Historicism. Intellectual tendency to reduce human reality to its historicity or historical condition.
The interest during the XIX century in the architectural styles of other times has very different roots: we can speak of religious renewal and revitalization, of identifications with a historical past, of evocations mythified by romantic feelings, but also of searching for a style that opens new paths to the crisis that the gradual abandonment of the classical model had posed.
In Europe , since the beginning of the 19th century, a strong desire to rescue the past is evident | Medieval ; in our country it is delayed for some years, with literature being in charge of preparing this step with a wide repertoire of works (mostly during the 1930s), already within the romantic movement. The first architectural manifestations are of an ephemeral nature : arches , galleries , kiosks erected for very specific events. The first style that appears is Gothic , but a few years apart the other path of our medieval art emerged: Islamic Architecture, already interpreted in the 18th century through more fragile structures, usually for outdoors, and now, in principle, around the middle of the century, based on Pseudomuslim interior decorations .
: As he was delving into archaeological studies new stylistic possibilities were discovered NeoRomanesque , Neomudejar , neo – Byzantine , neo – Arab, etc., but the one that develops with more force reaching all corners was undoubtedly the neo-Gothic. In all of them, development always offered two possibilities: archaeological recreation, that is, the repetition of formulas faithful to the ancient examples or the use of freer forms, sometimes because it did not maintain respect for the original model, others for the indiscriminate use of anachronically coupled formulas, which occurred especially at the beginning, due to historical ignorance. This last option would rather form part of the chapter of Eclecticism .
Outstanding Historicist Architects
Within the group of historicist architects is Federico Aparici , who adds the teacher to his creative side. His most interesting work is neo-Romanesque, The Covadonga Basilica , designed following the model of the final Romanesque.
Like Cubas, Aparici cannot be removed from French memory, fusing it with Hispanic forms.
For Catalonia , the neo-Gothic represents identification with its national style. The Gothic years appear as the most prosperous in the Principality, never being surpassed. For this reason, in this search to find its roots, the Gothic was the most usual, but there was no lack of other neo-Romanesque examples. The figure in charge of giving shape to this general feeling was the Architect Elías Rogent .
He founded the Provincial School of Architecture of Barcelona ( 1871 ), directing it for fifteen years. Thanks to this, Madrid ceased to hold a monopoly on the training of architects, connecting with the general sentiment and becoming the diffuser of historicist ideas in Catalonia. His main work was the Neo-Romanesque Literary University of Barcelona . Rogent assumes historicism based on national principles and, with a repertoire of his own forms, the product of his investigations, which means abandoning part of the archaeological path. Neomudéjar is possibly the historicism that best identifies with the genuinely Hispanic.
Compared to the ” Revivals ” that we could classify as international (Romanesque, Gothic, etc.), the Mudéjar is an exclusive production of our country. In 1859 , José Amador de los Ríos specified it and characterized in his speech at the Academy ” The Mudejar style in architecture “. Its uniqueness makes it the model chosen in 1873 for the Pavilion that was to represent Spain at the Universal Exposition in Vienna that year. The project was carried out by Lorenzo Álvarez Capra , also the author of the church of La Paloma (Madrid, 1896 ) .However, more important is theBullring of this same capital ( 1874 ) designed by Emilio Rodríguez Ayuso . With this building it was possible to banish the Roman model hitherto used. In this way, Rodríguez Ayuso becomes the great diffuser of the new style. In the Aguirre Schools in Madrid ( 1884 ).