There are countless sides to the symbolic production of modernity and many of them are, unparadoxically, conservative. Both the Church and the institutions of the bourgeoisie developed monumental public art –architecture, sculpture, mural painting, etc.–, which, through the techniques of modernity, conveyed a traditional message of power and hierarchy. The artists themselves, found suitable ways on the market’s conventional circuits –galleries, exhibitions or salons– to satisfy the guilty conscience of the bourgeoisie: poverty, old age, human hardship, charity or religious sentimentalism became successful artistic subjects.
Francesc Gimeno, Nena dormint, 1895-1898
Leo van Aken, Misèria humana, 1890
Joaquim Mir, La catedral dels pobres, 1898
Rafael Sanchis Yago, Escena d'interior, 1911