombstones.and other elements, up to more modern varieties such as installations, works integrated into nature (art natura), works made with new technologies (video, laser) or any modality conceived with multidisciplinary elements.
Another aspect to consider is the material, on which various factors such as appearance, durability or conservation depend, as well as being an essential point to consider when designing the work, especially in terms of its economic cost and execution time. Among the most used are: wood, plaster, terracotta, ceramics, stone, marble, bronze, iron, steel, concrete and aluminum.
Lastly, the theme and iconography of public works of art must be taken into account, with special attention to the two main constituent elements of a homage or dedication: a character or an event. Based on this, it can be seen that most of the characters honored are: saints or religious, gods or mythological characters, symbols and allegories of abstract concepts (Fame, Glory, Industry, Justice, Freedom, Republic), kings and historical figures, politicians, the military, businessmen, doctors, scientists, writers, artists, musicians, and so on.
In terms of events, the most important episodes in the history of the city are often recalled, from battles, wars and revolutions to tragic events, epidemics and natural disasters, or in the opposite direction, various events of special significance to the city, such as cultural or sporting events. All this is treated from the most realistic to the most abstract style, since logically the conception of public statuary has had the same historical and artistic evolution as the rest of the arts in the city, considering its context. both nationally and internationally.
Beginning in the 12th century, Barcelona became the centre of intense commercial activity in both the west and east Mediterranean. When Benjamí de Tudela visited the city he noted that the port already enjoyed prestige all over the Mediterranean. Vessels from Pisa, Genoa, Sicily, Greece, Alexandria, and even from as far away as Asia docked there. Between 1249 and 1274 king James I of Catalonia and Aragon organized the institutional life of the city through the Consell de Cent (Council of One Hundred).
Throughout the 13th century Barcelona grew so rapidly that the walls encircling the city had to be extended, and a new wall and its respective gates were built along what is now the Rambla. In the early 14th century Barcelona developed into one of the foremost powers in the Mediterranean basin. The city expanded so much in these years of economic growth that in 1374 king Peter III of Catalonia and Aragon (Peter the Ceremonious) ordered a further extension of the walls, which gave rise to the Raval district. At that time the population of the city was approximately 25,000.
The first preserved remains of works of art located on public roads or buildings date from the Middle Ages, when the city was part of the Crown of Aragon and was an important maritime and commercial axis of the Mediterranean. In the 13th century, the Consell de Cent emerged, one of the first public institutions in Barcelona. The city was still growing from the original town center – what is now the Gothic Quarter – and in the fourteenth century the Raval district emerged.
In this time no public monument proper exists, but some sources and sculptures placed in niches in the public buildings of the city. Mention should be made in this sense of the sculptures placed on the Gothic façade of the Casa de la Ciutat currently in a side street with respect to the main façade , made around the year 1400. Entrusted to Arnau Bargués, the façade presents the typical gothic ornamental elements, and above the main door a pedestal covered with cobricel with a figure of San Rafael, work of Pere Sanglada was placed, made of stone with bronze wings.
However, on the sides were placed two pedestals with the figures of Sant Sever, bishop of Barcelona, and Santa Eulàlia, patron saint of the city: the first, by an unknown artist, was original from 1550, but in 1888 it was placed • Place a copy made by Joan Flotats; the second, equally anonymous, is of the same date and is still preserved in its original place. Another figure placed in a public building was the Sant Jordi of the Palau de la Generalitat, made in 1418 by Pere Johan, an equestrian figure in high relief located in a medallion framed by a railing crowned bypinnacles and surrounded by gargoyles.
As for the sources, during this period they were created in various areas of the city, to ensure a regular supply to the population, although their utilitarian nature did not leave much room for artistic creation. The first to be preserved is the Font de Santa Anna, on Avinguda Portal de l’Àngel with Carrer Cucurulla, dated 1356, and which was enlarged in 1819 and decorated with ceramic images in 1918. Other fountains of the time they are: the one of Sant Just, in the homonymous square, of 1367; the one of Santa Maria, in the square of the same name, of 1403, work of Arnau Bargués; and that of Sant Jordi, in the cloister of the Cathedral of Barcelona, work of 1449 by the architect Andreu Escuderwith an image of the saint on horseback by the sculptor Antoni Claperós, replaced in 1970 by another by Emili Colom – this fountain is famous for the egg festival as it dances.
During this period Barcelona became part of the new kingdom of Spain arising from the union of the crowns of Castile and Aragon. In general, it was a time of a certain economic and cultural decline, accentuated by social and warlike conflicts such as the Reapers’ War and the War of the Spanish Succession. The city was still crammed into its walls the only extension was to the beach, the Barceloneta neighborhood although at the end of the period it had almost 100,000 inhabitants. Artistically it was the time of the Renaissance and the Baroque, styles in which numerous palaces and churches were built.
As in the previous period, works of art of public consideration were initially reduced to fountains and statues located in public buildings, until the end of the seventeenth century the first public monument of an isolated nature, that of Santa Eulàlia. Also noteworthy from this period are the crosses, of which two are preserved: that of Sant Andreu, on the road to Ribes, original from 1565; and that of Santa Anna, in the square of Ramon Amadeu, a work from 1608 by Joan Molist. In terms of fountains, only the one in Portaferrissa is preserved, in the street of the same name, original from 1680 and decorated with ceramics from 1959, made by Joan Baptista Guivernau.
With regard to statuary in public buildings, it is worth mentioning the whole of the Hospital de la Santa Creu, in the courtyard of which there is a cross located on a Solomonic column, the work of Bernat Vilar from 1691 destroyed during the Civil War, the current one is from 1939 ; in the same courtyard are the figures of Sant Roc and La Caritat, dating from around 1638, by an unknown artist; on the other hand, in the courtyard of the Convalescence House of the same hospital there is a statue of Sant Pau, the work of Lluís Bonifaç el Vell from 1679; lastly, to a nicheon the corner of Carrer del Carme and Egipcíaques is another Sant Pau, the work of Domènec Rovira el Jove from 1668.
Other works of public buildings of the time were made for several guilds, all located in niches: the Sant Joan Baptista located in the street Assaonadors with the Placeta d’en Marcús, promoted by the guild of seasoners, work of unknown artist of 1628 rebuilt in 1958 by Josep Miret; the Sant Miquel Arcàngel sponsored by the guild of resellers (shopkeepers) located in Plaça del Pi, built in 1685 by Salvador Escala and rebuilt by Jaume Martrús in 1957; and the figure of the Virgin of the Angels placed on the Via Laietana, built by Joan Enrich in 1763 for theguild of sailboats (silk veil weavers).
The oldest public monument preserved in the city in its original location – although the work itself has been restored several times and can no longer be considered as the original – is the Monument to Santa Eulàlia, patron saint of the city. city, erected in Plaça del Pedró in 1673. It was made by the master builder Benet Parés, with a wooden image of the saint made by Josep Darder, which in 1685 was replaced by a marble one by Llàtzer Tramulles and Lluís Bonifaç. In 1826, the base of the monument was converted into a fountain, the work of Josep Mas i Vila. In 1936 the monument was demolished due to the clashes that originated at the beginning of the Civil War, but in 1951 it was rebuilt with a new image, the work of Frederic Marès the head of the previous image survived and is preserved in the History Museum of Barcelona -. The base of the monument is a square fountain on which stands an obelisk topped by the statue of Santa Eulalia, which bears the attributes of his martyrdom: the palm and the cross in vane.
It should be noted that a monument had previously been erected in Santa Eulàlia, erected in 1618 and located in Plaça del Blat currently de l’Àngel . It was designed by Rafael Plansó, and consisted of an obelisk on which stood the figure of an angel, pointing with his finger to the place where an angel had appeared in the procession that moved the remains of the saint to the Cathedral. of Barcelona. The figure of the Angel was made by the silversmith Felip Ros. In 1821 the obelisk was removed because it made traffic difficult, and the Angel was placed in a niche. In 1966 it was replaced by a copy and transferred to the Barcelona History Museum.
In 1784 the Fountain of Neptune was built, the work of Joan Enrich promoted by the Count of the Assault, located next to the Customs, on the site of the current Estació de França. It depicted the god Neptune standing on dolphins and a pedestal with bas-reliefs, in the middle of a cup of water. The statue was destroyed in the popular revolt of the Camancia (1843) and replaced by a copy made by a stonemason, until in 1877 the fountain was dismantled; only the bas-relief of the pedestal, which is in the Barcelona History Museum, has been preserved.
At the end of the 18th century, a garden was set up on the estate of the Marquis of Llupià located in the municipality of Sant Joan d’Horta today another district of the city which, despite being of a private nature, later passed into public patrimony. Currently known as the Labyrinth Park of Horta, this garden has a profuse sculptural decoration, which despite being an unknown artist is an interesting example of neoclassical art. Of the garden, the labyrinth that gives its name to the park stands out, in the center of which there is a statue of Eros, while at the entrance there is a relief of Ariadne and Theseus, and at the exit is the Eco Grotto. iNarcissus; on a higher level is the Mirador or Belvedere, where two Italian-style temples with statues of Danae and Artemis stand out; lastly, on a third terrace stands the Pavilion of Charles IV, crowned by a sculpture depicting Apollo and the Muses, while at its back is a large pond fed by the source of the nymph Egeria, inspired by the cave of Stowe.
During this period there was a great economic revitalization, linked to the Industrial Revolution especially the textile industry which also led to a cultural renaissance. Between 1854 and 1859, the walls were demolished, so the city was able to expand, especially thanks to the Eixample project drawn up by Ildefons Cerdà in 1859. However, thanks to the revolution of 1868, the demolition of the Citadel, whose land was transformed into a public park. The population was growing, especially thanks to immigration from the rest of the state, reaching 400,000 by the end of the century. Artistically, the century saw the succession of various styles of different sign, such as neoclassicism, romanticism and realism.
As in previous periods, public artistic achievements were basically limited to official buildings and fountains. Some examples of public monuments, such as those dedicated to Ferdinand VII (1831) and Ferdinand the Catholic (1850), have not survived to the present day. On the other hand, the making of fountains was abundant at this time, so one could speak almost of a fashion. The oldest was the Font d’Hèrcules, located at the junction of Passeig de Sant Joan with Carrer Còrsega, a work from 1802 by Josep Moret on a project by Salvador Gurri. Initially located on Passeig Nou or the Esplanade , opposite the Ciutadella military fortress, it has been in its current location since 1928, and is considered to be the oldest original public statue in Barcelona.
Other sources from this period are: the Font del Vell or del Xato (1816), by Damià Campeny, initially located in the Plaça del Teatre, next to the Rambla, and which was later moved to the Parc de la Ciutadella (1877) and, finally, in the Plaça de Sants (1975); the Font de Ceres (1825-1830), by Celdoni Guixà, located on Passeig de Gràcia on the corner with Carrer Provença, and moved in 1874 to Plaça Blasco de Garay, in Poble Sec, and in 1918 to Plaça de Sant Jordi, in Montjuïc; the Fountain of Neptune (1826), fromAdrià Ferran, located in the Moll de la Riba, in Barceloneta, and later moved to the Jardins de Laribal and,
in 1983, in the Plaça de la Mercè, in front of the basilica of the same name; the Monument to Galceran Marquet (1851), by Damià Campeny and Josep Anicet Santigosa, in the Plaça del Duc de Medinaceli first iron work in the city ; the Font del Geni Català (1856), by Faust Baratta and Josep Anicet Santigosa, in Pla de Palau; and the Font de les Tres Gràcies (1876), in the Plaça Reial, designed by the architect Antoni Rovira i Trias. Lastly, mention should be made of the Wallace Fountains, built in 1872 by Charles-Auguste Lebourg on behalf of the English philanthropist Sir Richard Wallace, and distributed in many European cities as an act of brotherhood; in Barcelona there are two of an initial dozen left: on the Rambla with Santa Mònica and on the Gran Via with Passeig de Gràcia. All of them have four figures of caryatids that support a hemispherical dome, between which a stream of water falls.
As for public buildings, the most important were the two statues located in niches on both sides of the main door of the new facade of the City Hall, representing James I the Conqueror and Joan Fiveller, made by Josep Bover in 1844. Just opposite, on the façade of the Palau de la Generalitat, an equestrian statue of Sant Jordi was placed in 1871 also located in a niche , the work of Andreu Aleu. This façade was also new, as the opening of Plaça de Sant Jaume in 1823 left the two institutional buildings facing each other. It should be noted that then the Palau de la Generalitat did not house this institution, which was abolished since theDecree of New Plant, but the Real Hearing, the Provincial Delegation and the File of the Crown of Aragon.
Also worth mentioning in terms of public buildings are the statues located in the entrance hall of the University of Barcelona, a monumental architectural complex built by Elies Rogent between 1863 and 1882. It was the same architect who proposed the elaboration of the statues in the brothers Agapit and Venanci Vallmitjana, who were made in 1865 and placed in 1876. They are five figures who represent science and knowledge throughout the history of Spain: Saint Isidore of Seville, for the Visigothic kingdom; Averroes, for the Spanish-Muslim era; Alfonso the Wise, for the medieval period in Castile; Ramon Llull, for the same period in the Crown of Aragon; and Joan Lluís Vives, for the Renaissance period. Lastly, we should mention the Caritat group, the work of Joan Serra from 1880 located in the Casa de la Caritat; and the allegories of Commerce and Industry located at the door of the Mercantile Casino former building of the Barcelona Stock Exchange in Carrer Avinyó, works by Rossend Nobas and Joan Roig i Solé, from 1888.
1888 World’s Fair
At the end of the century, an event was held that had a great economic and social as well as urban, artistic and cultural impact for the city, the Universal Exposition of 1888. It took place between April 8 and December 9, 1888, and took place in the Parc de la Ciutadella, formerly belonging to the army and won for the city in 1868. The incentive of the fair events was entail the improvement of infrastructure throughout the city, which made a huge leap towards modernization and development. On the other hand, the Exhibition was the test bed of a new artistic style, modernism, which until the early twentieth centuryit was what prevailed in the architectural and artistic field in the city, and made modernist Barcelona, with the Gothic style, the most defining style of the city of Barcelona. The statuary made for the Exhibition was the most important contribution to the city’s public art in its entire history, and coincided with a generation of large sculptors that led to one of the moments most brilliant in the history of Catalan art.
The project to remodel the Parc de la Ciutadella was commissioned to Josep Fontserè in 1872, who designed large gardens for the recreation of the citizens, and together with the green area he designed a central square and a ring road., as well as a monumental fountain and various ornamental elements, two lakes and a forest area, as well as several ancillary buildings and infrastructures, such as the Mercat del Born.
The entrance to the Exhibition took place through the Arc de Triomphe, a monument created for the occasion that still remains in its original place, designed by Josep Vilaseca. Of neo-Mudejar inspiration, it has a height of 30 meters, and is decorated with a rich sculptural ornamentation, work of several authors: Josep Reynés sculpted in the upper frieze Barcelona receives the nations; Josep Llimona made the Distribution of rewards to the participants of the Exhibition on the reverse of the upper part; on the right side Antoni Vilanova made the allegories of the Industry, theAgriculture and Trade; on the left, Torquat Tasso elaborated allegories in the Sciences and Arts; lastly, Manuel Fuxà and Pere Carbonell created four female sculptures, the Fames.
Next came the Saló de Sant Joan currently Passeig de Lluís Companys , a long avenue 50 meters wide with wrought iron balustrades, pavement mosaics and large lanterns, all designed by Pere Falqués. Eight large bronze statues representing illustrious figures in the history of Catalonia were placed along this promenade: Guifré el Pilós (by Venanci Vallmitjana), Roger de Llúria (by Josep Reynés), Bernat Desclot (Manuel Fuxà), Rafael Casanova (Rossend Nobas),Ramon Berenguer I (Josep Llimona), Pere Albert (Antoni Vilanova), Antoni Viladomat (Torquat Tasso) and Jaume Fabre (Pere Carbonell).
In 1914 the statue of Casanova was moved to the Ronda de Sant Pere – cornered by Alí Bey – and replaced by another dedicated to Pau Claris, the work of Rafael Atché. During the Civil War six statues were removed, and only those of Roger de Llúria and Antoni Viladomat remained in their original place.; five were cast in 1950 to make the image of the Virgin of Mercy in the basilica of the same name, while that of Pau Claris, kept in a municipal warehouse, was restored in 1977.
Also, at the end of the two large sculptural groups representing Commerce and Industry, the work of Agapit Vallmitjana, were placed on the promenade; two more, dedicated to Agriculture and the Navy, were located at another entrance to the site (Avinguda Marquès de l’Argentera), the work of Venanci Vallmitjana.
In addition to the buildings and pavilions built for the event, the Monumental Waterfall, designed by Fontserè in collaboration with Antoni Gaudí, who carried out the hydraulic project and designed an artificial grotto under the Waterfall. The architectural ensemble has a central structure in the shape of a triumphal arch with two pavilions on its sides and two side wings with steps, which house a pond divided into two levels. The monument stands out for its sculptural profusion, where several of the best sculptors of the time took part: the group of La Quadriga de l’Aurora, by Rossend Nobas, stands out, as well asThe birth of Venus, by Venanci Vallmitjana; the pediment is the work of Francesc Pagès i Serratosa. Other sculptures in the set are: Amphitrite, by Josep Gamot; Neptune and Leda, by Manuel Fuxà; and Dànae, by Joan Flotats. However, Rafael Atché made the four grays that draw water from the mouth, at the bottom of the monument.
Other statues placed for the Exhibition were: the Lady of the Umbrella (1884), by Joan Roig i Solé, located in the current location of the Zoo, and which over time has become an emblematic work of the city; the Homage to Aribau (1884), by Josep Vilaseca and Manuel Fuxà, on Avinguda dels Til•lers the original in stone was replaced in 1934 by a bronze copy by Enric Monjo ; the figures of the scientists Jaume Salvador (1884) and Félix de Azara (1886), by Eduard B. Alentorn, at the Geology Museum; the Lion Hunter(1884), by Agapit Vallmitjana i Abarca, on one of the park’s walks; and the Equestrian Statue of General Prim (1887), by Lluís Puiggener, located in front of the Palau de la Indústria where the Barcelona Zoo is currently located , although the original work was destroyed in 1936 and later restored by Frederic. Mars.
Later, between 1897 and 1901, the Monument to Rivers and Taulet was built at the entrance to the Parc de la Ciutadella, who was mayor during the years of the Exhibition and one of the main promoters of the project, the work of the architect Pere Falqués and the sculptor Manuel Fuxà; Eusebi Arnau, author of the figure of Barcelona, also spoke. The monument consists of a pedestal, on the sides of which are two bronze shields that represent four of the main projects promoted by the mayor: the Parc de la Ciutadella, the Universal Exhibition, the Monument to Columbus and the Gran Via de las Corts Catalanes. From the base there is an obelisk with the bust of the mayor, surrounded by two figures, an allegory of Labor and another of Barcelona, which offers a palm branch. At the back is a Winged Fame, and there are also three little geniuses who symbolize Industry, Science, and Art.
Outside the grounds of the Exhibition, several monuments and statuary works were also built, including the Columbus Monument, located in the Portal de la Pau, the junction between the Rambla and the Paseo de Colom. in front of the old port of Barcelona. Built in homage to the discoverer Christopher Columbus, it was inaugurated on June 1, 1888. The monument was designed by Gaietà Buïgas, and has a height of 60 meters.
The statue of Columbus is placed on an iron column, and is a bronze work by the sculptor Rafael Atché, 7 meters high. The monument is divided into three bodies: a circular base, with four sections of stairs 6 meters wide,and eight bas-reliefs with the coats of arms of the Spanish provinces and the principal acts performed by Columbus; a polygon of eight sides, four of them arranged as buttresses, in the shape of a cross, with allegorical statues of Catalonia, Aragon, Castile and León, as well as the figures of Bernat Boïl, Pere Margarit, Jaume Ferrer de Blanes and Lluís de Santàngel; the column of Corinthian order, with a base with figures of caravels, grays and famineswinged, the capital with representations of Europe, Africa, Asia and America, a crown of a prince, a hemisphere – for the newly discovered part of the globe – and the statue of Columbus.
The sculptural ensemble was awarded through a public competition to various workshops and sculptors: Josep Llimona (bas-reliefs), Antoni Vilanova (bas-reliefs), Rossend Nobas (buttresses), Francesc Pastor (capital), Pere Carbonell (Catalonia), Josep Carcassó (Aragon)., heraldic lions), Josep Gamot(Castile, Lluís de Santàngel), Rafael Atché (León, statue of Columbus), Manuel Fuxà (Father Boïl), Francesc Pagès i Serratosa (Jaume Ferrer de Blanes) and Eduard B. Alentorn (Pere Margarit). Over time, Columbus has become one of the most emblematic monuments in the city.
Other works made in the context of the Exhibition but located outside its premises were: A López y López (1884), in Plaça Antonio López, the work of the architect Josep Oriol Mestres and the sculptor Venanci Vallmitjana, with reliefs by Lluís Puiggener, Joan Roig i Solé, Rossend Nobas and Francesc Pagès i Serratosa destroyed in 1936, restored in 1944 by Frederic Marès , retired in 2018 due to the slavish past of the honoree; In Joan Güell i Ferrer (1888), on the Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes with Rambla de Catalunya, the work of the architect Joan Martorell and the sculptors Rossend Nobas, Torquat Tasso, Eduard B. Alentorn, Maximí Salaand Francesc Pagès i Serratosa also destroyed in 1936 and rebuilt by Frederic Marès in 1945 ; and the Monument to Josep Anselm Clavé (1888), initially located on the Rambla de Catalunya with Valencia and moved in 1956 to the Passeig de Sant Joan, the work of the architect Josep Vilaseca and the sculptor Manuel Fuxà.
Lastly, it should be noted that in 1892 the Font de Canaletes, the work of Pere Falqués, was placed on the Rambla with Plaça de Catalunya, which over time has become an emblem of the city and is usually a meeting place for fans of the Futbol Club Barcelona in the celebrations of the team.
During the 20th century, the placement of commemorative monuments in the public spaces of Barcelona continued, following the custom begun with the celebration of the Universal Exhibition. This century saw the largest number of works placed on the city’s public roads. It should be mentioned that during the turn of the century the perimeter of the city grew significantly, due to the aggregation of several neighboring municipalities that became new neighborhoods of Barcelona: Santa Maria de Sants, Les Corts de Sarrià, Sant Gervasi de Cassoles, Gràcia, Sant Andreu del Palomar and Sant Martí de Provençalsin 1897, Horta in 1904 and Sarrià in 1921.
The political situation in the twentieth century was turbulent, with the end of the monarchy in 1931 and the arrival of the Second Republic, ended with the Civil War and replaced by the Franco’s dictatorship, until the restoration of the monarchy and the arrival of democracy. Socially, this century saw the massive arrival of immigration to the city, with the consequent increase in population: if in 1900 there were 530,000 inhabitants, in 1930 they had almost doubled (1,009,000 inhabitants), for reached between 1970 and 1980 the maximum quota (1,754,900) and at the end of the century 1,500,000 inhabitants.
The prevailing artistic style during the first decades of the century was Noucentisme, which in contrast to modernism promoted the return to classical Greco-Latin culture in the Mediterranean world. During the 1920s and 1930s, avant-garde currents were introducedinternational, although during the first years of the Franco dictatorship there was a return to academic styles. Later, there was a renewed commitment to innovation and, especially with the advent of democracy, the artistic atmosphere was fully introduced into the successive styles of fashion in the international arena, which have followed one another with greater speed. Works by international artists were then added to the public heritage, which has given more prestige and relevance to the city’s public collection.
One of the first works of the century was the equestrian statue of Sant Jaume located in a niche in the square of the same name – on the corner with Carrer Ciutat – in 1903, the work of Manuel Fuxà. In 1906, the monument dedicated to the writer Serafí Pitarra a pseudonym for Frederic Soler , by Pere Falqués and Agustí Querol, was installed in the Plaça del Teatre, presenting the “founder of Catalan theater” according to says the inscription sitting on the masks of comedy and tragedy.
That same year Falqués built the streetlights on Passeig de Gràcia and the Plaça del Cinc d’Oros. Although the streetlights are currently on Avinguda Gaudí , made of iron and limestone, the former in an inverted L-shape and benches to sit on, and the latter in the shape of a vertical pinnacle with Gothic roots. The following year, a figure of Sant Josep Patriarca, a work by Josep Llimona, destroyed in 1936 and rebuilt in 2000 by Lluís Cera, was installed in a niche on Carrer Montsió. In the same year, the Mammoth was placed in the Parc de la Ciutadella, a replica of this extinct animal made of concrete – the first sculptural use of this material in the city – by Miquel Dalmau.
In 1908 two busts dedicated toManuel Milà i Fontanals (work by Manuel Fuxà) and Emili Vilanova (by Pere Carbonell) in the Parc de la Ciutadella, which inaugurated a custom that would be repeated in the coming years of dedicating busts to various characters, mainly literate Thanks to the sponsorship of the Floral Games Association , in the park that hosted the Universal Exhibition; thus, busts dedicated to Marià Aguiló i Fuster (Eusebi Arnau, 1909), Víctor Balaguer (Manuel Fuxà, 1910), Lleó Fontova (Pau Gargallo, 1910), Teodor Llorente (Eusebi Arnau, 1912), Joan Maragall (Eusebi Arnau, 1913), Joaquim Vayreda (Manuel Fuxà, 1915), Pepita Teixidor (Manuel Fuxà, 1917) first monument dedicated to a woman and Ramon Batlle (Enric Clarasó, 1918, today disappeared).
In 1909, the sculptural group La cançó popular was placed in the Palau de la Música Catalana, an exceptional modernist building by Lluís Domènech i Montaner, on the corner between Sant Pere Més Alt and Amadeu Vives. Work of Miquel Blay, it presents / displays a feminine figure that personifies the Song, surrounded by diverse personages who represent the Catalan town, whereas on top the imposing figure of Sant Jordi rises, with a sword and a standard.
In 1910, the Monument to Doctor Robert was inaugurated, dedicated to the Catalan doctor and politician Bartomeu Robert, mayor of Barcelona between March and October 1899. It was commissioned from the sculptor Josep Llimona, and its design also involved the architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner. The location chosen was Plaça de la Universitat, where the first stone was laid in 1904. In 1940 the new Francoist authorities decided to remove the monument, which was dismantled and stored in a municipal warehouse, until it was restored in 1977. although elsewhere, Tetouan Square.
The monument has a slightly pyramidal shape, and is placed on a base of stone blocks of organic forms, similar to the architecture practiced at that time by Antoni Gaudí, as in the Casa Milà. The frontal sculptural ensemble is made of bronze, and presents a series of figures from various social classes, as well as allegories of Music and Poetry and references to medicine; above is the bust of Dr. Robert, with an allegory of Glory. At the back is another group, with several figures around a central one representing Medicine.
During the 1910s, the Eixample Commission organized various competitions to place various ornamental fountains in this district. In 1911 the winner was Josep Campeny, from whom three fountains were placed: the Trinxa, in Ronda Universitat / Pelai; the one of the Frog, in Corsica / Diagonal; and El noi dels càntirs, in Plaça Urquinaona. In 1913, Eduard B. Alentorn was chosen, the author of three other sources: the Font de la Pagesa, in Plaça Letamendi; the Fountain of the Turtle, in the Plaza de Goya; and the Font de la Palangana (or Negrito), in Bruc / Diagonal. In 1920, only one was approved, the Font de la Sardana, by Frederic Marès, in Plaça de Tetuan.
In 1921 the Font de la Caputxeta, by Josep Tenas, was installed on Passeig Sant Joan / Rosselló; in 1924 the Font de l’Efeb, by Àngel Tarrach, in Diagonal / Bailén; and, finally, in 1925 two by Frederic Marès: that of the Rooster, in the square of the same name; and that of the Duck, in Valencia / Enamorats. Another source of the time was that of Diana (1919), by Venanci Vallmitjana, located on Gran Via with Roger de Llúria; the author had made the figure of the hunting goddess in 1898, originally naked, but when he received the commission from the fountain he was ordered to cover it with a tunic.
In 1917, the sculpture Desconsol, by Josep Llimona, was installed in the Parc de la Ciutadella, in what had been an old courtyard, in the center of an elliptical pond located in front of the old military arsenal that today houses the headquarters of the Parliament of Catalonia. The work, originally made in 1903, has become an emblem of the city of Barcelona. It is a figure of a half-naked naked woman, with her head in her arms, in an attitude of despair, as its title indicates. In 1984 the original was moved to the MNAC, and a copy was placed in its place.
In the following years, other monuments dedicated to various characters were inaugurated: in 1918, the Monument to the actor Iscle Soler, by Pau Gargallo, was erected in Plaça de Sant Agustí. The following year the Monument to the Round Canon was placed in Clot, in memory of who was rector of Sant Martí, the first public work of Frederic Marès, a very prolific sculptor in later years; the work was destroyed in 1936, and replaced by another by the same author in 1954.
In 1924 the Monument to Bishop Jacint Verdaguer was inaugurated in the square of the same name, dedicated to this priest and writer, one of the main writers. in Catalanof the nineteenth century. The idea of erecting a monument to the famous poet arose after his death in 1902, but did not crystallize until 1913, when a competition was organized that won the sculptor Joan Borrell i Nicolau, in conjunction with the architect Josep Maria Pericas. Borrell was in charge of the figure of the poet and those of the balustrade three allegorical figures, alluding to mystical, popular and epic poetry , while the brothers Miquel and Llucià Oslé, finalists in the competition, were in charge. of the reliefs of the base, with scenes from the poem L’Atlàntida by the Catalan author.
Other monuments made in the 1920s were: To Doctor Andreu (1927), in honor of the pharmacist Salvador Andreu, promoter of the urbanization of Tibidabo, from whom a first monument was made with the effigy of the honoree, the work of Enric Sagnier and Eusebi Arnau, which was destroyed during the Civil War, and replaced in 1952 by a statue of a woman dressed in a classical robe and carrying in her hand a laurel branch, made by Maria Llimona;
In Pearson (1928), an allegory-shaped monument to Victoria dedicated to the American engineer Fred Stark Pearson, promoter of the electricity industry in Catalonia, the work of Josep Viladomat located in Plaça de Pedralbes; To the aviator Durán (1928), by the sculptor Jaume Duran, in memory of Lieutenant Juan Manuel Durán, pilot of the Plus Ultra, the first aircraft to make a non-stop transatlantic flight, killed in a plane crash on the mountain of Montjuïc, where his monument was located, in the shape of a winged Victoria; and the Font de l’Aurora (1929), the work of Joan Borrell located initially in the Jardinets de Gràcia and later disintegrated into several pieces spread over various places: the Quàdriga d’Hèliosin Turó Park, Selene in Avinguda de Vallcarca, Minerva in Montjuïc, a nymph combing her hair in Plaça Joaquim Folguera, and the eagles in the Zoo.
From this period are several initially private gardens that have later been incorporated into the municipal heritage, such as Parc Güell, located on the southern slope of the Turó del Carmel, in the district of Gràcia. Conceived as an urbanization, it was designed by the architect Antoni Gaudí on behalf of the businessman Eusebi Güell, and built between 1900 and 1914. It became part of the public patrimony in 1926. Of the park as a whole, the entrance staircase stands out. arranged symmetrically around a salamander sculpture or dragon- which has become the emblem of the park and one of the most recognizable of the city, and part of a group of three fountains with sculptures representing the Catalan Countries (Catalonia northern France and southern Catalonia, Spanish). Above this staircase is a Hypostyle Hall and a square or Greek theater, where a corrugated bench decorated with trencadís pottery, by Josep Maria Jujol, stands out. In 1984 Unesco included Parc Güell in the World Heritage Site “Works of Antoni Gaudí”.
In the Sarrià-Sant Gervasi District are the Jardins de la Tamarita, made by Nicolau Maria Rubió i Tudurí in 1918, where in front of the main building there are four sculptures dedicated to continents all less Oceania , the work of Virginio Arias. On the other hand, in 1924 the city of Barcelona gave King Alfonso XIII the Royal Palace of Pedralbes, which had belonged to the Güell family. It had a Caribbean-style mansion made by Joan Martorell, while Antoni Gaudí had taken care of the gardens and the enclosure of the estate, of which a fountain dedicated to Hercules remains., as well as the goal pavilions, which include an entrance grille with a wrought iron dragon, representing Ladó, the guardian dragon of the Garden of the Hesperides, defeated by Hercules in his eleventh work.
Between 1919 and 1924, it was remodeled to become the Royal Palace, by the architects Eusebi Bona and Francesc Nebot. Several sculptures were then placed to decorate the enclosure, among which stood out Isabel II presents her son, the future King Alfonso XII, in Barcelona, the work of Agapit Vallmitjana from 1860; or a Kneeling Female, by Joan Borrellof 1916. In 1930 a, by Enric Casanovas, was also placed.
1929 International Exposition
In the 1920s a new exhibition was projected as in 1888, as its success had left a pleasant memory in the city. This time the chosen location was the mountain of Montjuïc, which was thus urbanized and gained as a public space for the city. The International Exposition was held from May 20, 1929 to January 15, 1930, and left numerous buildings and facilities, some of which have become emblems of the city, such as the National Palace, the Magic Fountain., the Greek Theater, the Poble Espanyol and the Olympic Stadium. The exhibition grounds were built according to a general project by Josep Puig i Cadafalch, and began in Plaça d’Espanya, passing by Avinguda d’América currently Avinguda de la Reina Maria Cristina , where the large buildings of the Exhibition, to the foot of the mountain, where the Magic Fountain was located, flanked by the Palaces of Alfonso XIII and Victoria Eugenia; from here a staircase led to the National Palace, the most monumental work of the Exhibition.
One of the most important monuments was the monumental fountain in Plaça d’Espanya, designed by Josep Maria Jujol, with an ornate sculptural decoration by Miquel Blay and the brothers Miquel and Llucià Oslé. Classically inspired, the iconographic sense of the work represents a poetic allegory in Spain through its waters: on a triangular pond is located an edifice with three niches with sculptural groups that symbolize the rivers that flow into the three seas that surround the Iberian Peninsula (the Ebro by the Mediterranean, the Guadalquivir and the Tagus by the Atlantic and some teenage figures for the rivers of the Bay of Biscay, by Blay);
At the top of the lake are three groups representing the fruits and gifts of the waters: Abundance, Public Health and Navigation, the work of the Oslé brothers; around the central body are three columns with various figures and emblems that symbolize Religion (a cross with Ramon Llull, St. Teresa of Jesus and St. Ignatius of Loyola), Heroism (a sword with Pelai I, James I of Aragon and Isabel the Catholic), and theArts (a book with Ausiàs March and Miguel de Cervantes); a play of fire with three Victories ends the work.
Between the Plaça d’Espanya and the Palau Nacional was placed the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc, the work of Carles Buïgas, who admired the public for his fantastic play of lights and fountains. Even today it is an emblematic work of the Catalan capital, where pyromusical shows are usually celebrated in the festivities of La Mercè. It is ellipsoidal in shape, formed by three concentric ponds at different levels, with 65 m in diameter in its widest part. It has thirty different water games, with their corresponding gradual colorations, based on five colors: yellow, blue, green, red and white. Four Ionic- style columns were originally built on this sitewhich symbolized the flag, the work of Puig i Cadafalch, but the dictator Primo de Rivera had them demolished. With the restoration of democracy, it was thought to replace them, a project that was carried out between 2010 and 2011 by the team of architects Rosselló-Sangenís, a little above its original location.
Other works placed in the premises of the Exhibition were: Sant Jordi (1924), by Josep Llimona, in the square of the same name; La Bellesa (1924), by Josep Llimona, in Plaça de Dante; Morning (1925), by the German expressionist sculptor Georg Kolbe, located in the German Pavilion, a rationalist- style building built by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe; Les Flors i Sedent (1927), by Josep Llimona, in Plaça del Marquès de Foronda; The Water and the Earth (1929), by Frederic Marès, on the access stairs to the National Palace; Serenity (1928), by Josep Clarà, in the Miramar Gardens; Jove de la trena (1928), by Josep Viladomat, and Estival (1929), by Jaume Otero, in the Jardins de Laribal; The good shepherd (1929), by Joan Rebull, and Venus (1929), by Joan Borrell and Nicolau, in the Gardens of Joan Maragall. The Olympic Chariots, horse-drawn chariots, and theRiders making the Olympic salute, two equestrian bronze sculptures, both by Pau Gargallo, located in the Lluís Companys Olympic Stadium – there is a copy of the charioteers in the Parc de Can Dragó.
On the other hand, at the foot of the Venetian towers in the Plaza de España there was a balustrade to access the Exhibition grounds decorated with four sculptures: the Arts and Industry, by Carles Ridaura; the Commerce, of Enric Monjo; and Sport, by Josep Viladomat. This balustrade was removed in the 1970s during a redevelopment of the square due to subway works, and along with it the statues disappeared; only one has been preserved, the one of the Arts – also called Woman with child -, moved to a near place, in the avenue of the Parallelnear the corner with Carrer de Lleida.
In addition to the realizations in the fairgrounds, as in the previous exhibition, various actions were carried out throughout the city. The most important was in Plaça de Catalunya, currently one of the nerve centers of the city, but which was formerly an esplanade on the outskirts of the old town, which did not begin to develop until 1902. Precisely because of the Exhibition a redevelopment of the entire space of the square was carried out, with a project by Francesc Nebot, and was inaugurated by Alfonso XIII in 1927.
To decorate the square a public competition was organized in 1927, in which decided to install a sculptural set of 28 works: Maternity, by Vicenç Navarro; Jove, by Josep Dunyach; The blacksmith, by Josep Llimona; Woman with child and flabiol, by Josep Viladomat; Female figure, by Enric Casanovas; Youth, by Josep Clarà; Pastor del flabiol, by Pau Gargallo; Navigation, by Eusebi Arnau; Barcelona, by Frederic Marès; Montserrat, by Eusebi Arnau; Female figure, by Josep Llimona; Hercules, by Antoni Parera; Woman with Angel, by Vicenç Navarro; Tarragona, by Jaume Otero; Source of the six putti, by Jaume Otero; Lleida, by Joan Borrell; Woman with the image of the Virgin, by Enric Monjo;
The popular spirit, by Jaume Otero; Shepherd of the eagle, of Pau Gargallo; Pomona, by Enric Monjo; Wisdom, by Miquel Oslé; The goddess, by Josep Clarà currently a copy, the original is in the lobby of the Casa de la Ciutat ; Work, by Llucià Oslé; Emporion, by Frederic Marès; Pescador, by Josep Tenas; Dona, by Joan Borrell; Montseny, by Jaume Duran; and Girona, by Antoni Parera. Originally also in the square was the group Children riding fish (1928), by Frederic Marès, a fountain with fountains and four of the figures indicated by the title, which was moved in 1961 to the junction of Gran Via and Rambla de Catalunya.
In relation to the whole of Plaça de Catalunya, some changes made on the fly in the original project led to the replacement of several pieces and their transfer to other areas of the city. One of the main reasons was the cancellation of Francesc Nebot’s project to place a temple with a colonnade decorated with sixteen female figures in the square, which was ultimately not carried out by decision of the council, which led to the resignation of Nephew in front of the works. Thus, some of the sculptures made for this temple were relocated to different places: four of them, executed by Eusebi Arnau, Josep Llimona, Enric Casanovas and Àngel Tarrach, were placed on the entrance wall of the Palace. Real de Pedralbes; two others, by Josep Dunyach (Deessa) and Vicenç Navarro (La nit), were installed in the Parc de la Ciutadella; and two more (Fertility, by Josep Clarà, and La veremadora, by Pau Gargallo), in the Jardins de Miramar, in Montjuïc.
Another reason for the surplus of works was the decision that all the sculptural groups in the square were made of bronze except for those on the upper terrace, which are made of stone , with the result that some works that already had had to be executed in stone, they had to be repeated, and the leftovers were relocated: they are Lleida, by Manuel Fuxà, and Tarragona, by Jaume Otero, which were installed on Avinguda Diagonal, in front of the Royal Palace of Pedralbes. Lastly, the work entitled Marinada o Dansarina, by Antoni Alsina, was located in the Jardins de l’Umbracle, on Passeig de Santa Madrona in Montjuïc, in this case because it was a female that was not seen with good eyes by the prevailing morale at the time.
After the Exhibition, the Monument to Pau Gil was inaugurated in 1930, in honor of the banker who introduced the gas industry to Barcelona and who with his will favored the construction of the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, a jewel of modernism made by Lluís Domènech i Montaner, at the entrance of which is the monument. The work, by Eusebi Arnau, was made in 1916, but was not placed until 1930, and features a bust of the banker with an allegory of Charity at his feet. Also that year, the monument to the stage designer Francesc Soler i Rovirosa, by Frederic Marès in the form of a female lying with a flower in his hand, was placed on Gran Via; and theMonument to Eduardo Dato, in Carrer Sant Antoni Maria Claret, by Jaume Duran, composed of an allegory of Fame and a monolith with a medallion of the honoree.
During the years of the Second Republic and the Civil War not many monuments were made, due to political instability and the turbulent situation in the country. One of the first was the Monument to Pere Vila (1932), an Indian who left a testamentary disposition to build a school – which bears his name – in the Saló de Sant Joan, next to the Arc de Triomf, and to whom he paid homage with a bronze sculpture with three figures of children and a shield with the name of the benefactor, the work of Josep Dunyach.
In 1933 a relief plaque was installed in commemoration of the second anniversary of the Republic in the facilities of Ràdio Barcelona in Tibidabo, the work of Àngel Tarrach, of which only the support remains, since the inscription was erased during the dictatorship. The following year, a bust was placed in honor of the economist Guillem Graell i Moles on Passeig de Sant Joan amb Còrsega, the work of Vicenç Antón. That same year the bust of Narcís Oller was installed in the Via Augusta, and currently in the square of the same name, the work of Eusebi Arnau.
In 1934, La República (Tribute to Pi i Margall) was inaugurated, a monument dedicated to the First Spanish Republic, as well as to one of its presidents, Francesc Pi i Margall. The idea arose in 1915, deciding its location in the Plaza del Cinc d’Oros, at the confluence of Avinguda Diagonal and Passeig de Gràcia. Nevertheless, the project was postponed with the arrival of the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera. With the start of the Second Republic, the project was resumed, and a public competition was organized which was won by Josep Viladomat, with an image of the Republic in the form of a female with a Phrygian hat, with the arm raised and carrying a laurel branch, placed on an obelisk.
After the Civil War, the new authorities removed the statue, which was replaced by an allegory of the Victory of Frederic Marès. The statue was kept in a municipal warehouse, until with the advent of democracy it was recovered, although it was placed elsewhere, the Plaza de la República, as an integral part of a new monument. construction, work of the architects Albert Viaplana and Helio Piñón, in the form of a structure of skatable steel of 30 meters of height, of abstract aspect.
In 1935, the Expiatory Temple of the Sacred Heart was crowned, located in Tibidabo, with a sculpture of the same name, a colossal figure 8 meters high – the tallest then in Spain – made by Frederic Marès. The bronze statue was cast during the Civil War to forge war material, and replaced by another in 1961, the work of Josep Miret. That year a monument was installed on Passeig de Sant Joan dedicated to the deaf-mute pedagogue Juan Pablo Bonet, with a monolith by the architect Joan Vidal and two medallions by Josep Marquès, which was enlarged in 1966. With the image of another pedagogue, Fray Pedro Ponce de León, by Josep Miret. Also that year, the bust of Santiago Rusiñol, by Enric Clarasó, was placed in Plaça de La Puntual.
As early as 1936, the Monument to the Catalan Volunteers was installed in the Parc de la Ciutadella, in memory of those who voluntarily participated in the First World War, the work of Josep Clarà in the form of a naked man with his arms raised and carrying a laurel branch; after the war, the dedication was removed from the plaque and the genitals covered with a vine leaf.
Also in 1936, a tribute was paid to Francesc Layret, a labor lawyer killed by gunmen on the payroll of the Free Trade Union Linked to the employer in 1920. It was placed in Plaça de Sepúlveda currently Plaça de Goya , and was the work of Frederic Marès. In 1939, after the Civil War, the new authorities proceeded to dismantle the monument, which was kept in a municipal warehouse, until with the advent of democracy it was restored to its original location. The monument has an allegorical character: on a podium-shaped pedestal stands a figure of a woman made of bronze, with her naked torso and left arm raised carrying a torch, symbolizing the Republic; on its sides are two male stone figures, representing a peasant and a worker, while on the back is another female figure carrying a child in her arms, in personification of the destitute.
Shortly after Layret’s, the monument to the doctor and politician Domènec Martí i Julià, one of the ideologues of left-wing Catalanism, was inaugurated, located next to the Institut Frenopàtic de la Diagonal, which he had directed, with a work by Josep Dunyach in the form of a female figure in a flower-throwing attitude. Already during the war only one monument is preserved, the one dedicated to Apel•les Mestres (1938), located in the Parc de la Font del Racó, in Tibidabo, the work of Francesc Socías i March.
The Franco period
After the Civil War, the new authorities led to the destruction or uninstallation of numerous monuments dedicated to characters linked to the left or Catalanism, such as La República (Homage to Pi i Margall), the Monument to Doctor Robert, the dedicated To Francesc Layret, or the figures of Rafael Casanova and Pau Claris. Other monuments or statues were converted when their dedications were withdrawn, especially due to the prohibition of the use of the Catalan language, which led to the removal or remodeling of numerous plaques and dedications written in this language; cases such as the Monument to the Catalan Volunteers, dedicated toDomènec Martí i Julià, that of Guillem Graell i Moles, that of Frederic Mistral, or the figures of Jaume I and Joan Fiveller of the Casa de la Ciutat.
Conversely, numerous right-wing monuments destroyed during the war were rebuilt. One of the sculptors who received the most commissions in this regard was Frederic Marès, an artist of the taste of the new Franco regime, who between 1944 and 1954 restored or reconstructed numerous works of public art, such as the Monument to Antonio López in the square of the same name., original work by Venanci Vallmitjana from 1884; To Joan Güell i Ferrer, by Rossend Nobas located on Gran Via with Rambla de Catalunya; the Monument to General Prim, by Lluís Puiggener, located in the Parc de la Ciutadella; and Al Canonge Rodó, work of the same Marès that later recomposed of different form.
He was also responsible for the replacement of the Monument to the Republic by another in Victoria, in the Plaza del Cinc d’Oros. Paradoxically, the statue of the Victory of Marès had been conceived as of the Republic and had competed with that of Josep Viladomat in the 1932 award competition. For its adaptation, Marès had to make some modifications to his work., how to cover the previously naked torso. The statue was removed in 2011, and currently only the obelisk remains.
At this time there was a great proliferation of monuments, as the dictatorship used art as a propagandistic means of its ideology: according to Alexandre Cirici i Pellicer, “aesthetics appears as an essential element of Francoism, of the in the same way that it was an essential element in all fascisms ». The first monuments erected by the new Francoist authorities, in 1939, were improvised and ephemeral: on 19 May, “Victory Day”, a tombstone was placed with the last war communiqué on the façade. of the City Council; on April 29 a cross was placed on the fallen at St. Paul’s Hospital; on May 7 an obelisk was installed in commemoration of May 2in Plaça de Catalunya; and on July 19 a triumphal arch was placed in the Portal de la Pau in honor of Galeazzo Ciano, visiting the city.
The first definitive and more planned monument was the one dedicated to the Fallen in the Santa Elena Moat of Montjuïc Castle, built in 1940 by the architects Manuel Baldrich, Joaquim de Ros i de Ramis, Josep Soteras, Manuel de Solà-Morales and Josep Mas, and the sculptors Miquel and Llucià Oslé. The monument consisted of three arches – the one in the middle, higher and wider -, an altar and a tomb crowned by an obelisk with a cross, as well as a tombstone where was the sculpture made by the Oslé brothers, a reclining figure with a laurel wreath at his feet.
The following year, the Monument to the Martyrs of Independence was inaugurated, a group made of bronze by Josep Llimona in 1930, and which was placed in Plaça Garriga i Bachs, with the addition of a relief of alabaster with two angels surrounded in a cloud at the top of the niche, made for the occasion by Vicenç Navarro. It was followed by the Monument to the painter Fortuny, located in the street of the same name, a work by Miquel and Llucià Oslé made in 1922 but whose installation had been interrupted by the war, and which was placed finally in 1942. The following year, the monument to Bishop Irurita, by Vicenç Navarro, was installed in Carrer Bisbe.
In 1947, several fountains were installed in the Eixample and Gràcia districts, following the tradition begun in the years 1910-1920: this is the Font de Blancaneu, by Josep Manuel Benedicto, in the Plaça de Gal•la Placídia; the Font del Nen Pescador, by the same author, in Diagonal / Casanova; and the Font de Rut, by Josep Maria Camps i Arnau, in Plaça de la Virreina. The following year, the Monument to Josep Girona i Trius, by Antonio Ramón González, was placed in the Aliança Clinic.
In 1950, another monument was conceived and built before the war, dedicated to Ramon Berenguer III the Great, an equestrian statue made by Josep Llimona, which was placed in the square of the same name, next to the chapel of Santa Agate and the remains of the medieval wall. The following year, another Monument to the Fallen was inaugurated on Avinguda Diagonal then Avinguda Generalísimo Franco , in front of the Royal Palace of Pedralbes, by the architects Adolf Florensa and Joaquim Vilaseca and the sculptor Josep Clarà., composed of a semicircular colonnade with a large cross in the background, and a sculptural ensemble formed by two men, one holding the other, dying; the sculpture was destroyed in 2001 by the Antifascist Platform of Barcelona, and the whole was dismantled in 2005.
Also in 1951 Frederic Marès was commissioned by the civil governor to execute a work on the Timbaler del Bruc, l original in stone of which it was installed the following year in the village of El Bruc, and of which different bronze copies were made, which were installed at the headquarters of the Civil Government (1953, moved in 1982 in the barracks of the Civil Guard of Manresa), in Corint street (1956) and in Montjuïc Castle (1962).
One of the most important events of the first period of the Franco regime in the city was the celebration of the XXXV International Eucharistic Congress in 1952. For the occasion, various performances were held, such as the ornamental fountain on Passeig de Gràcia with Gran Via, the work of Josep Soteras, or the refurbishment of Plaça Calvo Sotelo currently Plaça Francesc Macià , which included the sculpture Joventut, by Josep Manuel Benedicto. Later, in 1961, a Monument to Pius XII was placed in the square named after the pontiff, which had been the nerve center of the event; work of Julià Riu i Serra, consists of a limestone monolith depicting a white cassock, and a conical-shaped pole made of bronze, symbolizing a papal staff.
In 1955, the Monument to the Heroes of Espinosa de los Monteros was erected in the square of the same name currently Plaça de Prat de la Riba , in honor of the Catalans killed in this battle, in the form of a figure carrying a flag and in firm position, work of Joan Puigdollers; in 1979 it was removed, and its place is now occupied by a Monument in Prat de la Riba, by Andreu Alfaro. From this date also come the statues located in the Gardens of Can Sentmenat, in the District of Sarrià-Sant Gervasi, an estate belonging to the Marquises of Sentmenat dating from the eighteenth century, which was decorated with sculptures of heraldic symbolism made by Joaquim de Sentmenat; the set became public property in 1995.
A change of style took place in 1957, when a work entitled Forma22, by Josep Maria Subirachs, was installed in the Mundet Homes on Passeig de la Vall d’Hebron, which was the first abstract work located in a space. public of the city, fact that would open a new stage of greater permissiveness and esthetic opening towards the new artistic currents in the city, not without certain critics to its beginnings on the part of the most preservative sectors. That year coincided with the arrival of Josep Maria de Porcioles as mayor, who remained in office until 1973, with a term that was characterized by greater openness and a great boost to construction activity and urban improvement in the city, with a high degree of real estate speculation., at a stage known as “porciolism”.
Despite this new openness, the first achievements of this late Franco era followed the orthodox guidelines of the regime, such as the statue of La Mercè – patron saint of the diocese of Barcelona – located in the basilica of the same name in 1959, the work of brothers Miquel and Llucià Oslé that replaced the original image from 1888 a work by Maximí Sala , destroyed in the Civil War. On the other hand, in 1963 an equestrian statue of General Franco was placed in Montjuïc Castle, the work of Josep Viladomat author, paradoxically, of the figure of the Republicin 1934 ; the statue was removed in 2008.
Also, in 1964, the Monument to José Antonio Primo de Rivera, by the architect Jordi Estrany and the sculptor Jordi Puiggalí, was inaugurated on Carrer Infanta Carlota currently Avinguda Josep Tarradellas. It consisted of a black marble monolith 18 meters high, erected on a pond, with a concrete base with ceramic reliefs with scenes of popular characters, as well as a portrait of the founder of the Phalange and, above, the Falangist symbol of the yoke and arrows. The symbols were removed in 1981, and the monument finally demolished in 2009.
Apart from these monuments, the porciolista era was characterized by a great profusion of public statuary, although in general starting from particular initiatives, and trying to avoid any political connotations. They were works of a different stylistic stamp, without any general planning, which were emerging spontaneously and with a certain improvisation. According to Alexandre Cirici, the works of this period are a mixture of “monastic academicism” and “pseudopicassism” that would result in a hybrid and kitsch style.
During this stage there were numerous performances in the set of Parks and Gardens, which lived a period of splendor under the direction of Lluís Riudor and Joaquim Casamor. In 1961 a competition was organized to provide sculptures in the green areas of the city, in which ten works were acquired: Maternity, by Jacinto Bustos Vasallo, in the Plaza del Congreso Eucharista; another Maternity Hospital, by Camil Fàbregas, in the Parc de Monterols currently retired ; El nen de la rutlla, by Joaquim Ros i Bofarull, in Parc del Guinardó; Rest, ofClaudi Tarragó, at the Zoo; The boat, by Gabriel Alabert, in the Plaça de Vicenç Martorell; Adolescent, by Martí Llauradó, on the Rambla del Poblenou;
23 of April, Antonio Ramon González, in the Gardens of Moragas – at the moment retired; Repòs, by Josep Viladomat, on an original by Manolo Hugué, in the Jardins de Laribal; The lesson, by Manuel Silvestre de Edeta, in Plaça Adrià; and La ben plantada, by Eloïsa Cerdan, in Turó Park. In addition, it was decided to place four abstract sculptures, in a clear commitment to innovation: Evocació marinera (1961), by Josep Maria Subirachs, on Passeig de Joan de Borbó; Textile Engineering (1961), by Ángel Ferrant, in the Plaza de Ferran Casablancas; Rhythm and projection, by Marcel Martí, in Pla de Montbau; and Evocation of work (1961), by Eudald Serra, in Plaça Carles Buïgas.
In relation to the parks and gardens, the largest number of works was placed on the mountain of Montjuïc: in 1960, with the donation to the city of the Castle of Montjuïc, the Mirador de l ‘was installed around it. Mayor, with a fountain designed by Carles Buïgas and the sculpture Homage to Barcelona, by Josep Maria Subirachs. In 1970, three new gardens were inaugurated: those of Mossèn Costa i Llobera, with the sculptures La puntaire, by Josep Viladomat, and L’au dels temporals, by Joaquim Ros i Bofarull; those of Mossèn Cinto Verdaguer, which include a Maternity Hospital, by Sebastià Badia, and La Jove dels lliris (Tribute to Jacint Verdaguer), by Ramon Sabí; and the Joan Maragall Gardens, located around the Palauet Albéniz, residence of the Spanish Royal Family during their visits to Barcelona, which presents a wide range of more than twenty sculptures,
including Susanna in the bathroom, by Théophile Barrau, Serena, by Pilar Francesch, Dona ajaguda, by Enric Monjo, and Nu a l’estany, by Antoni Casamor. Also on these dates theMontjuïc Amusement Park currently Joan Brossa Gardens , where a number of statues were also placed: the Monument to the Sardana (1965), by Josep Cañas; A Carmen Amaya (1966), by Josep Cañas; To Joaquim Blume (1966), by Nicolau Ortiz; The Clown (Charlie Rivel) (1972), by Joaquim Ros i Sabaté; and Charlot (1972), by Núria Tortras. Another group of sculptures settled during the 1960s at the Barcelona Zoo: Genoveva de Brabant(1959), by Montserrat Junoy; In Childhood (1959), by Elisa Reverter; Saint Francis of Assisi (1960), by Pere Jou; Delfí (1966), by Miquel Saperas; and A Walt Disney (1969), by Núria Tortras.
In this period it is also worth noting two actions related to architecture: the sgraffito designed by Pablo Picasso for the façade of the College of Architects of Catalonia in Plaça Nova (1962), which has three friezes: that of the Infants, that of the Senyera and that of the Alegria; and the frieze made by Josep Maria Subirachs for the Novíssim building of Barcelona City Council located in Plaça de Sant Miquel (1969), which includes several pieces relating to the history of the city, such as Gal•la Placídia, the County of Barcelona, Santa Eulàlia Patroness of Barcelona , and various elements that symbolize letters, the arts, sciences, philosophy, commerce and industry.
With the advent of democracy, a new period began in the city’s public statuary. The political change meant the removal of those monuments that had a clear link with the previous regime, a gradual process that culminated in the 2000s thanks to the Law of Historical Memory promoted by the Zapatero Government in 2007. In reverse, they were restored. many of the monuments removed by the previous authorities, such as that of the Republic, that of Doctor Robert, that of Francesc Layret, or the statues of Casanova and Pau Claris.
In the stylistic field, a clear commitment was made to thecontemporary art and the incorporation of works by renowned artists from around the world, including local artists of international renown who did not yet have work in Barcelona, such as Joan Miró and Antoni Tàpies. It should be noted that in the early years of transition, until the socialist victory in the 1979 municipal elections, performances in public art were still generally of private initiative and of great diversity in terms of styles and quality of works; the governments of Narcís Serra and Pasqual Maragall would be the first to make a direct commitment to art in the city as a means of prestige and promotion of the public image abroad.
Thus, the first years after Franco’s death were of a certain eclecticism in terms of motifs and styles in the new works incorporated into the public heritage. We should mention works such as: Rombes bessons (1977), by Andreu Alfaro, located in the Parc de Cervantes, which as its name indicates are two rhombuses formed by aluminum bars; the Monument to Doctor Trueta (1978), by Josep Ricart, on Rambla del Poblenou / Pere IV, with a statue of a dying man held by the hands of Medicine, and a relief with the effigy of the traumatologist; the abandoned dog (1978), by Artur Aldomà, at the Barcelona Zoo; the frieze of Sants Station (1979), by Josep Maria Subirachs currently in the Railway Museum of Catalonia in Vilanova i la Geltrú , made up of 22 modules in the shape of a train wheel that make the word Barcelona;
Tribute to the Catalan Resistance (1980), also by Subirachs, in the Parliament of Catalonia, a relief with a dedication to the anti-Franco resistance; To Antonio Machín (1981), from Taller Subías Berlinghieri, in Plaça Vicenç Martorell, a monolith with a medallion by the Cuban singer; and A Blas Infante (1982), by Josep Lluís Delgado, alParc de la Guineueta, made up of a frieze with eight truncated columns representing the eight Andalusian provinces, to which was added a bust of the Andalusian politician in 1995, the work of Xavier Cuenca Iturat.
Between 1979 and 1984, a real sculpture museum was set up in the lobby of the Casa de la Ciutat, on the initiative of councilor Lluís Reverter, who wanted to place several works of art in a common space for all Barcelonans to enjoy. all citizens. They include: Sant Jordi, by Josep Llimona (1916, in this location since 1929); The Goddess, by Josep Clarà (1929) with a copy in Plaça de Catalunya ; The Mediterranean spirit, by Frederic Marès (1936); La Puixança, by Josep Clarà (1940); Tres gitanets, by Joan Rebull (1946); Rafael Casanova, by Rossend Nobas (1977, on an original from 1888) a smaller replica of the one located at Ronda Sant Pere / Ali Bey ;
Matter and Form, by Josep Maria Subirachs (1980); and Femme, by Joan Miró (1981). In 1989, Sitting Woman, by Manolo Hugué (1931), and Uranus, by Pau Gargallo (1933), were added; in 1995, Tors de dona, by Enric Casanovas (1929), and Maternitat, by Joan Rebull (1960) a copy is located in Plaça de Navas ; and, in 1996, Barcelona Olímpica, by Joan Mora. In 2003, La Victòria (orLa Croada), by Vicenç Navarro, for its Francoist significance.
In 1982, the Monument to Pau Casals was installed, located on Avinguda homonymous, consisting of two independent pieces: a statue of the musician playing the cello, the work of Josep Viladomat in 1939; and a seven-meter-high bronze stele in the shape of a flame from which emerge musical angels playing trumpets and violins, the work of Apel•les Fenosa from 1976. The ensemble, located in front of Turó Park, was designed by the architects. Miquel Espinet, Antoni Ubach and Ramon Maria Puig Andreu.
The following year, three important monuments were inaugurated: Tribute to Picasso, by Antoni Tàpies, located on Passeig de Picasso in front of the Parc de la Ciutadella , an abstract work composed of a glass cube with old furniture crossed by a spear inside, and situated in a small pond; Woman and bird, by Joan Miró, in the park of the same name, a concrete monolith covered with ceramic 20 meters high, which combines phallic symbolism with female sexuality, while the bird means communion with heaven, spirituality; and Homage to the Mediterranean, by Xavier Corberó, in Plaça de Sóller, a set of 41 pieces of marble located in a pond that symbolize the sun, the moon, some clouds and a boat.
In same year they were made: To Àngel Guimerà, a replica of Josep Maria Codina i Corona of an original by Josep Cardona i Furró, in Plaça de Sant Josep Oriol; Terra i Foc, by Joan Gardy Artigas, on Avinguda Diagonal; To Nicolau Maria Rubió i Tudurí, by Xavier Corberó, in Plaça de Gaudí; and Boston Lobster, a copy by Lluís Ventós of a work by Shem Drowneof 1742, in the Place of Boston, gift of the American city to the act of brotherhood of both cities.
The year 1984 was also prolific, of which it should be noted: La Colometa, by Xavier Medina-Campeny, in Plaça del Diamant, a tribute to the novel by Mercè Rodoreda; In Goya, on Avinguda de Roma, by José Gonzalvo, an iron set with the figure of the Aragonese painter and the one of the shot with raised arms that appears in his painting The Three of May; Visual poem passable in three stages: Birth, path with pauses and intonations and destruction, by Joan Brossa, in the Gardens of María Cañardo next to the Horta Velodrome-, formed by a capital letter A of stone, of 16 meters of height, and another one to earth made rubble, with other signs of the writing;; The wall, by Richard Serra, in the Plaça de la Palmera de Sant Martí, formed by two pieces of white concrete forming circumferential arches; and Piràmide, by Daniel Navas, Neus Solé and Imma Jansana, in the park of Can Sabaté, with a clear influence on the return of the illustration proposed by postmodernism.
In 1985, the Parc de l’Espanya Industrial was built in the Sants-Montjuïc district, with an architectural project by Luis Peña Ganchegui that included several sculptures of different styles: Neptú, by Manuel Fuxà (1881); The oxen of abundance, by Antoni Alsina (1926); Modern Venus, by Peresejo (1929); Tors de dona, by Enric Casanovas (1947); Landa V, by Pablo Palazuelo (1985); Alto Rhapsody, by Anthony Caro (1985); and The Dragon, by Andrés Nagel (1987). That year, Salvador Allende Square was also built in the El Carmel district, with a project by Jordi Farrando, where the sculpture Eleven Polyhedrons, by Marcel Martí, and a plaque in homage were placed. to Salvador Allende with a bust of the Chilean president, the work of Lautaro Díaz.
During these years, several memorials were created to commemorate the victims of the war and the dictatorship: in 1985 the Fossar de la Pedrera was adapted, an old quarry located on the mountain of Montjuïc where numerous retaliators of the Franco regime were buried in mass graves., and where a memorial designed by Beth Galí, Màrius Quintana and Pere Casajoana was located, which includes a set of columns with the names of the victims, a large garden area with singular tombstones, the mausoleum of Lluís Companys and the sculpture Pietat. Tribute to those immolated for freedom in Catalonia, by Ferran Ventura A copy of this work is located in the gardens of the library of the Parliament of Catalonia ;
To the people of Barcelona who died in the Nazi death camps (1987), by André Fauteux, an iron ring from which hangs a stone, located in the Parc de la Ciutadella; David and Goliath (1988), by Roy Shifrin, a tribute to the International Brigades located on the Rambla del Carmel, consisting of a column with a helmet at its feet, symbolizing defeated Goliath, and crowned by a torso of ‘athlete representing victorious David; and the Fossar de les Moreres(1989), in the square of the same name, with a general design by Carme Fiol and a peveter made by Albert and David Viaplana, in memory of those who fell in the defense of the city in 1714.
Meanwhile, the placement of various monuments promoted by the town hall continued: in 1986 a work by Eduardo Chillida, Topos V, in abstract forms, was placed in the Plaza del Rey; in the same year the sculpture Als nous catalans, by Sergi Aguilar, dedicated to immigrants, was installed in Via Júlia; of equal date, the cyclist, of Jorge Jose Castle, in the Place of Saints; Drowned Ophelia, by Francisco López Hernández, in the Gardens of Vila Cecília; and Rites of Spring, by Bryan Hunt, at Clot Park.
The Creueta del Coll Park was inaugurated in 1987, with a project by Martorell-Bohigas-Mackay, where the works Totem, by Ellsworth Kelly, a monolith almost 10 meters high, were located; and Praise of the water, of Eduardo Chillida, a concrete block of 54 tons of weight suspended on a lake with four steel cables that hang of the mountain, and that is reflected in the water like the myth of Narcissus, according to the author’s purpose. Similarly, the following year was created Park North Station, where he placed the work Sky fallen from Beverly Pepper, a set close to nature art that looks like a giant wave coming out of the park ‘s vegetation, made of blue ceramics of various shades with the Gaudí technique of trencadís. In 1989, the sculptural Mitjana was inaugurated on Avinguda Rio de Janeiro, a set of eleven elements 306 m long the longest sculpture in Barcelona , the work of Agustí Roqué who won the FAD prize. of that year.
Other works of these years are: Sant Jordi (1987), by Joan Rebull, on the Rambla de Catalunya with Diagonal; Gambrinus (1987), by Javier Mariscal, on Paseo de Colom; Inner limit (1987), of Sergi Aguilar, in the Gardens of the Maternity; Escullera (1988), by Jaume Plensa, in Via Júlia; Centenary of the Universal Exhibition of 1888 (1988), by Antoni Clavé, in the Parc de la Ciutadella; To Margarida Xirgu (1988), by Eudald Serra, in Plaça Canonge Colom; Gat (1990), by Fernando Botero, on the Rambla del Raval; In Ferrer i Guàrdia (original from 1911, placed in 1990), by Auguste Puttemans, on Avinguda de l’Estadi (Montjuïc); In Rovira i Trias (1990), in the square of the same name, by Joaquim Camps; Núvol i cadira (1990), by Antoni Tàpies, at the foundation that bears his name; To Lluís Millet (1991), by Josep Salvadó Jassans, at the Palau de la Música Catalana; The Underground Submarine (1991), by Josep Maria Riera i Aragó, in the Parc de les Aigües; and Monument (1991), byLeandre Cristòfol, in George Orwell Square.
An innovative project took place in 1990, when the Jardí d’Escultures was installed in Montjuïc, next to the Fundació Miró, with a general design by Jaume Freixa and Jordi Farrando. It is located in the space formerly known as Plaça del Sol, where since 1909 was located the sculpture Manelic by Josep Montserrat, dedicated to the popular character in the work Terra baixa by Àngel Guimerà. A set of eight sculptures was placed in this space: Needle, by Tom Carr; Transparent, the landscape, by Pep Duran; Ctonos, deGabriel Sáenz Romero; Teulada, by Perejaume; Large blue propeller plane, by Josep Maria Riera i Aragó; Dell’Arte, by Jaume Plensa; Gran fus, by Enric Pladevall; and Vol 169, by Emma Verlinden; the latter was removed in 2002 due to its irreversible deterioration, and on this date three more sculptures were added: Genesis, by Ernest Altès; The music class, by Cado Manrique; and DT, by Sergi Aguilar.
In 1991, the Francesc Macià Monument was erected in Plaça de Catalunya, the work of Josep Maria Subirachs, made of travertine, concrete, iron and bronze. The artist conceived the work as an evocation of the various identity symbols of Catalonia: the pedestal, made of travertine with a succession of broken stone blocks, represents the history of Catalonia; the upper part, executed in concrete, has the shape of an inverted staircase, of which the first three steps, fitted to the pedestal, represent the three years of Macià’s government in front of the Generalitat, while the rest, which end in a abrupt and unfinished, they symbolize the future of the country, which was built day by day, step by step. In front of the body of the monument is a separate monolith with the bust of President Macià, made of bronze, a replica of the portrait made by Josep Claràin 1932.
The XXV Olympic Games were held from July 25 to August 9, 1992. For the event the city undertook an intense program of urban reforms and improvements, which focused mainly on the mountain of Montjuïc, where the Olympic Stadium was remodeled and the Palau Sant Jordi was built, but also in the Olympic villages of Poblenou and Vall d’Hebron, as well as several other areas of the city: such important works were carried out as the construction of the city’s ring roads, the recovery of the beaches and the entire seafront (Maremagnum area), the installation of the new telecommunications tower in Collserola and the renovation and expansion of theBarcelona Airport. The Barcelona get beautiful campaign was also promoted, for the remodeling of the façades and partition walls of the city’s buildings, and new parks and gardens were designed, which as in previous times were ideal settings for the placement of monuments and works of art.
In Montjuïc, the performances focused on sports facilities, but the urbanization of the Olympic Stadium area left artistic elements such as the installation entitled Change (Utsurohi), by Aiko Miyawaki, a set of 36 stone columns. artificial with stainless steel cables that form a forest that shines at dusk; or the Olympic Torso, by Rosa Serra, a stylized athlete’s torso made of bronze. The sculpture Tors de l’Estiu, by Aristide Maillol, was also placed in front of the Palau Nacional the headquarters of the MNAC., an original work from 1911 donated by the employers of the Barcelona Olympic Association 1992 as a commemoration of the Games, with the repairing effect of the fact that the city of Barcelona did not have any work by this artist from Roussillon, much appreciated for how much he had influenced in the noucentista style of the early twentieth century.
One of the main areas of action was the Olympic Village of Poblenou, where after the Games there have been several parks adorned with various works and monuments: in the Parc de les Cascades the sculptures David and Goliath, by Antoni Llena, were installed. and The Power of the Word, by Auke de Vries, both of abstract style and large dimensions; in the Park of Charles I was placed The Ass (A Santiago Roldán), by Eduardo Úrculo, a bronze work 6.5 meters high in the form of legs and buttocks; in the Olympic Port Park the works Marc, by Robert Llimós, the Commemoration of the inauguration of the Olympic Village and a pond with the sculpture of Cobi, the mascot of the Olympic Games, designed by Javier Mariscal; and in the Parc de la Nova Icària is the Plaça dels Campions, with a pavement with the names of various athletes and Olympic champions in history, as well as one of the podiums used in the Games.
Several isolated works were also located in different parts of the Olympic Village, such as: Fish, by Frank Gehry; Aquarium-Pisces-Taurus, ofAntoni Roselló; Olympic Column, by Andreu Alfaro; The plan of nostalgia, by Luis Ulloa; Cylinder, by Tom Carr; and Raspall del vent, by Francesc Fornells-Pla.
Several sculptures were also placed in the Vall d’Hebron, home of the Olympic press town: Form and space, by Eudald Serra, an abstract figure six meters high made of iron; Dime, dime, darling, by Susana Solano, equally abstract, consisting of four sheets of steel eight feet high; and Mistos, by Claes Oldenburg, 20 feet high, which looks like a box of matches arranged in various positions, some on the ground as if they had already been used.
Other remodeling was also carried out in other areas of the city, such as Plaça de les Glòries Catalanes, one of the city’s main thoroughfares, where twelve large marble slabs were placed dedicated to various outstanding aspects of Catalonia’s history., in reference to the Catalan Glories that give the square its name; as well as a Monument to the Metro, by François Scali and Alain Domingo, a piece of steel that reproduces the topographic profile of the meridian that connects Barcelona with Dunkirk, which served to establish the measurement of the metric system – in 2014 it was moved toMeridian Avenue, between Independence and Council of One hundred.
In parallel to the Olympic Games, a Cultural Olympics was organized, which promoted the installation of several works all located on the coast, under the common name of Urban Configurations and curated by Gloria Moure. They came out like this: Rosa dels Vents, by Lothar Baumgarten, in Plaça Pau Vila; The Wounded Star, by Rebecca Horn, on the Paseo Marítimo in Barceloneta; Roman Balance, by Jannis Kounellis, in Andrea Dòria Street; Crescendo appare, by Mario Merz, at the Moll de la Barceloneta; A room where it always rains, by Juan Muñoz, in the Plaça del Mar; Born, by Jaume Plensa, on Passeig del Born; Four wedges, by Ulrich Rückriem, in the Palace Plan; and Deuce Coop, by James Turrell, on Commerce Street.
In relation to the Games, it is worth mentioning lastly the installation in different parts of the city of a series of commemorative fountains of the Olympic Games, made by the sculptor Juan Bordes in collaboration with the architects Òscar Tusquets and Carlos Díaz. Eight were made, all with an artificial stone pedestal and a bronze figure of a boy playing with water: Ball, on Avinguda del Paral•lel; Launch, at the Mirador del Palau Nacional; Diving, in the Avenue of Chile; Chip-xap, in the Plaza Alfonso Comín; Cabriola, on Isadora Duncan Street; Voga, on Avinguda Litoral;Diving, in the Escullera del Poblenou; and Tempteig, in the Plaça de les Glòries Catalanes.
During 1992, several sculptures and monuments were also placed apart from the Olympic events: Barcelona’s Head, by Roy Lichtenstein, on the Moll de Bosch and Alsina, a work almost twenty meters high made of concrete covered with ceramics., depicting a woman’s head with her hair in the wind, made with a plot reminiscent of the printing of a comic; on the same pier are the monuments A Joan Salvat Papasseit and A Ròmul Bosch i Alsina, both by Robert Krier. Las pajaritas, a reproduction of Ramón Acín ‘s work, was installed in Carrer Aragó amb Meridianalocated in the Miguel Servet Park in Huesca, originally from 1923, which represents these popular origami figures. On the Rambla Prim with Guipúzcoa was located the long journey, by Francesc Torres Monsó, a fragmented monolith that represents the relationship of human beings with the cosmos, according to the same author.
In the Placeta del Comerç was located Arc 44.5 °, by Bernar Venet, a minimalist work in the form of a 14 meter high skatable steel arch. Finally, on the Rambla Prim with Garcia Fària, a tribute was paid to those shot in the Camp de la Bota, entitled Fraternitat, by Miquel Navarro, in the shape of a 28-meter-high monolith reminiscent of ancient crosses.
In the following years, the placement of works of art in public spaces continued at a good pace: Dona banyantse, by Rafael Bartolozzi, and Cavalls desbocats, by Joaquim Ros i Sabaté, in the Parc de la Trinitat (1993); Bàrcino (1994), by Joan Brossa, in Plaça Nova, an installation with the letters that form the name of Roman Barcelona; Homage to the book (1994), by Joan Brossa, on Gran Via with Passeig de Gràcia, a steel plate painted in the shape of an open book on a hemisphere in the shape of a grasshopper;
Me, America(1995, original 1977), by Alberto Cavazos, in Potosí Street, a stylized almost abstract female torso, a copy of an original located in Monterrey (Mexico), given in Barcelona in the act of brotherhood of both cities; Mistral (1996), by Lawrence Weiner, on Avinguda Mistral, consisting of three concrete parallelepipeds with verses by the Provencal poet Frédéric Mistral; Iron Circus (1996), by Rolf Knie and Miquel Sarasate, in Constança street, where various figures and elements related to the circus are located inside a ring seven meters in diameter; Character (1997, original 1970), by Joan Miró, in the foundation of the same name, an anthropomorphic figure made of bronze;
Tribute to the Mútua Escolar Blanquerna (1998), by Núria Tortras, in Plaça Blanquerna, consisting of three rings and two children’s figures; Barcelona 1998 (1998), by Eduardo Chillida, in Plaça dels Àngels in front of the MACBA-, a mural six meters high and fifteen long that presents an abstract figure similar to those of his sculptures, outlined in black on white; The Wave (1998), by Jorge Oteiza, in the same location as the previous one, an aluminum plate of abstract shapes; and The Order of Today (1999), by Ian Hamilton Finlay, in Carmel Park, a quote from the French revolutionary Saint-Just written in fourteen stone blocks on the ground, simulating tombstones of a necropolis.
Many of these works were dedicated to various characters: Als Santpere (1995), by Juan Bordes, on the Rambla de Santa Mònica, a fountain in the shape of the Epidaurus Theater, with a frieze with scenes from artistic life. of Josep and Mary Santpere; To Simón Bolívar (1996), by Julio Maragall, in the Parc de la Barceloneta, a full-length effigy of the Venezuelan liberator; To Francesc Cambó (1997), by Víctor Ochoa, in Via Laietana, a bust dedicated to the Catalan politician;
In Lluís Companys (1998), on Passeig de Sant Joan, byFrancisco López Hernández, who with the bust of the president includes a statue of Conxita Julià, an admirer of his who sent him letters when he was imprisoned; To Josep Tarradellas (1998), on Avinguda homònima, by Xavier Corberó, a 23-meter-high column with blocks of marble and basalt interspersed, simulating the Catalan flag; In General Moragues (1999), by Francesc Abad, in Plaça Pau Vila, six marble blocks with engraved verses by Paul Celan and Àngel Guimerà;
In Prat de la Riba (1999), in the square of the same name, by Andreu Alfaro, a column 10 meters high from which emerge eight steel tubes that form a winged Victory in abstract version; and A Antoni Gaudí (1999), by Joaquim Camps, on Passeig de Manuel Girona, an effigy of the architect located in Portal Miralles, one of his works. On the other hand, between 1998 and 2001 the Monument to Anna Frank was installed in the square of the same name, designed by Ignasi Sanfeliu, Sara Pons and students of the Escola Massana. It consists of a monolith with a fragment of the diary of this young writer victim of Nazism, a pavement with her name and vital dates, a ceramic mural dedicated to child victims of the war and a sculpture with the image of the girl lying with a book in her hands.
Lastly, we should mention a few fountains installed in the last years of the century, such as the Manuel de Falla Magic Fountain (1994), by Pedro Barragán, in the Josep Maria Serra Martí Park, formed by a pond that houses a metal platform. From which the water falls in a cascade, and two large rocks next to springs of water; the one in Plaça Islàndia (1995), by Andreu Arriola and Carme Fiol, a pond with five waterfalls and an 18-meter-high geyser; the Cybernetic Fountain of Can Fabra (1995), by Ramon Llopart, an interactive musical source; and the Harry Walker Fountain (1999), byMàrius Quintana, with a ten-meter-high pergola from which water falls into a triangular pond.
The turn of the century did not bring a substantial change to the future of the city, which continued to bet on innovation and design as future projects, along with the use of new technologies and the commitment to environmental sustainability.. In the artistic field, there continued a certain eclecticism derived from the postmodern trends that began in the 1980s, which involve a reinterpretation of previous styles that gives the artist freedom to use any technique or style and transform them personally. One of the most important events of the new millennium was the celebration of the Universal Forum of Cultures in 2004, which allowed new urban changes in the city: the entire Besòs area was recovered., until then populated with old disused factories, regenerating the entire Poblenou district and building the new Diagonal Mar district, and providing the city with new parks and spaces for the leisure of the citizens.
The first works elaborated in the new millennium were planned with a certain continuity with respect to previous realizations. Tributes continued to prominent figures in the social and cultural sphere of the country, such as the Conjunto Homenatge a Joan Brossa (2000), in Carrer Bon Pastor, by Jaume Barrera, Carme de la Calzada and Joan Ardévol with several labors más , composed of a pavement with plaques dedicated to the poet and the so-called Sculpture of Light, a set of spotlights with colored lights that illuminate the facade of the building of the College of Surveyors; A Gandhi(2000, original 1967), in the gardens of the same name, by Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, a full-length bronze figure of the Indian politician; In Ramon Calsina (2001), in the square of the same name, by Jaume Cases, with a bust of the painter; Dialogue. In Ernest Lluch (2001), by Ricard Vaccaro, on Avinguda Diagonal (Faculty of Economics), a set of eleven methacrylate flames on a wooden pedestal; Poem of Catalonia.
In JV Foix (2002), by Màrius Quintana, in the Via Augusta, with a calligram by the same poet who forms the word Mediterranean; AManuel Carrasco i Formiguera (2003), by Josep Admetlla, in Plaça Adrià, a cube the size of a person with several perforations; and Loneliness in conversation. Tribute to Enric Granados (2003), by Javier Peñafiel, in Carrer Enric Granados with Diputació and Consell de Cent, a moving light projector.
In the same way, several collective tributes were paid, such as the AIDS Memorial (2003), by Patrizia Falcone with the collaboration of Lluís Abad , at the Barcelona Acclimatization Garden, an initiative of the NGO Project of Names that aimed to raise awareness about the disease of AIDS, with a parterre with elongated stone slabs on which stands an olive tree, a symbol of peace, and a poem by Miquel Martí i Pol; Lace. To the victims of the bombings of 1938 (2003), by Margarita Andreu, on the Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, formed by eight steel bars ten meters high; and Irregular Cut Progression. To the Victims of Terrorism (2003), by Sol LeWitt, on Meridian Avenue, made up of several blocks of black granite that overlap up to twelve meters high.
Other works from the first years of the century are: Twin Trees (2001), by Arata Isozaki, at the CaixaForum in Montjuïc former Casaramona Factory, work of Josep Puig i Cadafalch , a sheet of glass on two steel bases in the shape of ‘trees; La parella (2002), by Lautaro Díaz, at the Moll de Bosch i Alsina, a stylized couple in love with the sea; Allegory in the Catalan Countries (2002), by Salvador Alibau i Arias, in Carrer Carme, formed by four five-meter-high steel strips that unfold like a fan at the top; Waves (2003), by Andreu Alfaro, at the Moll de Barcelona, formed by seven large steel rings the tallest 42 meters that represent sea waves; and La família (2003), by Xavier Corberó, in Ciutat de Granada / Sancho de Ávila, slightly anthropomorphic figures made of basalt.
With the celebration of the Forum of Cultures in 2004, new spaces were created for public leisure: a large esplanade and several auditoriums were set up on the Forum grounds for concerts and outdoor events., together with the most characteristic elements of the event, the photovoltaic panel and the Forum Building. In the latter, two installations were placed: Barcelona postcards of postcards, by Eugènia Balcells, a set of nine panels to which a total of 6318 postcards had been attached removed in 2010 when the building housed the Barcelona Museum of Natural Sciences -; and a video installation entitled Sixth Wall, by Tony Oursler, visible only at night, which reproduces images selected by the author both in the Forum Building and in the adjoining skyscraper and on the esplanade between the two.
On the other hand, in the Convention Center attached to the Forum Building, Passatge courenc, by Cristina Iglesias, was installed, consisting of 16 braided wire panels that occupy an extension of 150 meters long by 30 meters. ample. On the adjoining esplanade later called Plaça d’Ernest Lluch , the Analematic Clock was installed, the work of Ramon Farré-Escofet and Joan Claudi Minguell, a sundial located on the ground that requires the participation of the spectator to mark the time;Aquí hay tomate, by Eulàlia Valldosera, made up of seven long-sighted lenses that are usually placed in viewpoints in tourist areas and that work with coins, painted red, and that show a video of the landscape that existed before the Forum..
The Diagonal Mar Park was created near the Forum area, the work of the architects Enric Miralles and Benedetta Tagliabue, where several metal structures resembling tubular filigrees of capricious shapes stand out, which, like sculptural pieces, mark the whole area. and that at certain points hold a large ceramic jars made of colored ceramic work of Antoni Cumella and Vendrell.
Other works carried out in the year of the Forum are: Tribute to swimming, by Alfredo Lanz, in the Plaça del Mar, a steel work almost 10 meters high that represents various sports related to water; A, by Emili Armengol, in Carrer Major de Can Caralleu, three iron pillars that form a pyramid, which can also be seen as the letter A; Panta rei, by Tom Carr, on Avinguda JV Foix, a kind of vane formed by silver steel triangles; and Món, by Antoni Llena, in Villarroel / Buenos Aires, consisting of three stones and three triangular mirrors within a rectangle eight meters high by ten long.
Subsequently, the city’s artistic heritage has been increased with works of various kinds: Adam (2005, original 1968), by Jacinto Bustos Vasallo, in Cervantes Park, a naked male figure in a reclining position representing the first man; Blue leaf (2005), by Àngels Freixanet, in the Gardens of the Palau Robert, a book-sculpture made of iron; Poetic art and visual poem (2007), by Joan Manuel Clavillé, located on a dividing wall in Carrer València, based on two poems by Josep Maria Junoy and Joan Brossa; and Boogie-Woogie (2008), by Antoni Roselló, on the Gran Via de Carles III, a 15-meter-high colored iron structure.
In 2008 inaugurated the Parc del Poble Nou Center in the Sant Marti district, designed by French architect Jean Nouvel. It is divided into several thematic spaces, created to evoke different sensations, where design and an avant-garde concept of the arrangement of green space predominate: thus is the Well of the World, a crater formed by several earth spirals and bougainvillea, a work close to nature art; initially it had to have a screen with projection of images and a connection via Internet with the Ecuadorian city of Guayaquil- twinned with the Catalan capital – but the project was distorted. Next to the crater is a field of fake peppers with a series of metal structures that represent a perfect integration of the sculpture in the natural environment, entitled The Nests and Wells of Heaven.
In 2009 the remodeling of Plaça de Lesseps was completed, with a project by the architect Albert Viaplana, which included the installation El Canal de Suez, a monument to the French engineer to whom the square is dedicated, builder of the great channelwhich connects the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea. Thus, an elevated metal gutter crosses the whole square, with a flow of water that leads to a jump over a pond located in front of the Jaume Fuster Library; this canal is complemented by two bridges that house several planters, as well as two sloping platforms at both ends of the square, reminiscent of the bow and stern of a ship, while lighting towers and a high metal structure Parallelepiped-shaped and reminiscent of a pallium, located in the middle of the square, would simulate the cabin and masts of this ship.
Among the last works placed in the city are: The four bars of the Catalan flag (2009), by Ricard Bofill, formed by four orthohedral columns 6 meters high, with a helical twist to give movement; Trojan Horse (2009), by María Helguera at the Barcelona Auditorium, a wooden horse 4 meters inspired by the Iliad of Homer; In Brossa (2009), by Perejaume, in Plaça de la Prosperitat, a space formed by floor and wall with drawings of white resin that form the six letters of the surname of the poet Joan Brossa; Miraestels (2010), by Robert Llimós, on the Rambla de Mar, two floating sculptures located in the port in front of the Maremagnum; Gays, lesbians and transsexuals (2011), in the Parc de la Ciutadella, a triangular plaque in memory of the repression to which this group has been subjected throughout history;
To Joan Llongueres (2011) and To Richard Wagner(2012), in the squares that bear their respective names, both works by Ricard Vaccaro, composed first by twelve plates with titles of songs by the musician Llongueras, and in the second 17 slabs with names of characters from Wagner’s operas, as well as a sculpture formed by five steel plates crowned by pieces of methacrylate; Als castellers (2012), by Antoni Llena, in Plaça de Sant Miquel, an abstract steel work 27 meters high in homage to the human castles of Catalan folklore; Olympic Archer (2012), by Rosa Serra, on Avinguda de l’Estadi in front of the Olympic Museum , a stylized archer figure pointing to the peveter of the Olympic Stadium, in commemoration of the twentieth anniversary of the Olympic Games;
To Isaac Albéniz and Alícia de Larrocha (2012), by Alfons Alzamora, in Carrer Lepant in front of the National Auditorium , a work that represents a piano in an abstract way; BRUUM-RUUM (2013), by David Torrents Janer, at the Hub Design Center in Plaça de les Glòries Catalanes, an installation formed by leds and sound wave that works with a fixed computer program or with another that lets that the lights vary in function of the intensity of the environingingmental noise; General Moragues (2013), by Rosa Martínez Brau, in Pla de Palau, a bust of the Austrian general; The world is born in every kiss (2014), by Joan Fontcuberta, in Isidre Nonell Square, a photomosaic of a kiss; Furrow. In Salvador Espriu (2014), by Frederic Amat, in the Gardens of Salvador Espriu, a work excavated in the ground with a furrow 17 meters long in the shape of an obelisk, made of concrete and surrounded by grass;
In Václav Havel (2014), by Borek Sípek, in the Citadel Park, an installation formed by a table around a tree and two benches, in memory of the Czech president; the Monument to the lost illusions (MALIP) (2015), by Antoni Batllori, in Av. Diagonal / Bolivia, a 5 m high monolith in the shape of a bonsai branch, raised as a kind of “anti-monument” of satirical intentions; and the Monument to Salvador Puig Antich (2016), byGerard Cuartero and Nicolás Aparicio, in the square named after the honoree, formed by a structure in the shape of a steel balcony, concrete and panots « flower of Barcelona »; Carmela (2016), by Jaume Plensa, a 4.5 m tall girl’s head located in front of the Palau de la Música Catalana, which the artist ceded to the city for eight extendable years; and Guardians (2018), by Xavier Mascaró, in Calle Sancho de Ávila, a set of six iron figures three meters high in a sitting position and supported by seven legs each.
On March 4, 2019, a memorial was inaugurated in memory of the victims of the attack of August 17, 2017 in Barcelona, located at the scene, on the Rambla, next to the Miró pavement. It is a 12 meter long inscription placed on the pavement, which reads the phrase “May peace charge you, O city of peace”, written in Arabic, Catalan, Spanish and English, along with drawing of Barcelona by Frederic Amat and the exact date and time of the attack: 17-08-2017, 4.50 pm. The same year he moved in front of the church of Santa Ana Sculpture Jesus Homeless (Jesus homeless) Canadian sculptor Timothy Schmalz, replica of an original made in 2013 and located in Toronto (Canada). It represents Jesus of Nazareth, wrapped in a blanket and barefoot, leaning on a bench, as a denunciation of the situation of homeless people.