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Lot n° 32

FRANCESC VIDAL JEVELLÍ (Barcelona, 1848 - 1914). Mirror,...

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FRANCESC VIDAL JEVELLÍ (Barcelona, 1848 - 1914). Mirror, ca. 1900-1910. Mahogany wood, bronze, cloisonné enamel and Tiffany glass beads. With factory plaque. Measurements: 104 x 146 cm. Mirror designed by Francesc Vidal, made of mahogany wood, bronze and decorated with cloisonné enamel and thousands of Tiffany glass beads. The pieces of Tiffany glass were glued one by one to make the drawing, in this case butterflies and geometric ornaments. This piece was made in the Vidal and Jevelli workshops between 1900-1910. This piece was made in the workshops of Vidal and Jevelli between 1900-1910, at the end of the Alfonsina period and the beginning of Spanish Modernism. These pieces are unique due to the great complexity of their execution. In European Art Nouveau only Morris in the United Kingdom made some furniture with this technique. Francesc Vidal was one of the most outstanding artists and decorators in the city of Barcelona at the end of the 19th century, for being one of the first professionals to promote craftsmanship within the nascent Catalan aestheticism and modernism. One of the key events in understanding his personality and his innovative character was his stay at the Universal Exhibition in Paris in 1867, where he travelled to direct the exhibition of his father's bookbinding samples. In addition to witnessing the birth of Japonisme in the French capital, Vidal made contact with other young artists and stayed in the city to study at the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs, where his teacher was Louvrier de Lajolais. From Paris he also made a series of trips around Europe that enabled him to become acquainted with the artistic practices that were being promoted in the great capitals of the continent. He finally returned to Barcelona with the desire to modernise and Europeanise a city that was still too tied to tradition, introducing novelties such as the Japanese influence in interior decoration and the decorative arts. In 1878 he established himself as an art dealer, and in 1883 he inaugurated a building designed by Vilaseca, an unusual polytechnic complex, where he would work intensively from then on in the production of quality furniture, as well as glassware, metalwork and foundry complements. Rigalt and Masriera collaborated in his studio in the foundry, and Joan González, Gaspar Homar and Santiago Marco worked as designers. Vidal's clientele included the gentry and official corporations, and he made the furniture designed by Gaudí for the Güell Palace. He was also responsible for other important projects such as the decoration of Mayor Rius i Taulet, several rooms of the Círculo del Liceo and also royal commissions such as the bedrooms of the Royal Palace in Madrid and the cradle for the future Alfonso XIII. In fact, his works were in demand not only on the Peninsula, but also in America, which led Vidal to expand his business by forming a partnership with Frederic Masriera Manovens, and later to open shops in Madrid and Paris. Vidal exerted a great influence on the society of his time, and practised patronage with talented young people such as Pau Casals, Isaac Albéniz, C. G. Vidiella, etc. Simón Gómez, in his portrait of this outstanding cabinetmaker, painted perhaps the finest portrait in Catalan painting of his time. His shop had by then become one of the focal points for those who wanted to have the best and most modern interior decorations, thanks to his innovative production impregnated with the English Arts & Crafts spirit and the theories of Adrien de Longpérier. Due to this great demand, Vidal also paid attention to historicist styles, whether of Baroque or Gothic inspiration, and produced eclectic works with an orientalising component that was very fashionable among the bourgeoisie of the time. Works by Francesc Vidal can be found in the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya and in the Museu Nacional d'Arts Decoratives, as well as in the Museu Nacional d'Art Contemporani de Catalunya and the Museu Nacional d'Arts Decoratives.

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