Rafael Alberti | Original prints, lithographs, etchings and illustrated books




Rafael Alberti Merello (El Puerto de Santa María, December 16, 1902 - Cadiz, October 28, 1999) was a Spanish poet.

Alberti was born in El Puerto de Santa María, a small town not far from Cadiz (in Andalusia), on December 16, 1902 from a well-to-do family of Italian origins (the paternal grandfather, Tommaso Alberti Sanguinetti, was a Tuscan Garibaldino). He spent a quiet childhood and, in 1917, he moved to Madrid, where he began to take an interest in painting. In 1922 his works are exhibited at the University of Madrid. Shortly thereafter he will come into contact with the artists and writers in the Residencia de Estudiantes, those who will later be the protagonists of the so-called Generation of '27.

In 1924, while he was forced to live in his Sierra de Guadarrama y Rute due to an illness to the respiratory tract, he published the collection of poems Marineri en tierra, which won the Premio Nacional de Poesía. In 1927 he participated in the celebrations for the third centenary of the death of Luis de Góngora, in tribute to which he published Cal y Canto. In 1928 he composed, following a deep personal crisis, Sobre los ángeles, followed by Sermones y moradas and El hombre deshabitado. A new phase begins with the advent of the Republic. In 1931 he joined the Partido Comunista de España (PCE); with his partner María Teresa León founded the revolutionary magazine Octubre, participates in the Civil War against the rebels Falangists (pro-fascists) led by Francisco Franco.

In 1939, following the republican defeat during the civil war, Alberti took refuge in France, then in Argentina, and finally in Italy, where he lives alternating periods of stay in the small village of Anticoli Corrado, in the province of Rome, and stays in the capital , near the Trastevere district (1963). During his long stay between Rome and the province, spent with his partner María Teresa, the poet assiduously frequented progressive intellectuals, who welcomed him, as well as for his undoubted poetic value, also for his quality as a democrat in exile by a regime dictatorship.

In the period between 1963 and 1976 he had a long cultural association with the Italian, Hispanic poetess, Elena Clementelli, and was linked to a group of Roman literary critics, including Walter Mauro, Ignazio Delogu and Luigi Silori. His meetings with the Chilean music group Inti-Illimani were not rare, as he also recorded some texts by Alberti, who shared the poet from the condition of exiles and who for years were hosted by the town of Genzano di Roma. In 1967 he was called to be part of the jury of the literary prize Lerici - Pea, together with Libero Bigiaretti, Ferdinando Giannessi, Walter Mauro and Luigi Silori [1]. In 1972 he received the Premio simpatia, the oscar capitolino for solidarity.

He will return to Spain only after Francisco Franco's death in 1977, where he won the Miguel de Cervantes Award. Leaving her lifelong partner María Teresa León, the poet binds himself to a young Italian intellectual, who will be close to him until his death, which occurred in 1999.