From 1934 to 1936 Vallejo studied art and painting at San Fernando Escuela de Arte, in Madrid.During the civil war, he served as a medical aid in the Republican army. After the war he was imprisoned for six years. After being released he wrote Story of a Stairway in 1949. This work presented agraphic picture of Spain after the Civil War and won the Lope de Vega Prize, establishing Vallejo as one of the foremost authors in Spain. While other authors left Spain to escape Franco's censorship,Vallejo stayed in Spain and used symbolism to criticize the government. In 1971, he was elected to the Royal Spanish Academy. In 1994 he was awarded the Gold Medal of Merit in Fine Arts and the GoldMedal of the Society of Authors of Spain.
A common theme in his work is Spain's problems during and after Franco. In the tragedies there is always a sense of hope for the future. His works makefrequent use of the symbolism of the senses—for example, using the "fiery darkness," in which the protagonist cannot see, as a symbol of Spain's dark situation.
Historia de una escalera ("Storyof a Stairway")(1949)
En la ardiente oscuridad ("In The Burning Darkness") (1950)
La tejedora de sueños (1952)
La señal que se espera (1952)
Casi un cuento de hadas (1953)
Madrugada (1953)Irene o el tesoro (1954)
Las cartas boca abajo (1957)
Hoy es fiesta (1955)
Un soñador para un pueblo (1958)
Las Meninas (1960)
El concierto de San Ovidio ("The concert at Saint-Ovide Fair")...