Juan Zorrilla de San Martín

Juan Zorrilla de San Martín (December 28, 1855 – November 3, 1931) was a Catholic Uruguayan epic poet – he is referred to as the "National Poet of Uruguay" – and political figure.[1]

Juan Zorrilla de San Martín
Uruguayan writer
Juan Zorrilla de San Martín

(1855-12-28)December 28, 1855
Montevideo, Uruguay
DiedNovember 3, 1931(1931-11-03) (aged 75)
Montevideo, Uruguay
Occupationwriter, poet, ambassador
Spouse(s)Elvira Blanco Sienra
Concepción Blanco Sienra
Zorrilla de San Martin firma.jpg
Juan Zorrilla de San Martin Sculpture in Montevideo by his son José Luis Zorrilla de San Martín
The patriarch Juan Zorrilla de San Martin and his family
Zorrilla Museum in Montevideo

Well-known poemsEdit

Two of his most famous poems are Tabaré (the national poem for Uruguayans) and La leyenda patria (The Fatherland Legend).

He is author of the Hymn to the Tree (Himno al Arbol) a well-known Spanish poem later made a song in several Latin-American countries.

Personal backgroundEdit

The internationally well known sculptor José Luis Zorrilla de San Martín was his son and father of internationally known actress China Zorrilla.

As a political figure Juan Zorrilla de San Martín served as a Deputy for Montevideo from 1888 to 1891 and served as Ambassador several periods.

He was twice widowed, and left 13 children when he died.

His grandson, Alejandro Zorrilla de San Martín, was to serve as a prominent Deputy, Minister and Senator.

One of his several granddaughters became the most famous actress of Uruguay, Concepción Zorrilla, A.K.A. China Zorrilla. She was a disciple of Margarita Xirgu and moved to Argentina in 1971 where she had a distinguished career in theater, TV and movies also in Spain and other Southamerican countries. Her big successes in movies, Besos en la frente, Esperando la carroza (Waiting for the Hearse), Elsa & Fred and Conversations with Mother, for which she won the Moscow Film Festival award for best actress.

His granddaughter Guma Zorrilla was a theater costume designer.


His house in Montevideo is now a museum.

He was featured in the 20,000 pesos banknote (1989-1991) [2], and is featured on the 20 pesos note (since 1994)[3].

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ 'Juan Zorrilla de San Martín', Wikipedia (in Spanish), es:Juan Zorrilla de San Martín,
  2. ^ Uruguay 20.000 Nuevos Pesos Bank note museum
  3. ^ Uruguay 20 Pesos Uruguayos Bank note museum

External linksEdit