Granda Liturgical Arts
“To create art imbued with the scent of Christ, vibrant with the spirit of the Bible; art that is alive because it is rooted in tradition and drawing from the past, attends to the needs of the present.” Felix Granda y Buylla, Talleres de Arte Granda, Madrid, 1911.
Felix Granda wrote these words at the beginning of the first edition of the workshop’s General Catalogue of liturgical art. He aptly entitled this introduction “My Purpose.” At the same time, Granda introduced a visual emblem of the workshop which was to serve as the visual compendium of the written document “My Purpose.”
In both of these historic documents, Granda captured ideas that became the foundation upon which he built the company. We are delighted that today these ideals continue to constitute the core of our mission: PASSION, ART, and EXCELLENCE and all in the spirit of fidelity to the spiritual and artistic legacy of the Church’s liturgy.
The emblem of the Granda workshop depicts a man praying at the foot of an olive tree shedding many of its branches. The words that the man speaks are written on a banderole: Vetera novis augere et perficere (a motto of Pope Leo XIII: To augment and perfect the old by way of the new) and Defracti sunt rami ut ego insererer (Romans 11.19: The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in).
When Fr. Granda wrote a short exposition of his purpose in 1911, he began by quoting the aforementioned motto of Pope Leo XIII, as well as that of Pope Pius X: Instaurare omnia in Christo (Ephesians 1.10: To restore all things in Christ). The twofold theme of innovation and restoration was essential to his artistic and religious mission. Ernest Grimaud DeCaux, the Madrid correspondent for The Times of that period explains:
“At first sight he but returns to the first ages of the Church, when art was utilized to bring home to the multitudes, by the aid of symbols, religious dogmas and mysteries. Where Father Granda's originality shows itself, however, where a new art appears, is in his method of representing the eternal Christian symbolisms. He buries himself in the past and by patient study absorbs the spirit of the ancient symbols and with the knowledge thus acquired, aided by his mastery of the Scriptures, which are his code, he throws such power of expression into his work that not only every article dealt with, but even every line and shape of each piece has its symbolical voice recalling some act of Christ, a saying of the Holy Fathers, or a dogma of the Catholic religion. This eternal theme would be cold and monotonous if clothed in the past forms of art. In the hands of this artist priest penetrated with the spirit of the past, versed in the essence of Christianity, but with a modern mind, it takes a new shape, and it is in this respect that Father Granda is an innovator, because, whilst still going to the old well of tradition, he draws fresh water from it.”