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Josep Maria Vayreda Canadell

by on September 12, 2016

Josep Maria Vayreda Canadell, deceased artist Olot, Spain (1932 – 2001).

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Josep Maria Vayreda i Canadell was born on March 26, 1932 in the town of Olot, in the region of La Garrotxa, a principality of Catalonia, Spain.  Josep was the second son of Eugeni Vayreda I Aulet and Josefina Canadell I Batlle.  They were a well to do family, owning vast estates and living in their large ancestral home on the outskirts of the town.    Although he travelled, Josep Vayreda always considered his ‘home’ to be in Olot, where he spent the first 19 years of his life.  Josep had his studio and lived in Montnegre.
His education began in 1936 at a school run by monks in Clara square, not far from his home, where he had both lay and religious teachers who taught him to read and write.   The Civil War in Spain was during his youth, 1936-1939.  After the war he attended the school for a further two years.  From 1941 to 1944 he studied commercial sciences at an academy run by Basques.  At the age of twelve he began his secondary education at the Montascopa Institute in Olot where he remained for seven years.  It was during this period that Josep Maria Vayreda first became aware of his interest in art, particularly painting.  His ancestors were a long line of successful artists, on both his mother’s and father’s side of the family.  Along with his studies at the high school, he enrolled at the School of Arts and Crafts in Olot.  He studied under painters Vicenc Sole I Jorba and Pere Gussinye and the sculptor Marti Casadevall.  Upon graduating from High School he attended the University of Barcelona to study law, but still lived at home in Olot to pursue his studies of painting.  In 1952, at the age of twenty, at the Armengol Gallery in Olot, his paintings were exhibited for the first time.  In 1958 he had an exhibition in Barcelona which was highly acclaimed by critics.  Vayreda left to go to Paris France in 1958 and lived in Paris for a little more than one year.  In 1959 Vayreda returned to Spain, to Girona, to marry his fiancée Maria Rosa Sole i Gaya.  They left for Paris renting an apartment in Montmartre.  It was shortly after that the Arnot Gallery recognized his talent as an artist and began to represent him in the Arnot Gallery in New York.  Vayreda worked hard and through his work came into contact with celebrities who purchased his paintings from his studio in Montmartre including American actors Fred McMurray and Glenn Ford, as well as Princess Paola de Liege, wife of Prince Albert from Belgium.  In 1966 they returned to Spain and set up house in Girona.  They had three children, Maria, Maria Rosa and Francesc.  Josep Vayreda was by that point an established artist.  In 1967 Vayreda made seven trips to the USA, where he had held a series of exhibits in New York, Boston and Philadelphia.  His success as a painter grew with continuous exhibitions.  He built a house in Montnegre, close to Girona.  Josep Maria Vayreda i Canadell continued to live and work from his studio in his house in Montnegre until he died in 2001.


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