Poetry and Art

From the Collection of Pedro Salinas

This work belonged to the celebrated Spanish poet, Pedro Salinas.  Salinas was a founding member of the Generation of ’27, a group of mostly Spanish writers active in the years leading up to the Spanish Civil War who embraced avant-garde forms of art and writing. Most well-known for his poetic trilogy about love, he dedicated the majority of his career to teaching at various universities, and at the outbreak of the civil war in 1936, Salinas accepted the position of the Mary Whiton Calkins professor at Wellesley College in Massachusetts which brought him to America permanently. 

More than just writers, the Generation of ’27 also included artists like Salvador Dalí, whose wife, Gala, had previously spent three years in a relationship with poet Paul Éluard and fellow surrealist, Max Ernst. Salinas and Ernst most certainly inhabited the same intellectual and artistic circles throughout their lifetimes, and it is thrilling to offer a work that expresses this overlap.  

Members of The Generation '27 from left to right (front row) Pedro Salinas, Ignacio Sánchez Mejías and Jorge Guilén (back row) Antonio Marichalar, José Bergamín, Corpus Barga, Vicente Aleixandre, Federico García Lorca and Dámaso Alonso

Poetry always operates on reality. The poet places himself before reality like a human being before light, in order to create something else, a shadow. The shadow is the result of the interposition of a body between light and some other substance. The poet adds shadows to the world, bright and luminous shadows like new lights. All poetry operates on one reality for the sake of creating another.

Pedro Salinas

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