Llanos Medina, Emilia

Emilia Llanos

Friend of Federico García Lorca and other artists and intellectuals of the early twentieth century in Granada. She was linked to El Rinconcillo. She was a woman with a fondness for reading, with intellectual and artistic concerns and interest in antiques. All this, together with her beauty, made her a magnetic and fascinating character.

She established friendships with artists such as Ismael González de la Serna, Federico García Lorca and Manuel de Falla. When Juan Ramón Jiménez came to Granada with Federico in 1924, she accompanied them and personally took care of making the stay pleasant for the poet and his wife, Zenobia Camprubí.

Her father, a captain in the Civil Guard, was stationed in Villanueva del Arzobispo, where she was born circumstantially. Her father was dismissed for gambling problems and debts and the whole family moved to Granada. Her brother became a soldier and went to Cuba. In 1899, when Emilia was 4 years old, she lost her father. She herself, her mother, her sister, her aunt Concha had to settle in the rented houses in the Alhambra, first next to the Puerta del Vino and later on Calle Real. Later, Emilia Llanos moved to the apartment at Plaza Nueva 1, where Federico García Lorca visited her on numerous occasions.

From left to right, Federico García Lorca, Zenobia Camprubí, Isabel García Lorca, Emilia Llanos and Juan Ramón Jiménez on the Cypress Boulevard in the Generalife in the summer of 1924 Foundation
From left to right, Federico García Lorca, Zenobia Camprubí, Isabel García Lorca, Emilia Llanos and Juan Ramón Jiménez on the Cypress Boulevard in the Generalife in the summer of 1924 / Photo: FGL Foundation

Her delicate health confined her to her apartment during her youth. This circumstance encouraged her to read a lot at a time when it was unusual for women to have literary or intellectual training. She established friendships with artists such as Ismael González de la Serna, Federico García Lorca or Manuel de Falla. When Juan Ramón Jiménez came to Granada with Federico, in 1924, she accompanied them and personally took care of making the stay pleasant for the poet and his wife, Zenobia Camprubí.

She corresponded with Ismael González de la Serna for many years, first when he was in Madrid and later in Paris. His letters, where he continually invites her to visit both cities, are preserved. It was precisely through Ismael de la Serna that she met Federico García Lorca, who was shocked by a woman who read Maeterlinck. She went further and interpreted the friendship, embodied in several letters and dedications, in figurative love. Nevertheless, the two maintained their relationship until the poet’s assassination in 1936. Emilia Llanos attended the tribute to Margarita Xirgu held in 1929 at the Hotel Alhambra Palace on the occasion of the Granada premiere of Mariana Pineda.

Emilia Llanos

In the summer of 1936, the Lorca family considered hiding Federico in the house of Emilia Llanos who, because of family ties, had a good relationship with the rebel side. When Federico was arrested on August 16 in the Rosales family home, his parents asked Emilia to notify Falla to intercede for him. It seems that, when she was on her way to the Antequeruela house where the composer lived to give him the notice, she got the news of Lorca’s murder and did not get to go upstairs. The fact is that this provoked in her a feeling of guilt all her life. When the hispanist Agustín Penón came to Granada in 1956 to investigate Lorca’s death, Emilia Llanos collaborated with him by sharing her memories and accompanying him to the place where he died. She died in 1967, obsessed with Federico.

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