Apeles Mestres was one of the most versatile Spanish illustrators of the 19th Century, who pioneered in the comics field. Born in Barcelona as the son of an architect, he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts. He completed his formation traveling through Europe. From 1874, he got his first work published in La Campana de Gràcia. His collaboration with the magazine intensified three years later, when Tomás Padró died, the magazine's main illustrator and Mestres's mentor.
From 1879, Mestres was a regular artist for La Esquella de la Torratxa since the magazine's first issue. He made illustrations for a variety of magazines throughout the late 19th Century, such as Granizada, Cuento Vivos, Le Semana Cómica and La Velada. A compilation of his work appeared in 1882. A versatile artist, Mestres has also composed music and written poetry, theater and literature. Apeles Mestres participated in World War I and died at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War.