Anything created

This is about the most normal-looking you'll find in Park Guell,  but it's a good representation of how beautiful a place it is.  May 2008

This is about the most normal-looking spot you’ll find in Park Güell,
but it’s a good representation of how beautiful a place it is. May 2008

“Anything created by human beings is already in the great book of nature.”
Antoni Gaudi

One year ago today I published a post that is one of my favorites, because it includes a link to a delightful PBS re-mix featuring Fred Rogers.  It’s all about how “you can grow ideas in the garden of your mind.”  When I went back to that post, I was reminded of Antoni Gaudi, whose mind must have been one of the most strangely fantastic gardens of all time.

I had never heard of Gaudi until we visited Barcelona, but seeing his work at various places in that city was an unforgettable experience.  In fact, our time at Park Güell stands out in my mind as one of the most wonderful memories in the two-week trip of a lifetime.  I’m not the first person who thinks immediately of Dr. Seuss when seeing Gaudi’s eccentric buildings; the similarities are fairly obvious.  Scholars have suggested that Gaudi was almost certainly an influence in Theodor Geisel’s whimiscal fantasy illustrations.

Imagine my surprise, then, to find that Gaudi was a devout ascetic who wanted to parallel divine creation by following natural  law.  He apparently thought of his creations as being based on earthly landscapes, where he perceived only curved lines. I suppose it makes sense from that standpoint, but a quick visual review of the beautifully odd works he created might give you an idea why I see his architecture as the most otherworldly constructions I’ve come across.  And their vibrant colors and elaborate designs are not remotely suggestive of the spare, abstemious existence he embraced in his personal life.

Very few professional artists, let alone amateurs, can hope to leave the sort of unique fingerprint Gaudi achieved, but that’s probably a good thing.  Regardless, we can be inspired by his singular vision, and cultivate our own gardens of ideas with which we can decorate our lives and our personal corners in the world.

Do you agree with Gaudi that all art (even his own whimsical work) has its source in nature?  What do you think of his creations?

One year ago today

The garden of your mind

Do yourself a favor– follow the link above to “The Garden of your mind” and watch the video there. It’s such a day brightener!

This post was first published seven years ago today. The original post, comments and photo are linked, along with two other related posts, below. These links to related posts, and their thumbnail photos, do not appear in the blog feed; they are only visible when viewing the individual posts by clicking on each one. I have no idea why, nor do I know how they choose the related posts. That’s just the way WordPress does things.

4 Comments

  1. Wow! I can see nature in Gaudi’s works, but more of the amazing aspects, like honeycombs, and the way rock can be with down by sea and sandstone by the wind.
    Thanks for sharing such interesting info on people, history, and places around the world. I passed through Barcelona one early morning, but now I want to go back and see this garden!

    • It’s well worth a trip to Barcelona just to see Parc Guell, but of course there are many other charming sights there as well. Despite having had my one and only experience with being personally robbed there (a push and grab on the subway, not dangerous) I still have mostly fond memories of that fascinating city.

  2. Amy

    How appropriate this post is today. I’m sure you planned it that way. What a sad world we are going to be living in if Dr Suess is taken away from us.

    Gaudi’s work is amazing. The church in Barcelona stunning and I do see where he paralleled God’s artwork in this amazing world.

    • Actually, it was not planned at all, but it is a bit of serendipity. I schedule these re-postings a month in advance on the seventh anniversary of their original posting. We could hardly have anticipated how quickly these attempts at censorship would take root, but Dr. Seuss will never be taken from us. I really believe that. Gaudi was something of an acquired taste for me in many respects, including the Sagrada Familia, but it was love at first sight with Parc Guell. What a magical place it is.

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