Prie Dieu by Antoni Gaudi

This unique prie dieu, or prayer desk, was specially commissioned for the interior of Casa Batlló by world renowned Catalan architect and sculptor Antoni Gaudi. Crafted by Gaudi in 1906 in collaboration with the famed sculptor Jaume Busquets, the important ébéniste Gaspar Homar, and the Symbolist painter Aleix Clapes, this extraordinary piece represents an astonishing culmination of Catalonian design. As a work of great historical significance as well as a wholly unique example of Catalan Modernisme, this prie dieu is among the greatest masterpieces of the turn of the century decorative arts.

Standing at nearly 9 feet tall, the prie dieu is crafted of rare Thuya wood with a graceful curved silhouette that echoes the organic forms of Gaudi's beloved and well-known architectural designs. Demonstrating both Gaudi's love of color and fascination with light, the four-light fixture is covered by its exquisite stained glass pergola that brings to mind the classic beauty of Tiffany glass, but at nearly four times the size of a typical Tiffany lamp. Accented with exquisitely forged gilt metal blossoms, the sum total of the design is one of visual harmony that perfectly captures the sensuous and symphonic nature of Gaudi's work.

The imaginative prie dieu was perfectly suited to the interior of the fantastical Casa Batlló. Designed by Gaudi for Lluís Sala Sánchez in 1877, and updated by Gaudi in 1904/6 for Josep Batlló, the Barcelona mansion is a magnificent example of domestic architecture combining Art Nouveau and Modernisme. Innovative in its conceptualization of both space and light, the building uses traditional materials, including stone, wood, pottery, and glass, to create the inspired design and whimsical forms for which Gaudi is world renowned.

Antoni Gaudi is internationally recognized as a master of Spanish architecture and the Modernista movement. Considered to be the driving force behind the Art Nouveau influenced Modernisme, Gaudi is known best for his extraordinary architectural works found throughout Barcelona. The motifs in his more elaborate designs, such as the Casa Batlló, were inspired by his greatest passions in life: architecture, nature, and religion. Gaudi was considerate of each and every detail of his creations, from their overall form to the extraordinary objets d'art he designed throughout, this singular prie dieu included. His works continue to enjoy a global popularity and admiration, and his one-of-a-kind creations such as the present piece almost never come on the market.

Circa 1906

24" wide x 41" deep x 102" high

Item No. 30-4241