Research project


Agustí Centelles and the illustrated press before Spanish Civil war


Agustí Centelles (1909-1985) is a well known Spanish photographer, specially from Spanish Civil War period (1936-1939).

Before that, from 1934, Centelles developed his career as a photographer for different illustrated magazines all over Spain.

By that time, photojournalism started to be a new way to present the news to the audience, not only in Spain, but also in Europe. Photographs had such a huge impact to satisfied people´s desire of visual information. The invention of the 35mm Leica and the proliferation of several illustrated magazines showed us how communication started to change.

What is the project about

The goal of the study is to preserve the photographs that Centelles published in different magazines and newspapers before the Spanish Civil War. The project give us the background about his evolution as a photographer and how he became the well recognized war photographer as he is nowadays 

Where and how was the project conducted

  • The research was conducted at Municipal Library of Conde Duque (Madrid)
  • Digging into four different publications: Mundo Grafico, El Día Gráfico, La Publicitat and Diario de Madrid
  • More than 250 examples of photographs byline by Centelles were found


First front cover byline by Centelles      

First picture published by Centelles as a freelance

Portraits and its evolution

September 4th, 1934
Día Gráfico

September 1st, 1934
Día Gráfico

July 10th, 1934
Día Gráfico

It was not only the public´s desire for information,
but their curiosity which was satisfied

March 13th, 1935
Mundo Gráfico

January 2nd, 1935
Mundo Gráfico

January 16th 1935
Mundo Gráfico

January 30th, 1935
Mundo Gráfico

Candid photography

Candidphotography was first attributed to Erich salomon when in 1929 he introduced acamera into a trial and took a picture, when it was forbidden. The spontaneityof this kind of shoots gave the audience a completely different experienceabout the events comparing what they were used to.

January 30th, 1935, Mundo Gráfico

Without posing, when important people do not know that they are being photographed

DR. Erich Salomon, 1929

March 13th, 1935
 Mundo Gráfico     

August 1st, 1934
Mundo Gráfico

April 30th, 1936
La Publicitat

September 2nd, 1935
 Diario Madrid     

Photographic essay

Around 1930, the photographic essay - a kind of cinematic short story using static pictures- gained acceptance among the illustrated papers, as the most attractive means of expression of modern photojournalism.

August 2nd, 1935
Diario Madrid

September 2nd, 1935
Diario Madrid

October 2nd, 1935
Diario Madrid

November 23rd, 1935
Diario Madrid

Centelles first approach to war

A bunch or workers piled in front of a newsstand reading news about Abisian war at Diario Madrid,
October 5th, 1935
Diario Madrid

Abisinian troops marching to the war front,
November 20th, 1935 
Diario Madrid

Along his years as a photojournalist, Centelles published internationally

First picture published abroad by Centelles in 1934

Using Format