Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

Poet, b. at Madrid, Spain, 28 March, 1731; d. in the same city, 4 November, 1795. He was for a time a clerk in the Ministry of Finance, and was a member of the Royal Academy of Seville and of the Arcadians of Rome. Very little is known of his life. He wrote more than three hundred pieces for the stage, many of which were improvised. It was his custom to go to the Prado in the evening and there, seated on one of the stone benches, work out some theme suggested by the scene before him. This he wrote the next day. The theatre anxiously awaited the improvisation, and it was produced within two or three days. In this way he wrote "La Casa de Tócame Roque", which won immediate favour, and has continued to be a favourite almost to the present day. Cruz at first wrote in the several known styles of dramatic composition, including tragedies, zarzuelas , and comedies, but it is as the inventor of a new form of dramatic writing that he is best remembered. This is the sainete , a short farcical sketch of city life and manners, especially of the middle and lower classes. As a writer of these he has never been equalled. They abound in exuberant humour, jokes, and puns, and describe faithfully the customs and manners of the time. His pictures of the middle and lower classes were produced with such exactness, vivacity, grace, and colouring, that for these qualities rather than for any literary merit they might possess his plays won public favour, and many of them continued to be presented with but slight changes, almost down to our own times. His best sainetes are "La Cosa de Tócame Roque", just mentioned, "El Prado por la Noche", "Las Tertulias de Madrid, ó el Por qué de las Tertulias", and "La Comedia de Maravillas". There are several editions of the works of Cruz, among which may be mentioned "Ramón de la Cruz, Sainetes" (1 vol., Madrid, 1877), "La Biblioteca Universal" (XXXV), and "Teatro selecto de don Ramón de la Cruz" (1 vol., Madrid, 1882).


More Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online


Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 3:11-26
11 Everyone came running towards them in great ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 8:2, 5, 6-7, 8-9
2 even through the mouths of children, or of babes in ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 24:35-48
35 Then they told their story of what had happened on ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 24th, 2014 Image

St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen
April 24: Franciscan Capuchin martyr. He was born Mark Rey is Sigmaringen, ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter