The Four Geniuses-Gaudi-Picasso-Miro-Casals-Following In Their Footsteps

    The Four Geniuses: Gaudí, Picasso, Miró and Casals – Following In Their Footsteps – Part 1 – Preparation & Thoughts

    Four Geniuses Route CataloniaBefore our exciting trip to follow, humbly, in the footsteps of the four geniuses – Gaudi, Miró, Pau Casals and Picasso – I have started thinking about one of my favourite subjects. This is the effect that our environments can have on us; potentially what happens if we change our environments and of course, how these elements inter-play with the influences and work of the artistic people that we most admire….and our own creative processes as well!

    I have to admit that I am actually very happy that we haven’t visited, as yet, any of these four places. So our first impression and connections with them will be as we hold in our consciousnesses the spirits and legacies of these amazing men. At the time of writing, this blog is only a few months old, and so we’ve only travelled to a small amount of towns and villages so far. However before losing myself, and maybe yourself, in my thoughts about this journey, let me just tell you about the Four Geniuses Route. It takes in the following spots connected with these four creative geniuses:

    The Four Geniuses Route – A Brief Overview

    Four Geniuses Gaudi

    Gaudí and Reus Reus is the town where Gaudí was born and lived until he went, aged 18, to Barcelona to study architecture. The years of his studies spanned from 1870 to 1878, but this was because they were interrupted due to his military service. In 1878 he sold his home in Reus and moved to Barcelona.





    Four Geniuses MiroMiró and Mont-roig – Joan Miró didn’t go to Mont-roig until he was 18 years old, at which stage he went in order to recuperate from typhoid fever. But from there on in, he spent 65 years going there in the summertime, to immerse himself in this special village and its lovely surroundings, where he found his creative inspiration. He said ‘All of my work is conceived in Mont.-roig.’



    Four Geniuses Pablo Casals


    Pau Casals and El Vendrell – Commonly called Pablo in Spanish, Casals was born on 29th December 1876 in El Vendrell. He is recognised internationally as one of the greatest cellists of the 20th century, as well as being one of the finest orchestra conductors and performers of his era.

    His musical studies took him to both Madrid and Barcelona, and during his career he performed in some of the world’s most important concert halls. However he went into exile because of the outcome of the Civil War. Although he died in Puerto Rico, his remains are now in the El Vendrell cemetery.



    Four Geniuses PicassoPicasso and Horta de Sant Joan – If you love Picasso’s work, you may already be aware of this following quote:

    “Everything I know, I learned in Horta.”

    His first trip was when he was ill with scarlet fever, and lasted from the summer of 1898 until February 1899. At the end of the trip he was filled with good energy again, because of the Els Ports mountains and all of the surrounding pristine nature.

    Read and see photos of Horta and the Picasso Centre by clicking on Horta de Sant Joan Travel Guide.

    After reading those summaries, do you notice a trend like I have?

    Two of these great men were born in the places that they are connected with on this route, so in other words these places would have been like the Earth womb for them, once they had left the warmth and nurturing of their mothers’ wombs.

    The other two creative geniuses both came to their places on this route, at times where they needed to recuperate from illness. So perhaps we could say that these two men knew the intrinsic value of the healing nature, and later the all-important inspirational influence, of the energy of these special places.

    Check this out – it’s a quote from an article by the wonderful Bruce Lipton:

    “However, environments are not static. Changes in the environments generate a need for “new” perceptions on the part of organisms inhabiting those environments. It is now evident that cells create new perception complexes through their interaction with novel environment stimuli. Utilizing a newly discovered group of genes, collectively referred to as “genetic engineering genes,” cells are able to create new perception proteins in a process representing cellular learning and memory (Cairns, 1988, Thaler 1994, Appenzeller, 1999, Chicurel, 2001).”

    Four Geniuses Route CataloniaThere are two reasons I’ve included the quote above. The first reason is to illustrate how a renowned bestselling author explains the process of perceptions and environments, and new perceptions that occur due to our interaction with new environments. So on one hand the two geniuses who were born in these places of this route, would’ve had the impact of these environments during the stage of life where it is known that we live through the subconscious – up to the age of six or seven years old. In a more obvious way these environments were their first interaction with the outdoor physical world having left the wombs of their mothers.

    The second reason is to highlight that in the case of the two geniuses, whose first experience of these places was during a time of illness, so in other words when they needed extra nurturing, I feel that they would have been extra sensitive during these periods. So the theory that I am proposing is that they were therefore potentially more open and more affected by their new perceptions, which were triggered by these novel environment stimuli.

    I would love any feedback about these thoughts that you may have. As soon as we have followed in these four geniuses’ footsteps, I will be writing about the experience, so do check back to hear how it went.


    A Brief Note On The Subject Of Genetics & Spirit

    Another obvious trend for me is that each of the four geniuses had a strong pre-diposition genetically to being a talented creative.

    Gaudí – his father was a coppersmith and his mother, the daughter of a coppersmith

    Miró – his father was a silversmith and watchmaker (his father had been a blacksmith) and his mother’s father was a cabinet-maker.

    Casals – his father was a musician – a choirmaster and parish organist.

    Picasso – his father was an artist. art professor and curator at a museum

    So being pre-disposed genetically and then finding environments, or being born into them, that could encourage creative talent and perceptions is very much of interest to me, when heading off humbly on this route.

    On a personal note, I have also had a strong sense of my Mother’s spirit being around me, more than normal, in this period of preparation for this trip. She was a skilled artist, although she didn’t practice so much in her later life, and because of this I grew up in an environment where Picasso wasn’t a stranger, and where art was very much revered.

    All photos above this statement are courtesy of our hosts


    Other Travel Ideas


    Parc Guell Barcelona



    Sa Tuna Begur Costa Brava



    Cadaques Costa Brava Fishing Boats and View At Night



    Lloret de Mar boat at beach



    Cambrils Catalonia beaches



    Pals Girona Catalonia Picturesque medieval village



    Chert Spain arch in old quarter-1



    Mantis Shrimp Gastronomic Festival Alcanar Catalonia



    Vinaros Spain Cala Puntal



    Figueres Dali Theatre Museum Catalonia ed2



    Wine routes Catalonia Penedes-1



    Beach at Delta de l'Ebre Natural Park


    11 Responses to The Four Geniuses-Gaudi-Picasso-Miro-Casals-Following In Their Footsteps

    1. Erin August 22, 2014 at 7:01 am #

      Great research. You are certainly very well prepared for your trip, the passion is tangible. Exciting!

      • Jackie De Burca August 22, 2014 at 7:06 am #

        Thanks so much Erin! It is exciting and I am so glad my passion is tangible 🙂

    2. Paul (@luxury__travel) August 22, 2014 at 10:25 am #

      I had no idea there was an actual route you could follow like this. That’s an insightful quote, too… and, if nothing else, a good reason for us all to travel. 🙂

      • Jackie De Burca August 22, 2014 at 10:34 am #

        Thanks Paul. Yes there is and as you can see I am very much looking forward to it. Interesting quote, isn’t it? If you think about it, in a way, we could almost stretch it to mean that travel could be good for our health – keeping our organisms on the ball and letting our cells do the fun work of creating new perception complexes. 3 out of the 4 geniuses lived to be 90 or over, only Gaudí died aged 73, as he was struck by a tram. Curious or coincidence?

    3. Anna Parker August 22, 2014 at 8:55 pm #

      Who knew that these 4 people were so close together that you can make up a visiting trail! Interesting read! I hope the trip lives up to what you hope!

      • Jackie De Burca August 23, 2014 at 3:35 pm #

        I know it is really interesting and surprising Anna. I also hope the trip lives up to my rather high expectations. 🙂

    4. alison August 24, 2014 at 5:44 pm #

      What an interesting trip you have planned Jackie! We often have the nature/nurture discussion in our house and I look forward to reading what you discover about these great artists on your trip.

      • Jackie De Burca August 25, 2014 at 8:00 am #

        How interesting Alison – so you must notice the different effects places can have on you when you immerse yourself in new environments? 🙂

    5. Gery de Pierpont July 28, 2015 at 6:28 pm #

      Hi Jackie,
      Quite an interesting post and an original approach for the discovery of four giant Catalan artists. I’m totally convinced a region can spark special artistic talents because of its specific evocative power. You can observe similar artistic ‘blossoms’ in other regions of Europe, mostly related to a given period however. As if you needed an inspiring environment and some kind of a catalytic historical frame at the same time to ignite such talents. Burgundy was famous under the Great Dukes in the 16th century. Tuscany has nurtured a bunch of genius artists during the ‘Cinquecento’. Vienna flourished under the Habsbourg reign in the 18th century. Flanders gave birth to very skillful painters during the Renaissance. Athens became the home of a generation of philosophers and artists during the 5th century BC. Paris attracted a lot of artists during the Belle Epoque, not to mention the flourishing Victorian era in the UK… The Catalan artistic explosion around the end of the 19th century and the first decades of the 20th century is closely related to the assertion of the Catalan identity, I believe. A very strong sociocultural, literary, pictural, architectural, musical, craft and political movement. But of course, the local light, the colour of the stone, the temper of the inhabitants, the heat, the sea, the food and drink of the region did play a role in this firework as well!
      Just a few personal thoughts…

    6. Carl October 11, 2017 at 9:41 am #

      Found my way here from Twitter Jackie, found it very fascinating the skilled legacies of each of he fathers and in a couple of instances, the skilled connections through the mother’s lineage.

      • Jackie De Burca October 12, 2017 at 5:07 am #

        Hi Carl,
        So glad you found it fascinating and I very much appreciate your comment. Actually since writing this post, I have learned even more about Dalí and his mother’s lineage, which was indeed very creative. I send you warm wishes and gratitude. 🙂 Jackie

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