Finca GŁell by Joan Bassegoda
History of the Catedra
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Joan Bassegoda Articles
Gaudinian milestones 2004
Two unedited Gaudí Lamps
Salvador Dalí and Antonio Gaudí
Gaudí and Jujol
The Religious Art of SalvadorDalí
The portico of the Saint Anthony the Abbot church
June: Two Gaudí's anniversaries
The Relationship with Gaudí and Carles Mani
 

Two Unedited Gaudí Lamps

In the middle of the 19th century, the nuns of Jesus Maria founded several institutes for young ladies in Tarragona and San Andrés de Palomar. The architect and professor Juan Torras Guardiola, who was born in San Andrés, built a church in neogothic style for the lay sisters – at present the San Paciano parish - incorporating an altar with a considerable altar-piece created by Antonio Gaudí in 1879. In those early days, Gaudí followed the style of his friend and master Juan Martorell Montells. Behind the altar and the altar-piece in the priest choir, there were also four gilt wood hanging lamps attached to the wall, on which a bird surrounded by a snake was represented. In 1890, the nuns of Jesus Maria sold their institute and chapel to the Maristas Brothers and settled in the sizable institute of the “Paseo de Sant Gervasi”, a recent construction of architect Enrique Sagnier Villavecchia. Some elements of the San Andrés chapel, including the four gilt wood lamps from the priest choir, were moved to the new school building along with the rest. When in 1969 I worked on the restoration of the Gaudí altar (1880), intended for the chapel of the Tarragona School in calle Méndez Núñez, I was informed about the existence of those Gaudinian elements. When I visited the Sant Gervasi school, in the chapel’s vestibule, I could see and photograph two of the Gaudí lamps I had published in my monograph “The works of Gaudí for the nuns of Jesus Maria” (Barcelona, 1969) and later in “El gran Gaudí” (Sabadell, 1989). Fortunately I made these pictures, because the San Andrés chapel was set on fire during the Tragic Week of July 1909 and the Gaudí altar disappeared. There’s only one picture left on which we can see the altar and four gilt-wood lamps. Stored in the archives of the San Gervasi College, with the epigraph “La chapelle de Saint André en grand fête”, it was published in 2002 by ABC Cataluña. Well informed by the mother archivist of the School, I heard about the existence of the two other Gaudí lamps situated in the chapel’s sacristy. Last November 28th, accompanied by the mother archivist, her sister mother María del Claustro Bonet and the sexton mother, I visited the Sant Gervasi College, saw the two lamps of the ante-chapel, entered the sacristy through the door behind the altar and photographed the two lamps outlining a Crucifix. Published for the very first time today, these pictures complete the quartet Gaudí had projected. It seems to be almost untrue, but 76 years after his death, it is still possible to reveal more of Gaudí’s works and complete the countless and sometimes repetitive studies about the great architect.

Juan Bassegoda i Nonell, Conservator of the Real Cátedra Gaudí
Barcelona, Friday December 5th 2003