Introduction to the Faculty
• Introduction and Welcome
Fine arts education in this country took its first step towards university status when the former Sant Jordi School of Fine Arts became a faculty and then joined as a part of the University of Barcelona in 1978.
As the only university faculty giving instruction in the fine arts in Catalonia, we have consistently attracted high demand, with 400 newly enrolled students and 300 graduates each year.
Since the academic year 2009-2010, our faculty offers six European master's degrees adapted to the European Higher Education Area. University graduates and diploma holders from other countries are welcome to come here and broaden their academic, professional or research experience in areas such as artistic production and research, urban design, typography, heritage conservation and restoration, the visual arts, education, artistic creation and approaches to realism. In addition, we are now expanding our educational offering with four doctoral programs, three of which have received quality awards from the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science.
As far as undergraduate studies are concerned, in the academic year 2010-2011 our faculty will complete its transformation with three new EHEA bachelor’s degrees: Fine Arts, Conservation and Restoration, and finally Design. As part of these changes, we will also continue the gradual phasing out of the Spanish llicenciatura degree in Fine Arts.
This home page is a window through which you can learn more about our academic offering, cultural and research activities, infrastructure and the individuals that make the shared project of our faculty possible, working together in service to the students currently here and the students who want to join us in the future.
Welcome to the future of university studies in the fine arts.
Welcome to the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Barcelona.
Salvador García Fortes
Faculty History and Important Dates
The present-day Faculty of Fine Arts traces its most apparent origin to the first Escola Pública, established in the last quarter of the eighteenth century. Dedicated to the teaching of Drawing, it bore the name Free School of Design and it was created in Barcelona with financial support from the Junta Particular de Comerç. Its establishment was an indirect result of the efforts of a group of artists who had gained the support of the Junta and the Count of Ricia to set up a Royal Academy.
The disciplines of Fine Arts have been linked variously at different times in the history of the University of Barcelona. A series of stages, however, can be traced back as far as the close of the thirteenth century. At that time, Barcelona was already home to a School of Arts and an Estudi General. However, the date widely connected to their foundation is 1 September 1300, when King Jaume II established the first university studies at Lleida, under papal bull from Boniface VII. From that point, a number of important dates can be singled out:
At that time, the strength of the textile industry in Catalonia, particularly in the area of printed calico, was a driving force in the school’s foundation. The initial idea, which had been to bolster the calico industry, underwent modification, however, and on 23 January 1775 the Free School of Design was established.
The name of the school was put forward by Pere Pasqual Moles i Coronies, the man who would become its first director, and its inspiration lay in the French schools and the Projet pour l'établissement d'écoles gratuites de dessin (1746), of A. Ferran de Moulhelon. However, the spirit of the enterprise also drew on contemporary authors of the period, such as Campomanes in his works Discurs sobre el foment de la Indústria popular (1774), and Discurs sobre l'educació popular dels artesans (1775).
At the time, there were already two free public institutions providing instruction in the “three noble arts”. They were the Royal Academy of San Fernando, which had been founded first of all, and the Royal Academy of Sant Carles of Valencia. The school of Design, however, had different roots and aims. While the Royal Academies offered Drawing as a basic discipline within the study of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture—the three noble arts mentioned above—the School of Design treated Drawing as an immediate priority to meet the demands of industry.
Thanks to the guidance of its first director Pere Pasqual Moles, who had been trained at the Academy of Paris with financial support from the same Junta de Comerç, our School began right from its inception to offer academic training that would lead to its transformation in 1800 into the School of Noble Arts and, later, in 1849, into the Provincial Academy of Fine Arts. It did not cease, however, to address the applied disciplines for the various trades that were required under the auspices of the Junta Particular del Comerç. As a result, the Free School of Design would also give rise in time to the present-day schools of applied arts and crafts, Escoles d'Arts Aplicades i Oficis Artístics.
Prior to the School’s division into advanced studies for Fine Arts and the Schools of Applied Arts, two name changes should be noted. The first was to adopt the name Escola Superior d'Art, Indústria i Belles Arts, under the Decree of 4 January 1900; and the second was to adopt the name Escola d'Arts i Oficis Artístics i Belles Arts, in 1924.
Later, under the Decree of 30 June 1940, the area of Fine Arts saw division into the applied disciplines, paving the way for the Escola Superior de Belles Arts de Sant Jordi, which eventually became the current Faculty of Fine Arts in 1979.
However, that was not first time that Fine Arts had been included within the system of university education. The oldest example is the Academy of Santa Barbara, forerunner of the Royal Academy of Sant Carles. As early as 1754, it had been integrated into the University of Valencia.
In 1857, the School of Barcelona, under the governance of the Academy, passed to the Rector of the University, as set out in the Law of 17 July. Later, in 1875, the Academy’s materials and museum were transferred to the new building of the University of Barcelona.
In short, the former Free School of Design has adapted to the times and to the changing needs and requirements of its environment, while it has constantly opened up a space that is its own in pursuit of the diverse aims for which it was created. Not only has it been a place where trade crafts can be learnt, but it has also served as a forum in which students can learn to think and act as artists.
Significant figures have passed through its doors as students. Included them have been Damià Campeny, Marià Fortuny, Pau Gargallo, Josep Llimona, Joan Miró, Isidre Nonell, Pablo Picasso and Modest Urgell.
Important Dates for the Faculty
||King Martin the Humane creates a School of Arts and Medicine in Barcelona.
||Alphonse the Magnanimous founds an Estudi General with chairs in Theology, Canon and Civil Law, Philosophy and Medicine.
||Barcelona’s Council of One Hundred cedes land for the construction of a new building for the University of Barcelona.
||The University initially includes only Grammar and the Arts.
||The University’s status as an Estudi General is confirmed, including all faculties and studies in Grammar, Rhetoric, the Arts, Philosophy, Theology, Medicine, Civil Law and Canon Law.
The University of Barcelona is closed by the Spanish crown and studies in Philosophy, Canons and Laws are transferred to Cervera with the aim of establishing a single university in Catalonia. Phillip V pronounces the Royal Decree that founds the University of Cervera in retribution for the support given by the Catalan people of Barcelona to Archduke Charles of Austria during the Spanish War of Succession.
||The School of Noble Arts is created in Barcelona with the backing of the Junta Particular de Comerç, and Drawing is added in 1759.
||The decision is taken to move the University of Cervera provisionally back to Barcelona, under the name Literary University.
Definitive approval is given to transfer university studies back to Barcelona.
||The Moyano Law sets the University of Barcelona at an equal level with all other Spanish universities.
||Under the Franco dictatorship, new faculties emerge with the capacity to grant doctorates. Construction begins on the university campus in the Diagonal.
||The advanced disciplines of Fine Arts become a Faculty of the University.