Leisure and social life


Leisure and social life

Leisure and social life

Leisure and social life are two of the ambits most looked after by the Barcelona bourgeoisie.  The cafés and other venues that emulate the most prestigious French saloons become centres of great importance for the development of an art that, in part, responds to these needs.  

The Passeig de Gràcia lived its most splendid moment during the Modernist period and that is where the cafés and theatres emerged, the high bourgeoisie made it their cosmopolitan boulevard. The Maison Dorée, the Cafè de la Lluna and the Cafè Torino, are good examples. 

Some of these premises are also a reference for intellectuals and artists, such as Els Quatre Gats, for which Picasso himself designed the  menúIn its decoration, neogothic elements are mixed with more popular ones, such as plates, tiles and pottery jars.  The large quantity of paintings that decorate the bar, among them the Tandem by Ramon Casas, round up the image as the establishment as an icon that could sum up the whole of Modernisme.  

After a few years, at the end of the first decade of the 20th century, this framework would radically change, and Modernisme received bitter criticisms, in the name of the return to good taste and the good name of the city.  The houses were redecorated and the objects that were considered sumptuous were put away in a corner.  Voices even emerged that demanded that these constructions, which until then had been the symbol of the bourgeoning bourgeoisie, be knocked down.  One period came to end while another started out.



Ramon Casas and Pere Romeu on a tandem
This work has been selected for the project «Partage Plus – Digitising and Enabling Art Nouveau for Europeana»