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Lot n° 29

JOAN BUSQUETS I JANÉ (Barcelona, 1874 - 1949). Modernist...

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JOAN BUSQUETS I JANÉ (Barcelona, 1874 - 1949). Modernist sofa, ca. 1900. Walnut, metal, mother-of-pearl and glass paste. Stamped. Bibliography: J. Mainar, "El moble català" (Barcelona: Ajuntament, Museu d'Art de Catalunya, 1976). Measurements: 229 x 240 x 70 cm (sofa). Sofa with a monumental architectural structure that includes corner sideboards on the sides and two armchairs. It is a first-rate piece of furniture within Catalan modernisme, given that it was produced by one of the best workshops of the period, as well as the perfection and meticulousness with which each of its pieces was made. The sofa is made of walnut, mahogany and ash wood, decorated with carved elements, classical marquetry panels, metal fittings and mother-of-pearl inlays. The marquetry with more than 15 different fruit woods in a classic process consists of cutting out and inlaying individual pieces of different woods to form a generally pictorial design, in this case synthesised floral motifs of Gothic inspiration to match the carvings and the general structure of the furniture, combined with veneered backgrounds in wood with an expressive grain. The sofa has upholstered upholstery that includes the inside of the armrests and a high backrest with a low arched top. This arch is surmounted by a marquetry and veneer pediment, combined with Gothic-inspired carvings. The sofa also has a gently curved, typically Art Nouveau lower front flap, which is joined to short legs decorated with trilobate leaves, again in a distinctly Neo-Gothic style, carved in relief. The sides are enclosed by two large triangular pieces of furniture, designed as auxiliary sideboards with four sections, plus the pediment at the top. These side units consist of a lower door, decorated with floral marquetry on the front panel, and an open shelf whose top is placed at the height of the arms of the sofa. The side cabinet continues vertically with a mirrored panel flanked by carved pilasters with corbels in the upper part, which support an upper body conceived as a display cabinet, with a front door closed with a glass panel with bevelled profiles, following a leaded design again inspired by medieval art. These glazed doors have independent locks, located above a beautiful cut-out and openwork shield, and have curved and faceted handles, typical of modernism, similar to those we see on the doors at the base of these side panels. The sides of the display cases are decorated with a veneer in the centre of which is a floral marquetry medallion, combining different woods and mother-of-pearl. Above these showcases is the top of the top, in a Gothic pointed arch, with a mirrored base, Gothic trilobate leaves and lateral corridors, decorated with large Gothic leaves also carved in rounded mass.Furniture designer and decorator, Joan Busquets is currently considered one of the most representative figures of Catalan Modernisme. He began his training in the family workshop and went on to study at the Llotja School in Barcelona, where his teachers were Guitart and Lostaló. In the academic year 1895-96 he was awarded a scholarship which enabled him to travel around Spain, and which he obtained thanks to a project for a Renaissance-style cupboard-bookcase. He exhibited furniture projects for the first time at the Barcelona Exhibition of 1896. Joan Busquets' workshop was one of the most outstanding in Modernista Catalonia and is today, together with the production of Gaspar Homar, the most representative example of Catalan Modernista furniture and decoration. He was president of the Foment de les Arts Decoratives between 1918 and 1921, and supervised the manufacture of the furniture for Gaudí's Casa Calvet. Works by Busquets can currently be found in the Museu Nacional de Catalunya.

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