García Carrillo, José María

Federico García Lorca’s close friend since the family moved to Granada from Valderrubio in 1909, member of El Rinconcillo which met at the beginning of the century in the Café Alameda in Granada and whose members included, in addition to the García Lorca brothers, the politician Manuel Fernández-Montesinos, Manuel de Falla, Melchor Fernández Almagro, Antonio Gallego Burín, Ángel Barrios, Manuel Ángeles Ortiz, José Mora Guarnido, Constantino Ruiz Carnero, Fernando de los Ríos, Hermenegildo Lanz, Francisco Soriano Lapresa, among other intellectuals and artists of the time. In 1955, he lived with his brother Francisco, a pianist, at the Muralla House in the Albaicín, where they were both interviewed by the researcher Agustín Penón for his book on García Lorca.

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García Carrillo openly declared his homosexuality and, although the correspondence with Federico García Lorca has been lost, he presumed to be his confidant in matters related to his sentimental life and character.

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He used to live on the Acera del Darro, in a noble house with a courtyard and interior garden with its fountain and stone columns, beside the house where the Lorca family settled when they arrived from Asquerosa (Disgusting), now Valderrubio. He had three siblings: Maria, Francisco and Fernando. Francisco was an acceptable pianist. According to José María, it was Federico who discovered his brother’s musical talent when he was a child. Francisco, more unreserved than his brother, blamed García Lorca for his myopia: “He wanted to take me to the Performing Arts Center so that his friends could hear me […]. There was very little light there, and I of course strained my eyes to see the notes and became myopic.”

From left to right, Francisco García Carrillo, Agustín Penón and José María García Carrillo at the Carmen de la Muralla in 1955. / Photo: Image extracted from Agustín Penón's book 'Miedo, olvido y fantasía'.
From left to right, Francisco García Carrillo, Agustín Penón and José María García Carrillo at the Muralla House in 1955. / Photo: Image extracted from Agustín Penón’s book ‘Fear, Forgetfulness And Fantasy’.
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José María García Carrillo was a quantity surveyor and art lover. He wanted to devote himself to painting, but his family discouraged him. He ended up working as a draughtsman, in an architect’s studio and later as an expert surveyor for the Provincial Council of Granada. He openly declared his homosexuality and, although his correspondence with Federico García Lorca has been lost, he presumed to be his confidant in matters related to his sentimental life and his character.

About his friend Federico he emphasized “the splendor of his word”, because “Federico created more and better even when he spoke than when he wrote.”

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During the years of the Republic he spent a few years in Tangiers, working in the business of some of his uncles, but he soon returned to Granada.

In 1954, he related to Penón numerous anecdotes about his friend Federico in which he emphasized “the splendor of his word”, because “Federico created more and better even when he spoke than when he wrote.”

In the summer of 1936, a few days before Federico’s arrest, he saw how some Falange men entered his old house on the Acera del Darro possibly looking for the poet’s home. García Carrillo phoned him to warn him, and, although he could not give him much information because his phone was under surveillance, the poet understood perfectly what was going on.

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