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Article

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

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

Maria Concepción García Sáiz and Liliana Herrera

Spanish family of architects, active in Mexico from 1690 to after 1750. It is assumed that José Durán, Miguel Custodio Durán, and Diego Durán Berruecos were related, although research to date has not produced any firm evidence. José Durán was responsible for the plan of the basilica of Guadalupe, which was built (1695–1709) by Pedro de Arrieta at the foot of the hill of Tepeyac, north of Mexico City. It is longitudinal in plan, with aisles, but centrally organized with a crossing dome equidistant from the sanctuary and the entrance. This dome presides over each elevation, framed by octagonal bell-towers at the corners. A possible stylistic source is the Basílica del Pilar (begun 1681), Saragossa, Spain.

Miguel Custodio Durán is associated with a series of works carried out in Mexico City. The most important of these is the church of S Juan de Dios (1729) on the north side of the Alameda Gardens. The main elevation is dished inwards in the manner of a ...

Article

Maria Concepción García Sáiz

(b Villa de Guadalupe [now Guadalupe], c. 1727; d Mexico City, 1792).

Mexican architect. He is first documented as carrying out various repairs and inspecting the work of others in Guadalupe. By 1767 he had been appointed Maestro de Arquitectura by the municipality of Mexico City. Between 1770 and 1774, as Maestro Mayor, he worked in Mexico City on the estate of the Marqués of Oaxaca, the royal palace, the cathedral and the Inquisition Tribunal, the Santo Tribunal de la Fe. His most important ecclesiastical commission was the Capilla del Pocito (1779–91) in Guadalupe. Its unconventional plan is derived from Sebastiano Serlio’s interpretation of a Roman temple, with an oval central space (rather than Serlio’s circular chamber) surrounded by rectangular chapels and an octagonal sacristy; the building is approached by a small circular vestibule. The exterior shows this juxtaposition of spaces thanks to a large central dome with smaller domes set over the vestibule and the sacristy. The traditional polychromy of Mexican Baroque architecture is achieved here, as in his other work, through the use of white Chiluca stone, red ...

Article

Mestizo  

Ramón Gutiérrez

[Sp.: ‘mixed’ or ‘hybrid’] (Baroque)

Term first used in its art-historical sense by Angel Guido (1925) to describe the fusion of Baroque architecture with indigenous art forms in South America and especially the Altiplano or highlands of Bolivia and Peru from the mid-17th century to the late 18th. Mestizo is characterized by massive Baroque structure with finely dressed stone detailing in exuberant flat patterns reminiscent of embroidery or wood-carving. Motifs incorporating indigenous fruits and animals were used on portals, retables, and decorative friezes; mythological characters play indigenous musical instruments; and Pre-Columbian decorative details help to fill every available space with dense ornamentation.

The most notable examples of the Mestizo style are to be found in the central Andes, at Arequipa in Peru, and at Potosí in Bolivia. In the region of Arequipa the use of a porous volcanic rock gave rise to a school of plane-surface carving that tended to stress chiaroscuro. The whole façade of the Jesuit church of ...

Article

José María Peña and Liliana Herrera

(b Seville, 1699; d ?Buenos Aires, 1784).

Spanish architect, active in Argentina. In 1741 he joined the Franciscan Order in Buenos Aires. When he took his vows it was noted that he was a ‘mason–architect’, and he worked in this capacity in Buenos Aires, Córdoba, and Salta. From 1730 he designed the vaulting for S Francisco, Buenos Aires, following the plans of the original architect Andrea Bianchi, who had begun it c. 1724. The dome (1752) of Córdoba Cathedral is attributed to Muñoz. As has been noted, it is a majestic cupola reminiscent of those of Toro Cathedral in Spain or the Old Cathedral in Salamanca (Spain). Its corner turrets are designed in the Romanesque style, although its skilful interplay of curves and counter-curves, onion-shaped crown, and base strengthened by a balustered ring are derived from Piedmontese Baroque (Gallardo). In 1754 Muñoz was involved in the construction of S Roque Chapel, Buenos Aires, designed by ...

Article

Poblano  

Constantino Reyes-Valerio and Liliana Herrera

Term used to describe an exuberant architectural and sculptural style that developed in and around the city of Puebla, Mexico, in the 18th century. It is characterized by Baroque elements used in combination with ornate stucco, geometrically patterned red brickwork, and polychrome glazed tiles (Sp. azulejos), which were produced by flourishing local industries. The style developed in parallel with the growth of the city itself. As Puebla became wealthier and more important in the 17th century, increasing numbers of workshops were set up by ceramicists, many of them from Spain; Spanish artistic trends became more important, and these workshops came to exert a great deal of influence on the development of art in the city and surrounding villages. At the same time the growing wealth of the city financed the construction of religious and secular buildings that reveal their patrons’ and owners’ desire for luxury and display. Heavily ornamented mansions, as well as convents and churches designed in opulent styles reflecting the donations of affluent local merchants, farmers, and factory owners, all contributed to the evolution of an architecture rich in colour and imagination....

Article

Maria Concepción García Sáiz

(b Cádiz, 1704; d Mexico, 1774).

Spanish architect, active in Mexico. In his earlier career he had served as Maestro Mayor at Cádiz Cathedral, but he moved to Mexico around 1731, where he initially worked at the Mint. He came under the influence of Jerónimo de Balbás, whose use of the estípite in Mexico Cathedral attracted his admiration. Rodríguez’s most important work was the Sagrario Chapel at the Metropolitan Cathedral in Mexico City, for which he presented a plan in 1749. The two south and east façades of the chapel (which adjoins the cathedral) are conceived as stonework retables bounded by two side buttresses, framed in their turn by stretches of plain tezontle walling that dip down under a series of moulded copings to corner entrances. The retable panels comprise two superimposed rows of estípites in two planes, the rear set articulated by niches that house statues. The centralized plan of the church is in the form of a Greek cross, the interior elevations repeating those of the adjacent cathedral....

Article

(b Potosí, 1693; fl c. 1725).

Bolivian architect. He followed a military career, but he was also known as a master architect. He constructed several churches in Bolivia and in 1725 returned to Potosí, where he undertook the construction of Belén Hospital and its church, which has a vaulted nave and transept. The splendid doorway, the work of indigenous sculptors, is in some ways similar to the doorway of the church at Pomata, Peru, on the shores of Lake Titicaca. Both were influenced by Mestizo Baroque, with Pre-Columbian elements in their decoration, for example sun and moon motifs. Also in 1725, the priest Antonio de Molina commissioned him to execute the new church of S Bernardo, Potosí, with a vaulted nave and transept, and he is credited with the design of the church of S Benito, Potosí, which was the parish church of the Indians who were forced to work in the silver mines of Potosí. It has an interesting structure covered by 11 hemispherical domes....

Article

Teresa Gisbert

(b Baar region, Switzerland, Sept 26, 1694; d March 1772).

Swiss architect and musician, active in Bolivia. He entered the Jesuit Order and in 1730 was sent to join the Jesuit missions to the indigenous Chiquito peoples of eastern Bolivia, in the Chaco rainforests bordering Brazil and Paraguay. In 1731 he organized the craft workshops in the mission of S Javier and began the construction of the church there. Like all the churches in that region, it is a timber structure with a rectangular ground-plan and a pitched roof. The plan is organized on the basis of five rows of timber columns, with the three central rows dividing the internal space into two aisles and the outer rows defining the enclosing walls and supporting the widely overhanging eaves. These churches were based on ancient Greek models and were adapted to the humid climate and forested nature of the region. Schmid also constructed the churches at S Rafael (1749–53) and Concepción (...

Article

Ramón Gutiérrez

(b Enguera, Valencia, 1757; d Mexico City, Dec 24, 1816).

Spanish architect, sculptor, and teacher, active in Mexico. He studied at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de S Carlos, Valencia, at a time when Baroque forms were being rejected in Spain and Neo-classicism was being promoted. He was apprenticed to the sculptor José Puchol Rubio (d 1797), who also taught him extensively about architecture. In 1780 Tolsá moved to Madrid, where he studied under Juan Pascual de Mena and at the Real Academia de Bellas-Artes de S Fernando, where his subjects included painting. There he also designed several reliefs, including the Entry of the Catholic Kings into Granada (1784; Madrid, Real Acad. S Fernando). He was selected as an academician in 1789.

Following the endorsement of Juan Adán and Manuel Francisco Alvarez de la Peña, in 1790 Tolsá succeeded José Arias (c. 1743–88) as director of sculpture at the Real Academia de S Carlos de la Nueva España in Mexico City. He took with him a collection of plaster casts for sculptures, many books, and 154 quintals (7 tonnes) of plaster for the Academia. He arrived in ...