With more than two centuries of history, and pride in having such prestigious ex-students as Pablo Picasso and Joan Miró, the Escola Superior de Disseny i d’Arts Llotja is one of the main centres in Catalonia offering training in the plastic arts.
School of design
The Llotja School has two campuses located in the neighbourhoods of San Andreu and Sarrià.
Today, La Llotja is a public college under the Generalitat of Catalonia’s Department of Education. It offers a huge range of intermediate and advanced-level vocational training courses, as well as Masters courses focused on the graphic and design arts and including four specialities: graphic design, interior design, fashion and product design.
A historic school
Although this school seems radically modern, it has a long tradition beginning back in the 18th century, making it the oldest design school in Spain and one of the oldest in Europe. It was set up in 1775 by Barcelona's Junta Particular de Comerç, the Chamber of Commerce, and the first classrooms were located on the top floor of the Llotja de Mar stock exchange, from where it takes its name.
The aim was to train artists to design patterns for the textile industry, but the school soon grew and it extended its study subjects to other areas. This is how it became the most important producer of artists in Catalonia: Marià Fortuny Damià Campeny, Lola Anglada, Joaquim Mir, Joan Miró Mercè Llimona and Apel·les Mestres all spent time in its classrooms, as did artists from other places including Pablo Picasso, who studied painting there before leaving for Paris.
Currently La Llotja produces hugely important designers, illustrators and other plastic artists who each day contributes to increasing the prestige of this institution.