Rafael Alberti’s Poetry and Artwork: Second Update

Rafael Alberti’s A-Z Collection of Paintings

I was unable to find the collection of poems I needed for my research in print (Sonnets for the Disputation of Cadiz by Alberti), but I was able to find the collection online. More importantly, I was finally able to make my way to the Rafael Alberti Foundation, located in the Puerto de Santa Maria, a 30-minute ferry ride away. Actually getting to the museum took more work than I expected–due to the siesta, the museum would be closed at 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and like everything else, was closed on Sunday. Unfortunately, most weekends we would be travelling as a group away from Cadiz, so I ended up making the trip on one of the last Fridays. The museum was special for multiple reasons, but most specifically for their collection of Alberti’s original artwork, most of which is unavailable anywhere else.


Alberti’s “Vida Poetica”

Untitled Serigraph by Alberti

Untitled Serigraph by Alberti
















Alberti has a very unique artistic style, centered around serigraphs and prints, along with calligraphic poetry. One series of paintings was simply the alphabet, each letter a unique painting and stylized differently. Fascinating to look at, but unimportant for my research. The layout of the museum let visitors walk through the life of Alberti, with different stations for each ‘section’ Alberti’s life—for example, his early youth, his years in Madrid as a burgeoning writer and artist, and vital to my research, his period in exile. Specifically, “Vida Poetica” was integral to understand how Alberti imagined his role as a poet, especially after exile. The entry on his time in exile was also great to see how he reflected on this time away from his homeland. Several of his untiled, colored prints also helped me understand how Alberti relates man to nature, which is a constant theme throughout Alberti’s work.

"A la pintura" by Alberti, and a photograph of Alberti in his later years

“A la pintura” by Alberti, and a photograph of Alberti in his later years

The museum also featured many of poems on the wall, in his original calligraphic style, which made them feel more complete and original than otherwise simply reading them from a book. There were also dozens of photographs of Alberti throughout his life, which, while not specifically pertaining to my research, helped me understand Alberti a lot more as a person.

I sadly only have a little more time in Spain, and now have to construct my end product, a comprehensive research essay attempting to analyze the effect exile had on Alberti and his works.