Mateu Avellaneda i Canyadell


July 5, 2022

Mateu Avellaneda i Canyadell (Terrassa, 24 June 1902 - 23 August 1949) was a Terrassa illustrator who disseminated the history of the city with his illustrations, especially with his engravings of old buildings that had disappeared. He was born in Topete street no. 171 within a middle-class family. His parents were Ramon Avellaneda, from Sant Julià d'Altura, and Irene Canyadell, from Terrassa. He studied fine arts, and was an apprentice to the sculptor Cèsar Cabanes. He followed the mastery of Joan Junceda and Apel·les Mestres; with the latter he maintained a friendly relationship that allowed him to gather a documentary collection currently deposited in the Biblioteca de Catalunya. He married Roser Mañosas i Prat in 1928. He died on August 23, 1949, at the age of 47. He stood out as an illustrator of joys and ex-libris and, above all, for his drawings on the history of Terrassa, which were used to illustrate books such as Historial del castell i quadra del Vallparadís, de Terrassa (1936) and Historia monetaria of Tarrasa (1951), both by Salvador Cardús. A large part of his historical drawings are exhibited in a room dedicated to him in the Casa Museu Alegre in Sagrera. It was the subject of an anthological exhibition of his joys and books illustrated by him, which was dedicated to him by Terrassa City Council in October 2009. According to Marian Trenchs, author of the artist's biographical sketch in the book Iconografia terrassenca, a posthumous work who collects his drawings on the ancient city, “his work was throbbing, forever united to the city, and it will no longer be possible to talk about art and local history without referring to this Terrassa man who drew it all and he left without making a noise, so that they could not draw him.