Person - Amat i de Cortada, Rafael d' (1746-1819)

Amat i de Cortada, Rafael d' (1746-1819)




Preferred form:

Amat i de Cortada, Rafael d' (1746-1819)Alternative forms (other languages) Other forms

Dates of existence/Biographical dates:

1746-07-10 - 1819-02-15


Catalan aristocrat and enlightened writer. First baron of Maldà y Maldanell. First born of the marriage formed by the knight of the Order of San Juan de Jerusalén and colonel of Dragones Antoni d'Amat i Junyent and his wife María Teresa de Cortada i Senjust, lady of Maldà y Maldanell, and grandson of Josep d'Amat i de Planella, first marquis of Castellbell. Rafael d'Amat i de Cortada or, as he would be known, future baron of Maldà, was born in Barcelona on the 10th July, 1746. As his father and the male brothers of this one, he studied at the School of Cordellas that the Jesuits in the Ramblas, where he would study Latin, Spanish, French and Italian, institution with which he would stay linked for the rest of his life. In 1766, when he was 20 years old, he got married with his cousin Maria Esperança d'Amat i de Rocabertí, younger daughter of his uncle Josep d'Amat i Junyent, marquis of Castellbell y Castellmeià, and nephew as him of the viceroy of Perú, Manuel d'Amat i Junyent. The couple, that lived in the known Casa Cortada o Palau Cortada at the Pi street of Barcelona, had eight children, of which survived the childhood: María Escolástica d'Amat i d'Amat, future marquise of Castellbell due to her marriage with Manuel d'Amat i de Peguera; his brothers Rafael, José María, Cayetano and his sisters María Teresa y María Felipa, nuns of the monastery of Santa María of Jonqueres. The same age of his marriage, 1766, the king Charles III granted him with the title Baron of Maldà y Maldanell. The baron belonged to the rentier Catalan nobility and, although his possessions and incomes did not give him much economic nor political power, his condition allowed him to have an idle life and of curious spectator about what happened around him, attending every celebrations and parties that were celebrated in Barcelona and other nearby localities, to which he would go. He often travelled around Catalonia and his descriptions of the places he visited had left us a great image of the urban and rural life of the Catalan society of the second half of the 18th century. Rafael d'Amat i de Cortada had a quiet existence, only alterred by the War against the Convention of 1793-1795, that awakened in him a great antagonism towards the French people, and by the French Revolution of 1789 or the War of Independence, period in which he moved through a French safe-conduct to nearby localities that were not occupied by Napoleon?s troops or the common family setbacks such as the death of his wife by the beginning of 1788, victim of smallpox. A life dedicated to party and the solace of food and good company, always keeping the respect for the ceremonial and the religious celebrations; details that are known through his personal diary in sixty volumes, with the title "Calaix de sastre" or "Cajón de sastre", that began in 1769 an that he continued writing for fifty years, until dates close to his death. Source written in Catalan of great importance for the history of traditions and food, because the Baron gave much importance to "menjar bé i beure millor" (eat good and drink better), of which only some fragments have been published, despite its great value as historic and literary testimony. It is considered like a precedent of the Costumbrism and local journalism and it constitutes one of the few testimonies of the prose in Catalan language between the Renaissance and the 19th century. However, his literary preferences were reduced to his circle of family and friends. By the end of his life, in 1816, he joined the Royal Academy of Good Letters. Baron Maldà passed away in Barcelona on the 15th February, 1819, at the age of 72.



Title of Nobility:

Malda y Maldanell, barones de

Related Authorities

Family relationships :

Amat i de Rocabertí, Maria Esperança d' (1746-1788)  - Marriage (He/She is married to)

Amat i de Junyent, Anna d' (ca. 1710-1728)  - Collateral (He/She is the nephew/niece of)

Amat i de Junyent, Francesca Gaietana d' (1697-1733)  - Collateral (He/She is the nephew/niece of)

Amat i de Junyent, Gertrudis d' (1701-1726)  - Collateral (He/She is the nephew/niece of)

Amat i de Junyent, Josep d' (1702-1773)  - Collateral (He/She is the nephew/niece of)

Amat i de Junyent, Narcís d' (?-1776)  - Collateral (He/She is the nephew/niece of)

Amat i de Junyent, Teresa d' (ca.1712-1730)  - Collateral (He/She is the nephew/niece of)

Amat y Junyent, Manuel de (1707-1782)  - Collateral (He/She is the nephew/niece of)

Amat i de Junyent, Antoni d' (1703-1780)  - Descendant (He/She is the son/daughter of)

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