The effervescent, fashionable character of modern Barcelona has its origins in the period around 1900, when music, architecture, painting, sculpture and literature flourished as never before. Between 1880 and 1910 the city underwent an impressive transformation. For example; the revolutionary city development expansion; highly imaginative urban architecture and elegant interiors in the modernista style, Barcelona’s version of Art Nouveau.
Its lively artistic climate was concentrated on the Sala Pares, where avant garde artists who had been inspired in Paris exhibited in the artist refuge in Sitges and in the Els Quatre Gats café in Barcelona, where Picasso, Rusiñol and their bohemian friends met. But this blossoming of art and culture went hand in hand with far-reaching industrialisation and serious social and political tensions that culminated in the tragic final week of July 1909.
Helen Sijsling has been living in Spain for 20 years. Having read English Literature at Leyden University and Oxford University she worked as a teacher of English. After having attained an MA in Educational Management at the University of Amsterdam she worked in The Netherlands and the Caribbean as educational consultant for secondary schools, training managers in change management and teachers in new and effective ways to teach.
Now there is time to thoroughly enjoy other interests expressed in an earlier degree in History of Art (Leyden University) and she regularly gives lectures on History, Literature and Art subjects for The Arts Societies and other societies on the coast.