About Us

We are a workshop-store located in the Eixample district in Barcelona (Spain). specialise on violin, viola and cello sales, and all his accessories like strings, bows, cases, mutes, shoulder rests... In our atelier we made all kind of restorations. We control the high quality of all our instruments, for sell and to rent thanks to our experimented luthiers team.

As importers, we are up to date with the latest innovations in the market. Thus, we can always offer you the best selection and the widest range of domestic and international instruments and accessories for violin, viola and violoncello, either for students and the most demanding professionals. Our guarantee gives us the constant recognition of our customers, by our friendly treatment and accomplished work since 1986.
 
In our workshop we perform all types of restorations, fine-tuning and quality controls of the instruments we sell thanks to our team of experimented Luthiers. We also have a wide range of antique instruments and bows with full guarantee of Checking and restoration of the instruments, Perfect performance of the instrument and bow, a certificate of authenticity or valuation of the instruments or bows, the possibility of insuring the instrument, and preferential maintenance and restoration for instruments purchased in our shop.

About Xavier Vidal i Roca

After 40 years of experience, the trajectory of Xavier Vidal i Roca is endorsed and recognized by leading professional musicians, cultural institutions, public organizations and by our over 8000 customers.

He has held several conferences in recognized musical schools, collaborations in media and broadcasting, cultural organizations and public institutions. He has also played a leading role in the dissemination of the office, forming or completing the formation of several luthiers.

Founding member of the AEML (Spanish Association of Master Luthiers) after AEA (Association of Luthiers and Bowmakers of Spain) where he was president between 2000 and 2003. Later he was a founding member and president between 2003 and 2007 of the GLAE (Guild of Luthiers and Bowmakers of Spain).

In 2004 the Comissió d'Artesania de Catalunya - Generalitat de Catalunya - Departament de Comerç, Turisme i Consum granted the degree of Master Craftsman of the Luthier office.

Location: Granell and Manresa Building

The architect:
Jeroni Ferran Granell Manresa (Barcelona, 1867-1931) was born in a renowned architect’s family. His father Jerome Granell i Mundet was a foreman that between 1878 and 1882 became the president of the “Centre de Mestre d’Obres” (foreman center). 
He studied architecture, in 1891 he graduated. Josep Puig i Cadafalch was his professor and he collaborated in many occasions with Domenech i Montaner.
Jeroni Ferran Granell i Manresa was one of the most original Modernism architect from Barcelona, standing out for the creation of distinctive graffiti on the buildings facades, which there are many examples. He first was associated with the glassmaker Antoni Rigalt, then he created his own firm revitalizing the stained glass and making lots of the Barcelona stained glass windows as the ones from “el Palau de la Música Catalana” (Palace of Catalan Music), “la casa Lleó Morera”(Lleó Morera House) or  “l'Hospital de Sant Pau” (Sant Pau Hospital).  
 

Background:
For centuries, Barcelona was confined within the medieval walls making impossible to expansion.  It was a way of keeping the city subdued but it caused serious problems to the population because the lack of hygiene added to the arrival of diseases made increase the mortality rate.  Just between 1821 and 1865 three cholera outbreaks and one yellow fever caused more than 22,300 deaths. A very high figure considering that the total population was 187,000 people.
In order to face this situation, in 1854 it was approved the walls destruction with the exception of the sea wall that was destroyed in 1888 to make the first Universal Exhibition in Barcelona. Ildefons Cerdà was chosen as the responsible of the project. His intention was to create a modern city following the Paris example by Haussman. Creating avenues to facilitate the movement of not only cars but also air and introduce water, gas and sewage systems to improve the population life quality. Cerdà with his project, also wanted to achieve that the different social classes share the same territory avoiding ghettos. The poor’s on the lower floors and the rich’s in the highest having more decorated facades. But the true was that rich people bought the Eixample buildings and the middle class and poor’s had to move to the suburbs.
Many middle-class families, who enriched thanks to the Industrial Revolution, settled in the heart of Eixample. They wanted to show to the society their economic power by hiring the best architects of the time to design and build their homes. The Catalan Modernism was born because society wanted to make up with nature due to the industrialization effects. They decorated streets and buildings with nature features to rebel against the industrial city proliferation.   

 
The building:

Located in the number 122 of Girona St, was made by the architect Jeroni Ferran Granell i Manresa. It is a good example of modernist architecture of the late XIX century and the beginning of the XX. In that area, called the Golden Quarter, there are many examples of this architectural movement.
The materials used for the structure are solid brick and iron beams. It is also used elements to make beauty the inside and the facade as wood, glass and iron. The façade stands out by the large windows, decorative relieves, architectural drawings and colors.
The mauve background with greenish vines cover the hold façade. His vegetable election may have different explanations or it could be just for aesthetics taking advantage of the Mediterranean culture influence. What is certain is that once Catalonia recovered from phylloxera, it became an important wine production region that helped Modernism to develop with the bourgeois families contributions, which had wine business. Perhaps Granell had selected this fruit for the decoration thinking about the wide opportunity of finding a buyer in this business sector.
The window shutters are painted with a purple that reminds to the wine color. But once, an owner from one of the apartments explained a different story during the rebuilding of the façade to the workers. It seems that the main idea of the purple color was because of the gardenias, which can be also appropriated since this flower is a symbol of subtlety and artistic merit.
This restoration was made in 1978 by Toni Solanes who won the facades restoration of Barcelona award that year. On the low floors windows it also stands out for the iron forging, continuing the sinuous lines of graffiti and floral motifs. During the XIX century appeared around all Europe the nationalisms movements seeking the glorious past in order to justify these feelings of exaltation and identity. Catalonia focused on the middle Ages.
The era of Romanesque art, considered as the country formation, and the Gothic period, when economic power growth through the Mediterranean trade, they both took importance after having been discredited. When Granell was 10 years old it was founded the Barcelona trekker center which one of its most important mission wat to recover all the medieval art scattered throughout the territory. The reason of the recover was to preserve it. In these architectural works the iron, glass and wood are worked with great delicacy. The artists of Catalan Modernism would use the influences of these periods as inspiration for the treatment of these materials. Currently many of these recovered works are in the MNAC.
 
At the front door we can admire how the architect plays with the color effects produced by the light coming through the window, which is decorated with floral motifs. These flowers come alive and die every day due to the sunlight. Crossing this door we reach to a very wide hall richly decorated with green engravings reproducing vegetables forms. The corridor leads to the staircase and elevator to access to the apartments that are also richly decorated with floral motifs. Early in the morning this hall is bathed in light and the colors are filtered through the window creating a warm and welcome space atmosphere. 
Glass work was very important in Jeroni Ferran Granell’s life. Along with Antoni Rigalt, they created a stained glass company. As this company they worked with iconic works of Catalan Modernism. This building has surely one of the best examples of modernist stained glass windows and the idea of a total art where architecture, sculpture, metalwork, painting, ceramics, glass or wood come together to create an art where all elements are in equal importance. The term Total Art was coined by Richard Wagner who wanted to integrate music, theater and visual arts. Currently, music also shares the intention of the Catalan modernist to create a space where all the arts come together. 
 
On the mezzanine floor we can find the Luthier Master Xavier Vidal i Roca studio where there are built, restored and tested classic string instruments roped in a relaxed, elegant and such a friendly atmosphere like it was pretended in these stately homes in the early twentieth century.
Once on the stairs we can see an elevator from that period that leads to the different floors and houses. Four floors with two symmetrical houses each, plus the mezzanine where the Master Vidal studio is.
 
The interior housing consists about 180m2 making it very spacious. The sense of space is also due to the addition of the three meters of high of the ceilings as was common in many houses of the time. In the front rooms the light comes inside strong and the decoration on the ceilings is understated but beautiful and elegant. It consists of a series of reliefs made of stucco reproducing floral motifs. The items chosen are artichokes, chestnuts and buds and / or figs.
The artichoke meaning corresponds to fertility and exuberance symbol. These are found at the entrance hall that leads to the rest of the house. Chestnuts are located in the main room and represent the strength of generosity and justice. Finally, the las variety is the most difficult to identify. It could be prickly or buds. If they were figs, they would be associated with survival but also generosity, hospitality and natural beauty. In case they were buds, they would be associated with agricultural wealth. But the truth is that anyway they are all fruits related to the exuberance, generosity and natural wealth.
This interest of the bourgeoisie of the time to show their wealth and status is not only in the façade (appearance) but also inside the houses where the symbols have the propose to show how are their residents.  The leaves of the ceiling are not currently polychrome although it had been at the beginning. Currently the notes of color that we find in the painted fruits with golden pigments highlights them above the rest.
Plant and floral motifs were widely used at the time of Modernism since industrialization had removed people from nature. Both artists and all urban classes wanted to recover through the decorative furniture, engravings, stained glass and other types of decorative elements these natural elements lost in their day a day life. Granell’s house is reveled to us like a small botanical garden petrified by the magic of the architect.
The beauty of the apartment’s interior is not due only to the decoration of the ceilings but also the floors. As says the architect who was in charge of the restoration of the house, Toni Solanas, 'the pavements in the main rooms are made of hydraulic mosaic and in the room service are made of ceramic. The mosaic pretends to follow the shapes of a carpet as is usual. Like many other modernist houses of the time, like the Casa Batlló, l’Ametller, Lleó Morera  or Fuster, the Granell’s house takes its name from its promoter. What is different in this case than on the rest of the cases is that the promoter was also the architect.
This allowed Jerome Ferran Granell to have total freedom while creating the building. He did it without any art restriction. This is an important point, because the ideals of the Modernism Art wanted the freedom of the creator but the reality was that often the architects had limitations imposed by the promoters of the work. One of the best known cases is Gaudí’s work during the construction of the Batlló house where the family Batlló did change the initial project because they didn’t agee with his artistic vision. The case ended up in court for modification of the initial project. Modernism want freedom to create shapes that previously were not. Domenech i Montaner, one of the first modernist architects wanted to highlight two aspects: a desire for national inspiration in historic styles such as Romanesque and Gothic architecture and Catalan creativity and confidence in the expertise of the architect to be served by the best suitable styles.
About Granell’s house, these ideas raised by Domenech i Montaner were achieved being the promoter of the work and the architect the same person, as he could leave free the imagination without any contingency and create what he considered his best work. But Granell has other buildings spread around Barcelona, since he lived in one of the most decisive moments of the Catalan Modernism. Having been born in a family of renowned architects, sure that his father instilled in him a love for work. We all admire his works and his elegant sobriety interest to beautify buildings using various techniques and artistic elements.
Granell died in 1931, like Santiago Rossignol, another versatile artist of Catalan Modernism. This artistic trend was no longer in vogue at the time of Granell’s death, but had helped Barcelona to have the appearance characteristic we all know.
 

Text adaptation by Carme Balcells y Aleix Moncal.
 
 
 

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