Federico García Lorca (June 5, 1898 ? August 19, 1936) was a Spanish poet and dramatist, also remembered as a painter, pianist, and composer. An emblematic member of the Generation of '27, he was killed by Nationalist partisans at the age of 38 at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War. Born into a family of minor, but wealthy, landowners in the small village of Fuente Vaqueros, Granada, García Lorca was a precocious child, although he did not excel at school. In 1909, his father moved the family to the city of Granada, Andalusia where in time he became deeply involved in local artistic circles. His first collection of prose pieces, Impresiones y paisajes, was published in 1918 to local acclaim but little commercial success.
Associations made at Granada's Arts Club were to stand him in good stead when he moved in 1919 to the famous Residencia de estudiantes in Madrid. At the School of Philosophy of the University of Madrid (current-day Universidad Complutense de Madrid) he would befriend Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí, among many others who were or would become influential artists in Spain. Here he met Gregorio Martínez Sierra, the Director of Madrid's Teatro Eslava, at whose invitation he wrote and staged his first play, El maleficio de la mariposa, in 1919-20. A verse play dramatising the impossible love between a cockroach and a butterfly, with a supporting cast of other insects, it was laughed off stage by an unappreciative public after only four performances and soured García Lorca's attitude to the theatre-going public for the rest of his career; he would later claim that 1927's Mariana Pineda was his first play.
Over the next few years García Lorca became increasingly involved in his art and Spain's avant-garde. He published three further collections of poems including Canciones (Songs) and Romancero Gitano (1928, translated as 'Gypsy Ballads', 1953), his best known book of poetry. His second play Mariana Pineda, with stage settings by Dalí, opened to great acclaim in Barcelona in 1927.
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