Bernat Artola (Castelló de la Plana, 1904 – Madrid, 1958) was a poet and art critic.
After completing his secondary schooling in the intellectually turgid Castelló of the 1920s, Artola was attracted to drawing, painting and architecture. At the same time, however, his interest in literature led him to present successfully for several literary competitions in which he won prizes for his poems. He eventually obtained an Arts degree after studying first in Barcelona and then Salamanca.
In 1925 and 1926, Artola won the "Jocs Florals" literary competition organised by the prestigious association "Lo Rat Penat" of Valencia, after which he published Elegies (1928), a collection of poems that was praised by Miguel de Unamuno. His poetry branched into two main strands, one of traditional, popular tone – as exemplified by Festivoles (Burlesques, 1941), A l'ombra del campanar (In the Shadow of the Belfry, 1945) and Poble: (cançoner satíric) (My People (Satirical Songbook), 1947) – while the other is more intimate, metaphysical and elegiac as demonstrated in the works Llàntia viva: planys i cançons (While Weeping: Laments and Songs, 1947) and Olivera i llorer (Olive Tree and Laurel, 1950).
Very much a man of his land, Artola actively participated in a number of associations and social and cultural events both before and after the Civil War. However, attracted by cultural life in Madrid and unable to find satisfactory employment in his home area, he moved there in 1952. Married with one son, he died in 1958 leaving unfinished works.
Web page: Abel Ramon Vidal for AELC (Association of Catalan Language Writers).
Translation: Julie Wark.
Photographs: Bernat Artola Castellets family files.