Santiago Mateu i Pla (Malgrat de Mar 1891-Badalona 1935) trained as a draftsman at the municipal school of Badalona where he studied and at the academy that the painter Eduard Flò had in the city.
Since 1912 he has exhibited in Malgrat, Badalona, Barcelona, Girona, Reus and Figueres. Although he painted some oils, he basically devoted himself to drawing in pen and charcoal, a field in which he received praise from some critics, especially Joan Sacs (pseudonym of Feliu Elias i Bracons).
The theme of his work focused on urban views – with a special predilection for Girona -, marinas, gardens, farmhouses and landscapes in general.
Starting from academic forms, his style evolved, especially from 1915, towards very free and spontaneous strokes. Around 1920 he also began to practice detailed and meticulous drawing.
Married to Josepa Bori, daughter of Antoni Bori i Fontestà, he became integrated into the cultural environment of Badalona, where he had lived since 1901, and collaborated in local publications with both drawings and writings. His articles also appeared in the Girona press and he had an interesting correspondence with Carles Rahola, with whom he had to write a book that he did not go through, perhaps due to the death of the artist.
His untimely demise, the fact that he had not become a professional cartoonist, and the cut in the Civil War meant that he fell into oblivion.