Throne Room, National Palace Barcelona

This hall, also called the conference or conference room, is the one that was decorated with nobler materials; all its walls are covered with different colored marbles to form geometric patterns. On the throne, placed on the occasion of the 1929 Exhibition, the Barcelona painter Ricard Canals was commissioned to execute a portrait in oil of King Alfonso XIII. For its side walls were painted allegories related to the 1888 Exhibition, by Francesc Labarta, and related to the 1929 Exhibition by Xavier Nogués. D ‘the four cardinal virtues: Fortitude, Temperance, Justice and Prudence. These works are placed on the four eardrums in the arches of the hall.

Main dome
For the decoration of the dome, Lluís Plandiura proposed that one of the best Catalan artists of the time be commissioned. Thus, the central part of the dome, about 300 square meters in size, was made by Francesc d’Assís Galí, who according to the contract should represent… in an apotheotic way, the greatness of Spain, using a symbolic composition, defined in four fields: Religion, Science, Fine Arts and the Earth

The religion was depicted with the scene of the crucified Christ; next to him are the figures of a martyr and an angel, and at his feet an vanquished infidel. In another scene, a Saracean president is depicted handing over the keys of a city to the Christian army.
The topic dedicated to Spanish science is represented by the female allegory of the geometry and triumphs of science with the representation of Miquel Servet and his research on the circulation of blood, in Blasco de Garay, inventor of navigation. with shovel wheels and an Arab from Cordoba watching the stars.
The Fine Arts are represented in a figure of a woman with a rainbow and a laurel branch. In the case of architecture, two female figures appear, holding a scale model of a building; in addition, the representation of painting, sculpture, literature and music can be contemplated.
The Earth is represented by a female figure holding the moon with one hand, and the sun is at her feet. Various fruits of the earth are painted, in relation to agriculture, industry and livestock.

The dome drum consists of eight panels of paintings representing ancient civilizations, made by Josep de Togores and Manuel Humbert. The shells were painted by these same artists, in grayscale, and represent the four allegories corresponding to the ancient kingdoms of León, Castile, Navarra, and the Crown of Aragon. Under these shells are four sculptures nestled within a niche, representing on one hand, The Law and The Force, made by the sculptor Josep Dunyach, and on the other, The Work and The Religion of the sculptor Enric Casanovas.

On 28 November 2013 he inaugurated the installation of wall to IBM of Joan Miró, the dome of the building.

National Palace Barcelona
The Palau Nacional, located in Montjuïc (Barcelona), is a palace built between 1926 and 1929 for the Barcelona International Exhibition of 1929, and since 1934 has housed the National Art Museum of Catalonia. It was the main building of the Exhibition, designed by Eugenio Cendoya and Enric Catà, under the supervision of Pere Domènech i Roura, and rejected the initial project of Puig i Cadafalch and Guillem Busquets. In its Oval Hall the opening ceremony of the Exhibition, chaired by Alfonso XIII and Queen Victoria Eugènia, took place.

It has an area of 32,000 m². Style classic inspired by the Renaissance Spanish, has a rectangular plan with two side sections and a rear square with a large dome elliptical in the middle. The waterfalls and fountains on the steps of the Palace were designed by Carles Buïgas, and nine large projectors were installed that still emit intense beams of light today, writing the name of the city in the sky.

The National Palace was dedicated to showing an exhibition of Spanish art with more than 5,000 works from all over Spain. In its decoration – in the nineteenth-century style, contrary to the classicism of architectural work -, several artists took part, such as the sculptors Enric Casanovas, Josep Dunyach, Frederic Marès and Josep Llimona, and the painters Francesc d’Assís Galí, Josep de Togores, Manuel Humbert, Josep Obiols, Joan Colom and Francesc Labarta. Since 1934 it has been home to the National Art Museum of Catalonia.

From 1996 to 2004 the palace was enlarged by Gae Aulenti, Enric Steegman, Josep Benedito and Agustí Obiol with the aim of creating spaces to accommodate all the works in the collection.

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The model of the National Palace, is unified in a style that at the time was called the Spanish Renaissance, with the air of academic classicism; in other words, the bet is the result of different functional forms and constructive procedures, solved with the technical language of the Barcelona School of Architecture of the second decade of the twentieth century, which was responsible for guaranteeing the buildings for the Exhibition.

The building was also a combination of traditional symmetry- based systems, clearly stated in their composition, and building procedures with more modern materials and techniques, such as the use of serial elements. and of concrete.

The building is organized on two floors: one as a base, and the main floor with double pilasters framing large blind wall panels. In the northeast, it also has a basement that was originally intended for kitchens at the time of its construction. There was a set of rooms comprising the Throne Room, with rooms for the King and Queen, and the museum section in the front of the building. At the rear were the party area and a small tea room, or restaurant, located on the body that protrudes behind the Great Hall. The facade consists of a protruding central body and two lateral bodies: the central one is crowned by a large dome, reminiscent of Saint Paul’s Cathedral.of London or that of the Basilica of St. Peter’s in the Vatican, with two smaller domes on both sides. To the four angles, in the part that corresponds to the Great Hall, are towers that bear a certain similarity with those of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela and the Giralda of Seville.

Interior decoration
The Palau’s architects’ project considered architectural decorative elements, such as columns, pediments, or moldings, but also interior decorations that included wall paintings and sculptures. All the ornamental part of these spaces depended on the Organizing Committee of the Exhibition, and an additional grant of 1,200,000 pesetas was granted. The director of the project was Lluís Plandiura, curator of Fine Arts at the Exhibition. The commissions began during the winter of 1928; therefore, the artists had only about three months to complete their work. The style of the artistic works belonged to the current that was predominant in Catalonia at that time, the so-called Noucentisme, which manifested especially in the main dome, the smaller domes, the Throne Room, the Great Hall and the Tea Room..

The architects Eugenio Cendoya, Enric Catà and Pere Domènech i Roura built the Palace as a temporary building for the 1929 Exhibition. In 1934 it was transformed into the headquarters of the Art Museum of Catalonia, with the rooms on the ground floor undergoing the most important transformation. The architect Ramon Reventóswas in charge of this rehabilitation in which the excessive decorations were suppressed and smooth walls were constructed to be able to hang the paintings. An outside water intake network was also performed to prevent moisture leaks and cracks in the walls were repaired.

The National Palace has been the subject of many and diverse interventions. A few years later the rooms on the upper floor were left unused after the Spanish Civil War due to the damage caused to the roofs. These were repaired during the rehabilitation in the 1960’s to host the great exhibition “Romanesque art” under the direction of the director of the art museums of Barcelona Joan Ainaud de Lasarte.

In the 1980’s, the Italian architect Gae Aulenti was hired to solve problems with the display of the large number of works of art being accumulated and to adapt the spacious interior spaces, of high ceilings, to the its functions as showrooms. In 1990, with the help of Enric Steegman, several rehabilitation works were started that were longer than expected due to technical complications; the works were done in phases and the museum gradually opened its collections. On the occasion of the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games, only part of the future museum and the refurbishment of the Great Hall could be presented, where the Opening Ceremony of the Olympiad was held.

In 2000 the last phase of reconstruction was started, in which the architect Josep Benedito collaborated. In 2003, a new temporary exhibition hall was inaugurated, and works were completed in 2004, with a total built-up area of 51,600 square meters, and thus the area added to the original building is 15,300 square meters. At the same time, the waterfalls in front of the Palace were restored. The definitive inauguration, by the kings of Spain, Juan Carlos I and Sofia of Greece, took place on December 16, 2004. This is a definitive structural intervention, which involves replacing the damaged elements and fixing the cornices in the building using titanium rods hidden in the structure.