Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Acín Aquilué

Acín Aquilué (1888) was a man of many aspects, a committed anarchist militant, a libertarian teacher, a writer and an artist of the avant garde.
In 1913 he helped set up the magazine La Ira (Anger) in Barcelona. Its subtitle was “organ of expression of the disgust and anger of the people”. In that year he got a grant to travel round Spain and to create large oil paintings.
He was a producer of droll cartoons, informed by a biting political humour, against the Church, war and bullfighting. He was also a gifted sculptor who used metal and magic lanterns in his work.
Inspired by the libertarian educational theories of Francisco Ferrer, Joaquín Costa and Célestin Freinet, Ramón Acín endeavoured to continue in this form of education when he gained the post of teacher of design at the Escuela Normale in Huesca in 1916. He organised free evening classes for workers and in 1922 set up his own academy of design in his house.
His many articles earnt him several stretches in prison. Participation in some of the anarchist uprisings meant that he had to seek exile in Paris in 1926 and again in 1931, where he met artists of the avant garde. He was a friend of Picasso and Dali. He and his compañera Conchita Monrás educated their daughters Katia and Sol themselves.
In 1936, the authorities in Huesca refused to arm the people and the army and Guardia Civil were easily able to take power. In the massacre that then took place, Ramón Acín and Conchita were among many to face the firing squads.
The filmmaker Buñuel wrote that, "When the war started, in 1936, an extreme right group turned up to arrest him at Huesca. He managed to easily escape them. The fascists then seized his wife and announced that they were going to shoot her if Acín did not present himself. The next day he did. They shot the two of them." All his works of art at his house were destroyed by fascists too, and other sculptures were hidden by them.


  1. "...against Church, war and bull-fighting" - he was a man of like mind with me. It came to a sad ending. You just can never trust fascists.

  2. Recently visited Huesca, and our guide said that he hid himself in a sort of Priests Hole in his house, when the fascists tortured his wife in his house he could hear it all, she knew this but would not betray him, after some time he could stand it no longer and came out.