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Germán Ramello Asensio

[Juan Domingo]

(b Carrara, Feb 12, 1708; d Madrid, March 15, 1762).

Italian sculptor, active in Spain. He studied with the Genoese Francisco Maria Schiaffino and showed an early talent for sculpture. Entering the service of the King of Sardinia in Turin, he worked at the Royal Palace there and carried out various works that are documented but untraced. In 1739 he went to Madrid through the intermediary of the Marqués de Villarías. There in 1740 he was appointed sculptor to Philip V (primer escultor del rey); his studio in the Arco de Palacio, where he established a school of drawing, became a centre of instruction for young Spanish sculptors. It is probable that it also contributed to the idea of creating the formal Academia de Bellas Artes, a plan that had been promoted by Juan de Villanueva in 1709 and by Francisco Antonio Meléndez in 1726. With the support of the Marqués de Villarías and other members of the nobility, the plan was approved by Philip V in ...

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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 ...