Antonio Gaudi was a unique architectural talent, not easily compared with other architects in the terms used by architectural historians. Not only was his work strongly individualized, but Antonio Gaudi was fortunate to have loyal clients to support him. From early in his career, wide attention was given to his work, although Antonio Gaudi shunned publicity.
Antonio Gaudi has been indentified with the catalan Modernismo moevement of the late nineteenth century and, by extension with the international art nouveau style. His strong personality drew like-minded people of talent to him, and the collaboration of structural engineers, sculptors, and metalworkers was needed to carry out his ideas. It is often possible to identify the artists and engineers involved.The nationalist desires of Catalonians had been a problem of long standing for Spain. By the late nineteenth century, Barcelona had developed strong trade relationships with the UK and Western Europe. The wealth created contrasted with the difficult economic times in the rest of Spain and the loss of its last possessions in the war of 1898. the artistic activity in Barcelona was supported by business clients who by their travels were well acquainted with other countries, particulary with the arts and crafts movement in the United Kingdom. The development of illustrated periodicals further spread the art news to Barcelona. The cafe Els Quatre Gats, where Picasso's early work was shown and for which Antonio Gaudi designed menus in 1899, was an example of the international influences of the time.