Born and raised in Barcelona, Spain, this philosopher, art critic, essayist, and novelist wrote in Catalan, sometimes under the pseudonym of Xènius, and later in Castilian. Early in his career he contributed to such avant-garde magazines as Quatre gats and Auba, which led to an influential column, Glosari. In these brief, yet deeply reflective compositions, or glosas, D'Ors examined current social and political situations. In 1906, he initiated a new cultural renaissance for Catalonia, noucentisme, as a means of breaking from the traditional Catalan modernismo. Noucentistes writers expressed concern for artistic and political aspects of culture, focusing on the idea that works should carry out a “civil” function. He continued to write glosas, now in Castilian, compiled in El Nuevo glosario (1921–1923; The New Glossary). As with previous glosas, these captured the essence of everyday occurrences, transforming them into philosophical and thought-provoking expressions.
An acclaimed art critic, D'Ors composed Tres horas en el Museo de Prado (1923; Three Hours in the Prado Museum, 1954) and studies of Cezanne and Picasso. As jefe nacional de bellas artes, he helped create the Instituto de España, where he gained fame as one of Spain's leading fascist theorists. Yet, he also founded and directed the Academia Breve de Crítica de Arte, focusing on decentralizing and innovating Spanish art. His last publication, El secreto de la filosofía (1947; The Secret of Philosophy), is one of modern Spain's most important philosophical works.
See also Francoism, Fascism, and Literature in Spain.
Related Credo Articles
Spanish, b: 1884, Barcelona, d: September 1954, Villanueva y Geltrú. Cat: ‘Spiritualistic vitalist’. Ints: Metaphysics; philosophy of...
Credit: Monument to Diego Velasquez in front of Prado Museum, Madrid, Spain / De Agostini Picture Library / W. Buss / The Bridgeman Art Library Copy