Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer and the Dialogue of the Arts Lecture Series Bécquer: his life, his work, his time

Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer and the Dialogue of the Arts

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Jesús Rubio Jiménez

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Born into a family of painters, since his childhood he became familiar with the cultivation of painting, music and literature in Seville, a city that was going through a period of modernisation that was projected in the arts with unique force. From then on, he would pay attention to all of the arts, especially painting and literature, but he also wrote music criticism and zarzuela libretti.  This lecture will analyse the activities he carried out in support of these arts and his critical vocation from his early years until his arrival in Madrid (Autumn 1854) and his insertion in the capital’s artistic life. The substance of his aesthetic program was gradually put together prior to 1860, with a progressive broadening of horizons, propitiated from his arrival in Madrid by his participation in a richer and more varied cultural world than has sometimes been stated: his relationship to orientalists like Manuel de Assas was decisive, as was his work as a librettist for pieces of music theatre that introduced him into the Espín’s salon, where he would meet Julia Espín, to whom he would dedicate poems and drawings and with whose father  —the composer Joaquín Espín y Guillen— he teamed up to write zarzuela libretti.
No less important was his participation in discussions where he met young artists who helped him to broaden his artistic ideas. Among them, of particular importance was the poet Augusto Ferrán Forniés from Madrid, who introduced him to the works of important European poets such as Lord Byron and Heinrich Heine; or storytellers such as the Brothers Grimm or the Polish writer Mickievick. Reading their works helped him to finish defining his aestheic, which would materialise over the ensuing years, especially in his Rimas and Leyendas.
Throughout this lecture, the story of his life will be accompanied by an analysis of his aesthetic ideas and the importance that the dialogue with the arts came to have for him as an instrument capable of resolving, to a certain extent, the deficiencies of words.

  1. Jesús Rubio JiménezJesús Rubio Jiménez

    Nació en Ágreda (Soria), en 1953. Es catedrático de Literatura Española en la Universidad de Zaragoza. Especializado en Literatura Española de los siglos XVIII al XXI, son conocidos sus estudios y ediciones sobre el teatro en estos siglos y sobre autores como Bécquer, Alarcón, Galdós, Valle-Inclán o Ramón Gómez de la Serna. Igualmente sus análisis sobre la relación entre las artes plásticas y la literatura. Dedica una especial atención a Gustavo Adolfo Domínguez Bécquer y su familia (los pintores José Domínguez Bécquer —su padre—, Joaquín Domínguez Bécquer —familiar cercano— y Valeriano Domínguez Bécquer —su hermano), habiendo merecido sus trabajos reconocimientos como la Beca Emilio Alarcos Llorach de Investigación Filológica en el año 2000 (Fundación Príncipe de Asturias) para realizar una Cronología razonada de las Obras completas de G. A. Bécquer; o en 2006 el Premio Manuel Alvar de Estudios Humanísticos de la Fundación José Manuel Lara de Sevilla a su ensayo Pintura y literatura en G. A. Bécquer. Entre sus libros sobre la familia Bécquer destacan: Los Bécquer en Veruela: un viaje artístico-literario (1990); Viajeros románticos en el monasterio de Veruela. Spanish Sketches: un álbum inédito de Valeriano Bécquer (1999); Guía sobre los hermanos Bécquer en el Monasterio de Veruela (2006 y 2011); Pintura y literatura en G. A. Bécquer (2006);  José María Domínguez Bécquer (2008); La fama póstuma de Gustavo Adolfo y Valeriano Bécquer (2009). Y ediciones de Desde mi celda (2003), Rimas (2004) y Leyendas ( 2012). Tiene en prensa más estudios sobre la fmilia Bécquer y prepara a una amplia biografía sobre Valeriano y Gustavo Adolfo Domínguez Bécquer: vidas paralelas donde se pone al día lo sabido sobre estos dos singulares artistas y se reconstruye su proceso creador.

    Sus últimos libros sobre teatro son: Valle-Inclán caricaturista moderno. Nueva lectura de Luces de bohemia (2006), accésit en el Premio de Investigación Valle-Inclán de la Diputación de Pontevedra. Retratos en blanco y negro. La caricatura de teatro en España (2008). Premio de Investigación Valle-Inclán de la Diputación Provincial de Pontevedra en la convocatoria de 2009 a su libro –escrito con Antonio Deaño Gamallo– Ramón del Valle-Inclán y Josefina Blanco: el pedestal de los sueños (2011). En prensa se encuentran los libros: La herencia de los poetas. El caso de Antonio Machado; y Augusto Ferrán Forniés traductor: de las nieblas del Rin a la claridad meridional. Está recuperando también el archivo epistolar de Clarín con Antonio Deaño Gamallo. Pertenece al Patronato de la Fundación José Lázaro Galdiano (Madrid), por nombramiento del Ministerio de Cultura.