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Rafael Alberti Merello (The Port of Santa María, Cádiz, December 16, 1902-ibídem, October 28, 1999) was a Spanish writer, especially recognized as a poet, member of the generation del 27. He is considered one of the greatest writers of the so-called Silver Age of Spanish literature, and he has received numerous awards and recognitions.
Active member of the Communist Party of Spain, was exiled after the Civil War. Returned to Spain after the establishment of the monarchy, he was named Favorite Son of Andalusia in 1983 and Doctor Honoris Causa by the University of Cádiz in 1985.
He published his memoirs under the title of La arboleda perdida.
Rafael Alberti was born into a family of Italian origin (his two grandparents were originally from Italy) and Irish (one of his grandmothers came from Ireland) who was involved in the wine business in Cádiz. [citation required] He attended the first teaching with the Carmelites and then entered the Jesuit school “San Luis Gonzaga” in El Puerto de Santa María. The discipline of the school clashed with the character of the young man, who began to obtain poor academic results, being expelled in 1916 for bad behavior (at fourteen years). He did not pass the fourth year of high school.
In 1917 he moved to Madrid with his family. Rafael decides to continue his vocation as a painter, demonstrating great aesthetic ability to capture the avant-garde of the time. Get exhibited at the Salon de Otoño and at the Ateneo de Madrid.
In 1920 his father dies. Before the recumbent body of his father, Rafael writes his first verses. The Alberti poet is born. A pulmonary condition forces him to move to the Segovian town of San Rafael, in the Sierra de Guadarrama. In the retreat, he begins to work the verses that would later form Marinero on the ground.
Restored, he returns to Madrid, where he begins to frequent the Residencia de Estudiantes and surrounds himself with other poets. Meet Federico García Lorca, Pedro Salinas, Jorge Guillén, Vicente Aleixandre, Gerardo Diego and other young authors who will be the brightest poetic group of the twentieth century.
In 1924, he received the National Prize of Poetry by Marinero on land becoming a pre-eminent figure in Spanish lyricism.
Also in this year begins a relationship with the painter Maruja Mallo, which lasted until 1930. His romance was characterized by having all the elements characteristic of a Hollywood drama. [citation required] This relationship can be seen in the works that Both produced during these years, an aspect that would be reflected in some of Alberti’s poetic works, such as A Cal y Canto, visualizing at the same time some of the pictorial series produced by the painter in these years, such as Verbenas and prints. Their relationship ended when Alberti met María Teresa León and married her. As Mallo would add in an interview with Paloma Ulacia: “I think it was a solution for him because I was a kid, instead that lady had two children, an experience and it will have solved many things.” His romance remained silent for many years, since Maria Teresa herself urged Alberti never to mention the name of the artist and he paid attention to her. However, in 1985, with María Teresa admitted due to her illness and Mallo living in a nursing home, Alberti breaks her silence in an article by El País titled De las hojas la falta.
In 1927, on the occasion of the tercentenary of the death of Luis de Góngora, that group of poets decided to pay homage at the Ateneo de Sevilla to the master of the Spanish Baroque. That act was the consolidation of the so-called generation of 27, protagonist of the Silver Age of Spanish poetry.
In the following years, Alberti suffers an existential crisis due to his delicate health, his economic hardships and the loss of faith. The evolution of his inner conflict is manifested in his poetry of these years: in On the angels touches a depth of desolation that will only overcome through political commitment. During the dictatorship of General Primo de Rivera participates in student revolts, supports the advent of the Second Spanish Republic and joins the Communist Party of Spain (PCE). For him, poetry becomes a necessary weapon to shake consciences, a way to change the world.
In 1928 he was watching the final of the King’s Cup between FC Barcelona and Real Sociedad, where goalkeeper Franç Platko stood out. The poet dedicated a poem for his splendid party.
In 1930 he met María Teresa León, with whom he founded the revolutionary magazine, October, in 1933. Travels to the Soviet Union, where he attends a meeting of antifascist writers.
In 1936 the Spanish Civil War broke out. During this period Alberti was a member of the Alliance of Antifascist Intellectuals along with other authors such as María Zambrano, Ramón Gómez de la Serna, Miguel Hernández, José Bergamín, Rosa Chacel, Luis Buñuel, Luis Cernuda, Pedro Garfias, Juan Chabás, and Manuel Altolaguirre In their activity, in addition to the cultural itself, manifestos, talks and appeals were made against the rise of fascism that they saw represented in Franco’s rebellious army, and bulletins and magazines were published, among which El Mono Azul stood out. . There, as responsible for the section “A walk”, Alberti laments in a casual tone about the attitude of cultural personalities reluctant or not particularly committed to the fight against fascism, among which were Miguel de Unamuno or his former friends Ernesto Giménez Caballero and Rafael Sánchez Mazas – passing the latter to Falangism. Alberti, through this publication, participated actively in the tasks of purging and intimidation during the Spanish civil conflict, promoting the public persecution and execution of people not related to his ideas.
However, and contrary to the undocumented hints by authors ideologically opposed to Alberti, the poet always militated for the human treatment of the enemy, even in the midst of the Francoist shootings and bombings, precisely to avoid the destruction of the patrimony. Spanish for the bombings of the insurgents, collaborates in the evacuation of funds from the Prado Museum, while welcoming intellectuals from around the world who supported the Republic and calls the resistance of beleaguered Madrid reciting verses that are disseminated to battle fronts, such as the one dedicated to July 18.
Santiago Carrillo (1915-2012) and Rafael Alberti (1902-1999).
After the Republican defeat, Alberti and María Teresa León opt for exile. They move to Paris until the French authorities withdraw their work permits for being considered “dangerous communists”. In 1940 and before the German threat, they embarked in Marseilles on board the “Mendoza” heading to Buenos Aires, where they arrived on March 2, 1940. They will live in the capital of Argentina and in the “El Totoral” ranch in Córdoba. There his daughter Aitana was born. In Chile they will be accompanied by Pablo Neruda. They also lived in Punta del Este and in Rome, the capital of Italy, in a house at number 88 of Via Garibaldi, which would later be occupied by Beatriz Amposta, a biologist with whom Alberti maintained a sentimental relationship.
Alberti returns to Spain in 1977, after the death of Franco and the establishment of the monarchy. That year he was elected to the Congress in the lists of the PCE, but he soon resigned from the seat to continue in Rome his work as a poet and painter.
From then on he attended recitals, conferences and multitudinous tributes. He did not get an armchair at the Academy, but he obtained the highest literary recognition, the Cervantes Prize, which was awarded him in 1983. He had previously been honored with international awards such as the Lenin Peace Prize (1965) and the Rome Prize for Literature (1991). ), in addition to the National Theater Award (1980). He renounced the other great award of Spanish letters, the Prince of Asturias Award, due to his strong republican convictions. In 1990 he married María Asunción Mateo.
On October 28, 1999, he died at his home in El Puerto de Santa María, his hometown. His ashes were scattered in the same sea of his childhood, the one he sang in his work Marinero en Tierra.
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