Treasures of The Library of Orfeó Català

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GRAPHIC ARTS

While modernism was the driving force of culture in Barcelona at the turn of the century, the Orfeó Català, with the intention of favouring the Renaissance of Catalan music, extended its influence to different spheres, also creating the Revista Musical Catalana (1904-1936, 1st stage), a publication that contributed to stimulating the artistic euphoria of the moment.

 

First institutional poster of the Orfeó Català

Adrià Gual. Cartell institucional de l’Orfeó Català. Barcelona: lit. Henrich y cª, ca.1904. Chromelithography (77 x 109 cm)

 

First institutional poster of the Orfeó Català

First institutional poster of the Orfeó Català

Institutional poster of the Orfeó Català, designed by Adrià Gual and printed in the workshops of Henrich i Cia. of Barcelona. The central theme is the Catalan flag of the Orfeó, of which, with a show of great originality, only the very top can be seen, the banner with the coat of arms of Catalonia, the sides and the bow that decorate it and the top part of the banner strictly speaking with the inscription “Orfeó”. A string of birds symbolizing songs fly around the Catalan flag. In the background, the mountains of Montserrat can be seen. In the lower part, etched on a ribbon, are the inscriptions “Barcelona” and “Catalan”, and this last word, arranged under the ensign, makes legible the inscription “Orfeó Català”. The Catalan flag was the most emblematic symbol of the Orfeó. It was designed by architect Antoni M. Gallissà and embroidered by the Ladies’ Board and the singers. It was blessed by the bishop Morgades at Montserrat on 11 October 1896 and, for this reason, here as well as on the ceramic panel that crowns the façade of the Palau, the mountains form part of the images associated with the Orfeó. The central theme of the poster – the Catalan flag, birds and the mountain range –, following the project of Gual, was also used in the series of shares issued in 1906 to finance for the construction of the Palau de la Música Catalana. From a plastic point of view it is a great modernity, in the originality of presenting an unusual frame, just a fragment of the Catalan flag, and due to the contrast of the colours used: the purple mountains that contrast with the yellow birds with tones very much of the modernist aesthetic.

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