Saturday, August 27, 2011

Emiliano Barral

Born in the town of Sepúlveda ( Segovia ) in 1896 into a family of stonemasons Emiliano Barral learned the craft of stone carving, together with his three younger brothers: Martin, Peter and Albert, all of them dedicated to sculpture.
From his adolescence he showed interest in anarchism, and at the age of 14, involved with the miners strike, he fled to Rio Tinto ( Huelva got arrested and was sent home. Later on, he managed to make it to Valencia and Barcelona , where he contacted the anarchist groups in the city. He later went to Lyon and finally reached Paris , where he sought work at the Spanish consulate and offered what he did best: working on stonework. He gradually discovered the city, visited the Louvre on several occasions, and explored the Latin Quarter, met artists with whom he befriended. But these new liberal friends led him to leave the shop and start a bohemian life.  Sick of difficulties and short of money, he returned to his native town, where he received his first commission: a pantheon in direct carving.
With 21 years came to Madrid to perform military service, where he met the Granada José Cristóbal, with whom he worked in his shop making some busts and heads of friends until 1919 , returning back to their town and continue sculpting. A year later he applied for a scholarship to further his training to the Diputación de Segovia , which was rejected, but through exposure contacted cultural and artistic groups from the. Within this circle were Antonio Machado and Daniel Zuloaga.
In 1929 he participated in the International Exhibition in Barcelona and at the Iberoamericana de Sevilla, and won the tender called for the monument to Diego Arias de Miranda Aranda de Duero ( Burgos ), later held his first solo exhibition in Madrid. The following years were very busy until the year 1936. At the outbreak of the Civil War he joined the army with the rank of captain of the militias that defended Madrid and Segovia, where he died near Usera. He was accompanied by his younger brother, the sculptor Alberto Barral and a group of foreign journalists when his car was hit by a shell on November 21 of that year.

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