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Joaquim Renart

Joaquim Renart i Garcia

(b. Barcelona, 1879 - d. 1961).

Draftsman, gilder, decorator and collector. Brother of Dionís Renart i Garcia, with whom he often collaborated. Trained at the Llotja, he was a disciple of Martí i Alsina, Torrescassana and Soler i Rovirosa. He joined the Cercle Artístic de Sant Lluc (Saint Luke Artistic Circle) in 1894. He was one of the founders of the FAD (1903). One of the principal bookplate engravers of his times, he drew over fifty of these plates between 1904 and 1907, all published in the volume, Ex-libris Renart. His work was initially neo-Gothic, but later shifted to a marked attachment to Art Nouveau. Representative of the family firm Renart i Cia, he did decorative altarpieces, panels and furniture, that won prizes in the official Barcelona exhibitions in 1907, 1911 and 1923. He did numerous sketches of natural places and scenes throughout his life, experimenting with various styles and techniques. From 1918 on, he kept an extensive diary, a selection of which was published after his death (1975). A follower of symbolist modernism, he indulged in a polemic with Lluís Bagaria from the "Catalunya Artística" (1904), against the work of Nonell, which he considered lacking "any idea of art", although, years later, he retracted this statement. Vice-president of the Cercle de Sant Lluc before the 1936-39 Civil War, his essentially Catalan and equable personality made him the ideal figure to preside over the Cercle upon its reinstatement in 1951; He was re-elected three times until he resigned in 1958. Among other positions, he was also president of the Orfeó Català (Choral Society of Catalonia) (1941-48) and a member of the Acadèmia de Sant Jordi (St. George's Academy). In the period 1965-66, Barcelona held an important posthumous exhibition in his honour.

Llibres ilustrats de la Biblioteca de Catalunya