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Josep Maria Subirachs
The Stairway of Intellection
Polychrome wood

92 x 40 x 70 cm
Courtesy: Estate of Josep Maria Subirachs

Excerpt from The Estate of Josep Maria Subirachs:

Josep Maria Subirachs, Spanish, (1927-2014)
The Stairway of Intellection, 2007

Sculptural review of Llull’s stairway of intellection. Each one of the eight steps symbolises one of the creations: stone, flame, plant, beast, man, heaven, angels, God. The first three belong to the material world, whereas the last three form part of the intellectual world. Man participates in the two worlds, a duality that renders him greedy and virtuous at the same time. The choices he makes will relegate him to the lower steps of the stairway or they will bring him closer to the top.

As in the Monument to Ramon Llull located outside the Montserrat Monastery (1976), Subirachs has chosen to arrange the eight steps in the shape of a winding staircase. In this way, the spectator gets the sensation that the climbing up is hard and laborious.

The intaglio working of the wood is in polychrome with a homogenous pale ochre tone. Unlike works such as Eight Steps (2007), where the element symbolising man is red in colour, in The Stairway of Intellection there is no one step that is coloured different to the rest.

Additional Information

Josep Maria Subirachs: Biography, The Estate of Josep Maria Subirachs

Josep Maria Subirachs: Related Links Art in Context


Josep Maria Subirachs, Spanish, (1927-2014)
b. March 11, 1927, Barcelona
d. 2014

Art in Context - Projects:
Art in Context - Art for the Day: March 11

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