The Civil War
For Joan Palet, the civil war began with a personal tragedy that would mark him forever. In the first days of the conflict, while his family is in the town of Floresta, his eleven year-old brother Marcelinet suffers an appendicitis attack. They take him to Barcelona, but on arrival, they find a city plunged into chaos. The take him from hospital to hospital in a desperate race against death, but they are all full of wounded and they won’t accept him. Marcelinet dies in his arms. Palet had taken a portrait of him a few months earlier and he kept it allays in his study.
Palet is mobilized to the front and joins the high ranks of the military as a cartographer. When the war ends, in February 1936, crosses the border and is interned in a refugee camp in Barcarès. His drawing skills make his stay in the French countryside more bearable. He is asigned a job that allows him to leave the camp every day. He is commissioned to paint office that the lieutenant colonel owns in a nearby village. There, they give him food and, every day, he brings some back for his companions in the camp. He finds comfort doing what he knows best and spends all those months drawing and painting.