It was with great sadness that Vidimus learned of the death on 11 November of Catalonia’s most revered contemporary exponent of stained glass, entrusted since 1999 with the glazing of the cathedral of the Sagrada Família in his native Barcelona according to the intentions of its architect Antoni Gaudí (1852–1926).1
Between 1950 and 1955 Vila-Grau studied at the Barcelona School of Architecture, but soon followed his father Antoni Vila Arrufat (1894–1989) as a painter. His interest in liturgical art and his admiration of Romanesque art found particular expression in his stained glass. Vila-Grau was also a scholar and author of distinction, whose publications included Els vitrallers de la Barcelona modernista (with Francesc Rodon, Barcelona 1982), El Vitrall Gotic a Catalunya: Descoberta de la taula de vitraller de Girona (Barcelona 1985), El vitrall renaixentista (Barcelona 1991) and Le vitrail dans l’architecture de Gaudí (Barcelona 2004). He contributed to five volumes of the Catalan Corpus Vitrearum: Santa Maria del Mar, Barcelona (1985), Girona Cathedral (1987), the monastery of Santes Creus and cathedral of Tarragona (1992), the monastery of Pedralbes (1997) and the cathedral Urgell and the collegiate church of Santa Maria de Cervera (2014).
He was director of the Institute of Stained Glass in Barcelona and a member of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of Sant Jordi and of the Royal Academy of Sciences and Arts of Barcelona.