As we have already briefly noted, Gaudi’s major works can all be located within the broader artistic movement of Modernism and we must attempt in the first instance to conjure up a definition of this term seeing as it acts as a key ideological boundary within the dissertation. The concept of ‘modernism’, as the name suggests, concerned the advent of the era of the modern upon the emergence of civil society and the consequences that this had for the deepest and most profound modes of human expressionism. Modernist artistic visions such as the celebrated art nouveau style of art and architecture were therefore part of a conscious move away from the historical revivals that had characterised European artistic endeavour during the seventeenth, eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Thus, whereas, for instance, Romanticism and Classicism strove to highlight the linear historical connection between the ancient civilisations of Greece and Rome with the modernising civilisations of Western Europe, modernism aimed to divorce itself completely from the past via endorsing a wholly new kind of artistic vision that sought to challenge the dominant existing cultural and aesthetic ideals and to establish new boundaries for the creation and discussion of art. As we will see, it was the challenge to old, anachronistic artistic ideals and the subsequent re-charting of creative boundaries that would conspire to create fertile grounds for Gaudi’s most celebrated architectural masterpieces. Thus, we should understand from the outset that Gaudi was – whether consciously or subconsciously – a key component of the European-wide modernist, art nouveau movement. Even though he was not actively moving in modernist circles Gaudi was inexorably bound by the modernist drive that characterised the last decades of the nineteenth century and the opening decades of the twentieth century. This is an important point to note and one that ought to be borne in mind throughout the remainder of the discussion.