Centre for the Study of Hispanic Exile

Rafael Alberti [1902–1999]

Date of Birth: 16 Dec 1902 El Puerto de Santa María
Died: 27 Oct 1999 El Puerto de Santa María (age 96)

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Poet, dramatist, artist, and major literary figure of the Generation of '27.

Time Table

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1912 El Puerto de Santa María
Attends the jesuit Colegio San Luis Gonzaga.
1917 Madrid
Moves to Madrid with his family.
1920 Madrid
His father dies. Exhibition of his paintings at the Salón Nacional de Otoño.
1922 Madrid
First poems published in the journal Horizonte. Exhibits his paintings at the Ateneo de Madrid.
1923 Guadarrama
Moves to the Sierra de Guadarrama for health reasons. Writes Mar y tierra.
1924 Madrid
Meets other artists and members of the so-called Generation of 27 at the Residencia de Estudiantes: García Lorca, Salinas, Guillén, Dalí, Buñuel, Aleixandre, Gerardo Diego, Dámaso Alonso and José Bergamín. Mar y tierra, re-titled Marinero en tierra, wins the Premio Nacional de Literatura.
1926 Meets Ignacio Sánchez Mejías, Fernando Villalón and Luis Cernuda. Writes for the Revista de Occidente.
1927 Sevilla
Takes part in the organization of a homage to Góngora. Meets Manuel de Falla.
1930 Madrid
Meets Maria Teresa León.
1931 Madrid
Joins the Communist Party. Meets Miguel de Unamuno. Travels to Paris.
1 Jun 1931 Madrid
Fermín Galán staged at the Teatro Español de Madrid by Margarita Xirgu.
1932 Travels to Berlin, the USSR, Denmark, Norway, Belgium and Holland with León to study European theatre, with a grant from the Junta de Ampliación de Estudios. Translates French poet Jules Supervielle in the anthology Bosque sin horas. His mother dies in Almería.
1932 Madrid
Performance of Los salvadores de España at the Teatro de la Zarzuela.
1933 Meets Ilya Ehrenburg, Pablo Neruda and Dolores Ibárruri. Publishes his first revolutionary poems in Consignas and Un fantasma. Marries María Teresa León.
1934 Rome
Co-founds the revolutionary journal Octubre with María Teresa León. Invited to the First Congress of Soviet Writers. Travels around Russia. Invited to Rome by Valle-Inclán. Gives lectures and recitals in America.
1935 Mexico
Meets Mexican painters Orozco, Siqueiros and Rivera.
1936 Madrid.Marqués de Urquijo, 45
Madrid. Marqués del Duero 7
Active during the Spanish Civil War: secretary to the Alianza de Intelectuales Antifascistas, editor of the magazine El mono azul, writes several plays. Appointed director of the Museo Romántico.
1937 Valencia
Takes part in the organization of the II International Antifascist Writers Congress. Travels to Paris and Moscow, where he meets Stalin.
1938 Madrid
Joins the Republican Air Force as a volunteer.
1939 Veracruz/Mexico
Arrives in Paris via Oran and Marseille on board the ship EL Mendoza. Alberti and Maria Teresa León live with Pablo Neruda and Delia del Carril. Works as a broadcaster for Radio Paris-Mondiale.
1940 Buenos Aires
Alberti leaves for America with León. They arrive in Buenos Aires, where they meet other Spanish intellectuals in exile. Forced to move to the province of Córdoba because they do not have residency status in Argentina.
1940 Buenos Aires, Av. Las Heras
Settles in Buenos Aires after obtaining a residency permit.
1941 Buenos Aires
Alberti and León’s first daughter, Aitana, is born.
1943 Argentina
Gives lectures in various parts of Argentina.
1944 Buenos Aires
Margarita Xirgu stages Alberti's adaptación of Numancia in Montevideo and El Adefesio in Buenos Aires.
1945 Chile
Travels to Chile with León, where he gives a number of lectures and recitals.
1947 Montevideo
Exhibition of his paintings at the Salón Arte Bella.
1949 Punta del Este/Uruguay
Exhibition of his artwork at the Galería Punta del Este.
1950 Warsaw
Travels to Warsaw as a delegate for the World Peace Congress.
1951 Buenos Aires
Exhibits his paintings at the Bonino Gallery and the Sala Vía V.
1952 Warsaw
Alberti and León travel again to Warsaw.
1953 Moscow
Visits the Soviet Union as well as other Eastern European countries. Publishes Ora marítima in commemoration of the tri-millennium of the foundation of Cádiz, and exhibits commemorative drawings.
1954 Buenos Aires
Exhibition at the Galería Galatea.
1956 Gothenburg
El Adefesio premiered in France and El trébol florido in Sweden.
1957 Moscow
Further trips to the Soviet Union and Romania.
1957 Paris
El Adefesio premiered in Paris.
1958 Bochum/Germany
El Adefesio premiered in Germany.
1959 Most of his poetry translated into German. Much of his theatrical, poetic and prose writing translated into Italian.
1960 Gives conferences and recitals throughout Latin America.
1961 Visits Picasso in celebration of the artist's 80th birthday.
1963 Rome. Via Monserrato, 20
Settles in Italy with León. Suma taurina is published in Spain, the first of his works to be published there since the civil war.
1965 Moscow
Obtains the Lenin Peace Prize. Travels to Moscow to receive it. Translation of some of his work into Russian.
1965 Rome
Exhibits his paintings at the Penélope Gallery in Rome and the Gallería d'Arte in Milan. Awarded first prize for his etchings at the V Rasegna di Arti Figurative de Roma.
1965 Rome. Via Garibaldi, 88
After receiving the Lenin prize, Alberti and León move to the Via Garibaldi, in Rome.
1967 Reggio Emilia
Named Honoured Citizen of Reggio Emilia, where Alberti and León spend their Summers.
1968 Milan
Performance of a ballet based on poems from Alberti's Sobre los ángeles at La Scala.
1969 Milan
Exhibition of his silk-screen prints: The lyricism of the alphabet.
1970 Rome
Exhibition at the Colegio de Arquitectos de Cataluña y Baleares of his poetry and artwork. Exhibition at the Galleria la Margherita in Rome.
1972 Rome
Exhibition in the Rondanini Gallery of Alberti's graphic and poetic work in commemoration of his seventieth birthday.
1973 Rome
Appointed member of the II Russell Tribunal, formed in order to investigate crimes committed by US army in Vietnam.
1973 Rome
Premiere of the Italian version of Noche de guerra en el Museo del Prado at the Teatro Belli.
1976 Macedonia
Wins the Struga Prize.
24 Sep 1976 Madrid
El Adefesio performed at the Reina Victoria theatre, directed by José Luis Alonso, starring María Casares.
27 Apr 1977 Madrid
Returns to Spain. Elected delegate for the Communist Party the same year. He soon abandons this role, preferring to be a 'poeta en la calle'.
1978 Madrid
Performance of Noche de guerra en el Museo del Prado at the Teatro María Guerrero.
1980 Awarded the Premio Nacional de Teatro, and the Premio Pedro Salinas, along with José Bergamín.
1982 France
Named Comendador de las Artes y las Letras de Francia.
1984 Venice
Member of the panel of judges at the Mostra Internacional de Cine de Venecia.
1988 Majadahonda/Madrid
María Teresa León dies.
1988 Madrid/Spain
Premiere of El hombre deshabitado at the Centro Cultural de la Villa de Madrid, directed by Emilio Hernández.
1990 El Puerto de Santa María
Marries the writer and teacher María Asunción Mateo, who in the same year publishes Rafael Alberti: Antología poética (volumes I and II). Travels to Italy, Portugal and Mexico.
1991 Mexico
Travels to Italy and Mexico with his new wife. Gives recitals in Mexico with Nuria Espert.
1991 Awarded the medalla José Martí by Fidel Castro.
1992 Seville
Premiere of La Gallarda, directed by Miguel Narros, as part of the inauguration of Expo'92.
1993 Valencia
Awarded the Premio Andalucía de las Letras in Granada. Receives the Medalla de Oro de Bellas Artes from King Juan Carlos in Valencia. Renews his Communist party membership.
1994 El Puerto de Santa María
The Rafael Alberti Foundation is established.
27 Oct 1999 El Puerto de Santa María
Dies at his home in El Puerto.
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Works About

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Interview with Rafael Alberti
Recording of Rafael Alberti's first interview for Spanish television after his return in 1977, in which Alberti comments on his life and works.
Rafael Alberti and María Teresa León Foundation
Official website of the Alberti and León Foundation in El Puerto de Santa María (Cádiz), including bio-bibliographical information and details of some of his correspondence. Also available in English.
Rafael Alberti at the Centro Virtual Cervantes
Includes a complete biography, reviews of his works, photographs and reproductions of some Alberti's manuscripts.
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