@stupid-af-binch we can! Other people have asked similar questions (is this Jugendstil? is this Art Nouveau? is this Liberty?) so let's explain. Ill also use the opportunity to clear up some things many people seem to be misunderstanding about the post.
Let's start with the style.
At the end of the 19th century, a group of styles appear around Europe. They're known collectively as fin de siècle (which is simply French for "end of the century", not very original here). They share characteristics in common (stained glass, colours, flowers, curvy lines...) but have significant differences in each country, where they evolve at the same time and influence each other, but each one keeps some unique characteristics.
The style is called Art Nouveau in France and Belgium, Jugendstil in Germany, Liberty in Italy, Vienna Secession in Austria-Hungary, Glasgow Style in Scotland... and Modernisme in Catalonia.
I won't get into the characteristics of each (Wikipedia can help those who are interested in that), but Modernisme is more different from the others because it's so Catalan. It draws direct inspiration from Catalan traditional crafts and jobs (including ceramics, metalwork, traditional architecture), our symbology, legends and history, and worldview in general. It's not a surprise, since the Modernist art movement was also a political movement in favour of the cultural rights of Catalan people and the Catalan language, which had been oppressed and persecuted by the Spain, who controls Catalonia since the 1700s. (And was going to be even more brutally repressed and persecuted after the Modernisme movement, in the Spanish fascist dictatorships of the 20th century). There's also very cool Modernist literature in Catalan!
I will leave here the link to the Wikipedia article because I think it's very well explained, even just reading the introduction gives a good general idea.
If you know the cultural context, visiting Modernist architecture, reading Modernist poetry and prose, watching Modernist theatre and paintings, you can see they're so full of references to other places in Catalonia, to our legends and symbols, to the "pagesia" (countryside, agriculture and traditional clothes), and in Antoni Gaudí's case also to our Found Mothers of God and other Catalan religious elements.
Modernism cannot be understood without Catalan culture and the Catalan's fight for rights, because it was a movement that wanted to highlight precisely that.
And that's the problem with how most people reblogging this understood it, judging by the tags. This is not directly related to @stupid-af-binch's question, but I want to address it.
Everyone is calling this "Spanish fantasy" in the tags, but besides being simply false you should know that most of the architects who designed that would be offended if you said that.
Take Antoni Gaudí (architect of the Sagrada Família, Casa Batlló, Parc Güell, Palau Güell, etc), for example, since I included pictures of his work in the post. He was arrested by the police for defending his right to speak the Catalan language in his homeland Catalonia. He even refused to speak Spanish for years as a form of activism, to make a point against the imposition of Spanish and in favour of Catalan people being allowed to speak Catalan publicly in Catalonia. He was mocked, insulted, arrested and mistreated for this decision, but he didn't back down. So please do not attribute his achievements, which he reached taking inspiration from nature and from his culture, to those who want us dead.
Yes, Catalonia has been occupied by Spain for 300 years at this point. But that doesn't mean Catalan people don't exist anymore, that our art is the heritage of the occupier who repressed and persecuted the Catalan language and culture (including arts! many architects, writers, linguists, painters, etc had to go on exile to avoid getting executed!) to impose the Spanish language, culture and identity. If Spain had succeeded at imposing their homogenous Spanish culture on us, you would not have Modernisme nor the styles that it came from and after it. The reason why you can now enjoy it is because Catalan people fought back.
Spanish culture is very rich and has many cool things. Look that up if it's what you're looking for. You won't find Modernisme, but you'll find other things. But don't contribute to imperialist ideas by wrongfully atributting cultural elements, particularly when they're directly about resistance, to the State that tried (and still tries) to eradicate them.
I don't mean to sound mad at people who tag those things because I know most of them do it out of ignorance and not for ideological reasons and I did not explain it in the original post because I was not expecting it to get out of the small circle of people who usually interact with this blog. But it's important, and if you like Modernisme that's a very important thing to know.
Cultural diversity is the repository of human creativity. So let's fight against the discrimination and prejudices against oppressed cultures, and all of Humanity will benefit from it.
You know how fantasy worlds are almost always based on (mostly Central and Northern) European Medieval aesthetic and folklore?
For a while I’ve been thinking that if we had a fantasy world made here, it would be interesting to have it be inspired by Modernisme (the Catalan artistic movement from the late 19th century - early 20th century). I mean, look at this and tell me it doesn’t have potential:
Interior of the Sagrada Família basilica, Barcelona. The stained glass in different sides of the temple are different colours, so the light changes colour depending on the hour of the day. (Photo sources x x)
Illa de la Discòrdia, Barcelona. x
Benches in Parc Güell (Barcelona), made with the “trencadís”, the typical mosaic used in many of Antoni Gaudí’s works (he’s one of the most famous Modernist architects, and one of the most famous Catalan architects of all times too). x
A hall in Hospital de Sant Pau, Barcelona. x
Ceiling of Palau de la Música Catalana, a concert hall in Barcelona.
Lots of these things. This one is in Argentona (Catalonia, too). x
And fashion would be like this:
Stained glass in Cerdanyola, Catalonia. x
Illustrations by Gaspar Camps.
More stained glass, now in Museu del Modernisme, Barcelona. x
Modernist jewels by Lluís Masriera (I’ve talked about Modernist jewels in this previous post). x
Even the furniture:
Interior of Casa Amatller in Barcelona. x.
Even in wood looked pretty.
And lots of cool windows inspired by nature!
And from outside
Olot, Catalonia. x.
And of course all kinds of windows. Light is important!
Torre Bellesguard. x.
This ceiling in Palau Güell with holes to let light in. x.
And this lamp?? Also in Palau Güell. x.
Everything would have to be very curvy.
Casa Milà, Barcelona. x.
This bakery in Palma, Mallorca. x.
And I won’t begin with the tiles to not make the post longer…
What do you think?
And for people from other countries, what element in your culture do you think a fantasy world could be based on, aesthetically?
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On the public radio of Spain (RNE), payed with tax money.
I would like to know what do they think is so funny.
For those who don't understand Spanish, they're making fun of Catalan language use in TV. Transcription and translation:
SP: Van a hacer remakes también como Stranger Things será "Coses Estranyes" [risas], El Juego del Calamar será "El Joc del Calamar" [risas]
ENG: They'll remake it like Stranger Things will be "Coses Estranyes" [laughter], Squid Game will be "El Joc del Calamar" [laughter]
But this is already the case in Spanish. If you have Netflix Spain, Squid Game is called "El Juego del Calamar" (which simply means "Squid Game" in Spanish), that's just how translation works. Why is "El Juego del Calamar" (Spanish) normal but "El Joc del Calamar" (Catalan) so unthinkable that it causes so much laughter?
Besides, the woman who is speaking (who obviously doesn't speak Catalan), didn't even learn to pronounce those words right (estrinyis? really?) and is using an exaggerated mocking accent to ridicule Catalan.
Catalanophobia is so normalized in Spain and so integrated into the minds of so many people (as a result of, precisely, listening to this kind of sh*t all the time on radio, TV, newspapers, magazines, irl conversations, politicians, etc) that the mere thought of the Catalan language being used in public in something like Netflix become absolutely risible and unthinkable.
And this affects us too, because Catalan is so mocked that people want to distance themselves for it, so the use of Catalan language is quickly declining among young people because they think it's "uncool", "ridiculous" and not fit to talk to their friends or in public (thought they'll often speak it to their parents and grandparents), while Spanish has been made to be "cool", "respectable", "the normal thing", "the international language that everybody understands".
The Catalan language and culture have been persecuted for centuries, illegalized for half of the 20th century. Now we are legally allowed to speak it in some ambits (not all, we still cannot have a full life in Catalan) but at the cost of being ridiculed, not taken seriously, and facing consequences (for example, in Catalonia only 7.4% of trials are conducted in Catalan -the rest in Spanish- because many people fear they'll get harsher punishments for having defended themselves in Catalan).
I don't want my tax money to go to mocking my existance, nor the existance of other national minorities. But this is how Spain keeps us in line, police violence and this. This is how you make a culture so ashamed of itself that it gives up.
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