It’s mid week and I fancy some mosaics. Does that sound alright to you? Mosaics were used widely during the Modernisme period that Barcelona is famed for, and can still be seen around the city today – here are a few examples…
A wonderful example right on La Rambla, is the façade of pastry shop Escribà, where mosaics in ceramic and glass have been used in combination with stained glass. Gorgeous, isn’t it?
The butterfly (below) graces a residential building next door to Las Arenas, the former bull ring I wrote about some time ago. It’s colourful and rather naïf in style and takes up the width of the building, making it the largest butterfly I have ever seen.
These two vertical pieces, inset into gorgeous blood red and dark grey marble, belong to a pharmacy on the corner of Carrer Riera Alta and Carrer del Carme, just a couple of blocks away from the Cute Suite. The green used over all is fresh and the letter type and sinuous lines of the vine leaves (above) is quite typical of its time. The pretty flower (below) also uses green, combined with the purple and lilac of its petals. There are more panels with flowers and herbs on the walls of this pharmacy, so if you’re in the area, do check it out.
Two arch panels of mosaic. One from a couple of centuries ago, the other much more recent. The one from Carrer Montsió is very simple in appearance, but made in a time when symbolism played a very important part in all art forms, so those simple flowers and those leaves that resemble oak leaves (loosely) probably have a deeper meaning, as no doubt do the 3 crests with the chalice, candle stick and whatever the 3rd item is… (does anybody know?)
The example below, is purely decorative, and serves only to advertise the shop, which sells all kinds of hand made artifacts from the area around the Red Sea. They are going out of business and all items are on sale, so you may want to check it out if you are in the neighborhood.
Another shop sign, for a business long gone, on the walls of a residential building on Ronda de Sant Pau. Simple, yet very effective. The quality of the workmanship is excellent, for despite time and the damage that today’s polluted air and rain do to buildings, this mosaic is still resplendent and perched proudly on the wall.
That mosaics can also be applied to items that are used, not just displayed, can be seen all along Passeig de Gràcia, where the benches around the trees on every corner have been covered in a plain, off white mosaic. Not as plain as one might think! The tesserae (or bits used to create the mosaic) are made of marble, as can be seen below.
Another use of mosaic – sculpture! This one by Joan Miró stands tall and proud in the park named after him, which lies between Plaça Espanya and Sants train station. It is called Dona i Ocell (Woman and Bird), and is covered (mostly) in the primary colours that this artist was famed for.