One of the great architects of Catalan Modernism
Lluís Domènech i Montaner was born in Barcelona on December 21st, 1850, and died on December 27th, 1923. He was one of the most important protagonists of Catalan Modernism, and several of his works have been recognized as UNESCO World Heritage sites. Son of editor Pere Domènech i Saló and Maria Montaner, he studied architecture and mathematical physics and graduated in 1873.
When he finished his studies, he was able to travel around Europe, exposing himself to new architectural trends. Upon returning to Barcelona, he joined the School of Architecture as a lecturer, and became its director in 1900, being able to train students such as Josep Puig i Cadafalch, Antoni Gaudí, Josep M. Jujol, ...
Domènech i Montaner also stood out as a designer of typefaces and bookbindings, and as a book illustrator. He also collaborated with the main Catalan publications of the time such as La Renaixença, La Veu de Catalunya, and founded the magazine El Poble Català. He published many books and articles, and collaborated with several different publishers. Through the family business, the editorial Montaner i Simon, he initiated and directed the art encyclopedia Historia General del Arte, which was continued later by Josep Puig i Cadafalch.
In 1904, as a member of Centre Excursionista de Catalunya, he went on an expedition to the Pyrenees to visit the ancient middle-age churches, which he named as First Romanesque, and where he prepared material on Romanesque art for his studies and his classes.
We can not forget his political side, though, since he was one of the founders of political Catalan nationalism and founder of the Regionalist League, which soon became the main political force in Catalonia. He focused in the world of politics in 1870, and committed to his belief in Catalan nationalism, he also founded the Catalanist Union in 1891. He chaired the assembly that drafted the Bases de Manresa, the document that served as the basis for the self-government of Catalonia. He became a member of the Spanish Parliament in 1901. Because of disagreements with political leader Francesc Cambó, he split from the party in 1904 and distanced himself from politics to focus on research and history.
He married Maria Roure Carnesoltes, who was originally from Canet de Mar, and had 8 children. Domènech i Montaner died in Barcelona in 1923, after a long illness that had him convalescing in his home in Canet de Mar. Away from his political life and his profession, he spent his last few days working on his studies of the history and heraldry of Catalonia.