No. 21 – The Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

Sagrada Familia, Barcelona - Illustration by Jonathan Chapman

The Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família (English: Basilica and Expiatory Church of the Holy Family) is the world famous unfinished Roman Catholic church in Barcelona. It was designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí (1852–1926) whose work on the building is now part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In November 2010 Pope Benedict XVI consecrated and proclaimed it a minor basilicaas distinct from a cathedral, which must be the seat of a bishop. Construction of Sagrada Família started in 1882 under architect Francisco de Paula del Villar. In 1883, when Villar resigned, Gaudí took over as chief architect, transforming the project with his architectural and engineering style. Gaudí devoted the remainder of his life to the project, and at the time of his death at age 73 in 1926, less than a quarter of the project was complete.

Relying solely on private donations, the Sagrada Familia’s construction has progressed slowly and finally passed the midpoint in 2010. However, some of the project’s greatest challenges remain, including the construction of ten more spires, each symbolising an important Biblical figure in the New Testament. It is anticipated that the building can be completed by 2026 which would also mark the centenary of Gaudí’s death.

So here is my painting of the famous Gaudí architectural masterpiece. The unfinished Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, which is a joyful combination of Gothic and curvilinear Art Nouveau forms. It was quite the challenge to represent it in an illustration, defining a few choice details but also leaving a sense of the facade being changed over time. I’ve yet to make it here in person, but it’s right at the top of my wishlist!

You can follow along with my world series here on the studio blogfacebooktwitter or instagram.

Next up: No.22 – The Øresund Bridge, Copenhagen & Malmö.