Masriera, Master of Modernism

Barcelona, St. Martin's Day, December 21, 1901: A few days before Christmas, the gas-lit sidewalks along the Carrer de Ferran are filled with finely dressed ladies and gentlemen, while carriages jam the street, jockeying for position to deposit still more holiday shoppers. The dense knot of foot traffic thickens, then stops dead in front of the glistening windows of the jeweler Masriera Hermanos. Something new has arrived in Barcelona. Art Nouveau jewelry, the spirit of "Modernisme," shimmers and spreads its wings before a captive audience. Within a week the showcases are empty, and the name "Masriera" is soon spoken with new regard throughout Europe. The jeweler and the jeweled city. Lluis Masriera, the third generation of Masriera jewelers, caught Barcelona by surprise and achieved "overnight success" in 1901. He was born into a family and into a culture where the arts and so

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