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Humberto Rodríguez-Camilloni

(de )

(b Vacarisses, 1704; d Barcelona, Feb 14, 1782).

Spanish architect, engineer, and administrator, active in Peru. He was the second son of the Marquis de Castellbell and received military training at an early age. He served as Spanish governor in Chile (1755–61), acquiring a reputation there as a fortifications expert. In 1761 he was appointed Viceroy of Peru, where he launched a vast campaign of public works (see Peru, Republic of §III 1.). During his administrative term, which lasted until 1776, the city of Lima enjoyed a period of prosperity and splendour marked by the French Baroque taste favoured by the Spanish Court. The evidence strongly suggests that Amat was the designer of several monuments in Lima that were executed by the alarife (surveyor and inspector of works) Juan de la Roca, who may have also collaborated in the elaboration of some of the plans. Amat’s masterpiece was the church of Las Nazarenas (consecrated ...

Article

François-Auguste de Montêquin

(b Burgos, 1526–7; d Mexico City, 1593).

Mexican architect and sculptor of Spanish birth. In 1541 he moved from his native city to Madrid, where he served as an apprentice to Luis de Vega, one of the architects working in the High Renaissance style for Emperor Charles V. Arciniega worked with Vega in the remodelling of the Alcázar at Madrid. At intervals between 1542 and 1548 he worked under the direction of Rodrigo Gil de Hontañón as a sculptor on the Plateresque façade of the university at Alcalá de Henares. He was possibly also responsible for the main retable in the church of Santiago at Guadalajara.

In 1554 Arciniega arrived in New Spain (now Mexico) with his brother Luis de Arciniega (1537–99), who was also an architect. He settled in Puebla de los Angeles (now Puebla) and worked there between 1554 and 1558, primarily engaged in a large number of public works as master mason. He established his reputation with the fountain that he constructed (...

Article

Maria Concepción García Sáiz

(b Real de Pachuca, c. 1670; d Mexico City, 1738).

Mexican architect. He qualified as an architect in 1691. Between 1695 and 1709 he worked on the Basílica of Guadalupe, Mexico, which is mainly interesting for its broken lines and for the octagonal form used in the dome, in the section of the towers, and the lintels of the doors. His activities were concentrated mainly in Mexico City, where he worked as Maestro Mayor for the Inquisition and the cathedral. He was responsible for the churches of S Gregorio and S Bernardo, the church and convent of S Teresa la Nueva, the monastery of S José de los Carmelitas Descalzos, the church of El Amor de Dios, and the church, sacristy, and sacristy entrance hall of S Domingo, as well as the Palace of the Inquisition and Customs, all in Mexico City. He also collaborated on the churches of S Clara, Jesús Nazareno, S Francisco, S Miguel, and La Profesa, all in Mexico City, and worked on the Colegio Seminario of the cathedral. His non-ecclesiastical works include the S Juan del Río, Mariscala, and Alhóndiga bridges. He used a white stone from Chiluca and ...

Article

Maria Concepción García Sáiz

(b Zamora, c. 1680; d Mexico City, 1748).

Spanish architect and sculptor, active in Mexico. Between 1702 and 1703 he worked in Madrid as a designer of stage machinery, later moving to Andalusia, where he produced the principal altar of the sacristy of Seville Cathedral in the Rococo style, completed in 1709 (destr. 1824). Ceán Bermúdez described it as having ‘four large estípites, pilasters, lots of angels prankishly tumbling about and a cornice broken and interrupted in a thousand places with tortuous projections and recessions, the whole topped by a huge arch’. In 1714 Balbás also carried out the plan for the choir-stalls of the church of S Juan in Marchena, carved by Juan de Valencia, equally playful in style and similarly using estípites. The same year he designed the lectern in the same church, though this was not constructed until 1735.

Around 1718 Balbás went to Mexico City to take charge of the ‘retablo del Perdón’ in the Chapel of the Kings at the Metropolitan Cathedral, using the ...

Article

Ramón Gutiérrez

(b Herguijuela, Extremadura, 1545; d 1605).

Spanish architect, active in South America. Both his father, Alonso (d ?1570), and his grandfather, Domingo, were architects; the latter was the Maestro Mayor of Toledo Cathedral (completed 1493). Francisco was considered one of the finest architects in Extremadura, where he was active on a wide range of schemes including the church of S Maria and the chapel of S Isabel (both Trujillo), patrician houses in Guevara, and a chapel between the cloisters in Guadalupe Monastery. In 1573 he left for America, one of the few architects permitted to do so by the Spanish government, which restricted the emigration of qualified personnel. The fact that Becerra was immediately associated with works of magnitude confirms his importance. In 1575 he became the Maestro Mayor of Puebla Cathedral in Mexico, assisted by Francisco Gutiérrez Cabello. By his own account his activity on this assignment lasted for five years and probably included the design and laying of the foundations; however, the plan was amended after ...

Article

Annick Benavides

[Bitti, Aloisio Bernardino Giovanni Demócrito]

(b Camerino, the Marches, 1548; d Lima, 1610).

Italian painter and sculptor active in Peru. One of seven children born to Pablo and Cornelia Bitti, Bernardo Bitti commenced formal training in the arts at the age of 14 in Camerino and completed his training in Rome. He was inducted into the Society of Jesus as a Coadjutor Brother on 2 May 1568 at the age of 20. The General of the Society of Jesus, Everardo Mecurián, assigned Bitti to the Viceroyalty of Peru in 1573 at the request of the Jesuit Provincial in Peru, Diego Bracamante, who believed religious imagery would facilitate the Catholic indoctrination of indigenous Andeans at missions. After spending 14 months in Seville, Bitti arrived in Lima on 31 May 1575 and worked there for 8 years. He subsequently embarked on a peripatetic career decorating the interiors of Jesuit sites in Cuzco, Juli, La Paz, Sucre, Potosí, Arequipa, and Ayacucho.

Bitti created the main and lateral altarpieces of the Jesuit provisional church of S Pedro in Lima with the assistance of the Andalusian Jesuit artist Pedro de Vargas (...

Article

Ricardo Descalzi

[Chili, Manuel ]

(fl Quito, 18th century).

Ecuadorean sculptor. An Indian nicknamed Caspicara (wooden face), he lived in Quito, and his name and work were discovered in 1791 by the doctor and journalist Eugenio Espejo. He was a pupil of Bernardo de Legarda. He is considered the outstanding sculptor of religious images in polychromed wood of the colonial period in Quito because of the delicacy, grace, and feeling that he gave to human expressions and his attention to the details of anatomy and the movement of his figures. The elegant but natural carving of the drapery adds a Baroque quality to his sculptures. The most outstanding of his works in Quito, all of unknown date, include the Four Virtues and the Holy Shroud in Quito Cathedral; St Francis, the Twelve Apostles, and the Assumption of the Virgin in S Francisco; and La Virgen del Carmen, St Joseph, and the Coronation of the Virgin in the Museo Franciscano in Quito. In certain of his works he grouped the figures as if in a painting, as in the ...

Article

Humberto Rodríguez-Camilloni

(Domínguez )

(fl 1648–69).

Spanish architect, active in Peru. On 23 March 1648 he signed a contract with the Franciscans to build rib vaults over the transept and apse of the church of S Francisco in Cuzco. These vaults, which were built in brickwork, withstood the earthquake of 1650 and are evidence of the survival of Gothic building techniques in the New World. Another contract dated 16 August 1649 indicates that he was also responsible for the construction of similar rib vaulting in Cuzco Cathedral, begun to plans by Francisco Becerra in 1582. There he built 17 vaults over the nave and aisles of the cathedral, leading to the piers of the choir, all of brick masonry. Other major works by Chávez y Arellano in Cuzco included the construction of the chapel (1652) of the Jesuit School next to the church of La Compañía on the Plaza de Armas and the choir (1663) of the church of S Domingo, as well as private houses in the city of Cuzco. He also built the parish church (1663) in the nearby town of Paucartambo....

Article

Maria Concepción García Sáiz

(fl 1568–1612; d Mexico, 1612).

Spanish painter and architect, active in Mexico. In 1568 he went from Spain to Mexico, where he was commissioned to paint the principal retable of the church of the Dominican monastery, Yanhuitlán, Oaxaca State, with the Annunciation, the Adoration of the Shepherds, the Adoration of the Magi, the Presentation in the Temple, the Descent from the Cross, the Resurrection, the Ascension, Pentecost, the Last Judgement, the Immaculate Conception, St Jerome, Mary Magdalene, St Luke, and St Dominic (1570–75). These reflect his style as a Mannerist painter of the Seville school influenced particularly by Luis de Vargas.

In 1580–81 Andrés de la Concha collaborated with Simón Pereins on the retable (destr., paintings untraced) of the high altar in the monastery of Teposcolula, Oaxaca State; and in this period he also worked in the church of the Dominican Order of Coixtlahuaca, Oaxaca State, on paintings for the retable, of which eleven panels survive: three dedicated to the ...

Article

Maria Concepción García Sáiz

(b Mexico, c. 1646; d Mexico, 1716).

Mexican painter. He is thought to have been the teacher of such painters as Juan Rodríguez Juarez and José de Ibarra. His many works for the cathedral of Mexico City include (for the sacristy) the large-scale Assumption and the Coronation of the Virgin (both 1689) and the Entry into Jerusalem (1691). For the same cathedral he also painted the Vision of the Apocalypse, other versions of the Assumption and the Coronation of the Virgin (destr. 1967), and the groups of angels for the retables of the Angel de la Guarda and Angel Custodio. Other religious paintings by Correa are in the chapel of the Rosary in the convent of Azcapotzalco, Mexico City, and Durango Cathedral, which includes works based on models by Rubens. Some interesting works by Correa in Spain include a series of ten canvases dedicated to the Life of the Virgin (Antequera, Mus. Mun.) and the ...