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Myriam A. Ribeiro de Oliveira and Liliana Herrera



Myriam A. Ribeiro de Oliveira

(b Mariana, Minas Gerais, bapt Oct 18, 1762; d Mariana, Feb 2, 1830).

Brazilian painter. He was the most important painter active in the province of Minas Gerais during the Colonial period. He learnt his craft in the workshop with other artists and from such theoretical treatises as Andrea Pozzo’s Perspectivae pictorum atque architectorum (1693–1700) and such technical manuals as the Segredos necessarios para os officcios, artes e manufaturas (Lisbon, 1794), which was recorded in the inventory of his possessions. He was also strongly influenced by engravings of religious subjects in bibles and missals. He had a great influence on the development of religious painting in the region, especially through his numerous pupils and followers, who until the middle of the 19th century continued to make use of his compositional methods, particularly in the perspective ceilings of churches. Often referred to in documents as ‘professor de pintura’, in 1818 he unsuccessfully petitioned for official permission to found an art school in his native city. He left an extensive body of work, which includes decorative painting of architecture, single pictures, and the painting of religious statues (gilding and flesh-colouring). Especially famous are the vast perspective paintings such as the ...


Jorge Luján-Muñoz

(b Guatemala City, Sept 16, 1781; d Guatemala City, Nov 21, 1845).

Guatemalan painter, printmaker, and medallist. He entered the mint in 1795 as an apprentice engraver but on the recommendation of its director, Pedro Garci-Aguirre, also became Master Corrector at the Escuela de Dibujo de la Sociedad Económica de Amigos del País, Guatemala City, in 1796, holding the post until 1804. He continued working at the mint until 1809 and demonstrated outstanding skill both as a medallist and engraver of coins and as an engraver and etcher. He returned to the mint in 1823 as second engraver, remaining in the post until his death.

Despite the quality of his work as a printmaker and medallist, Cabrera gained artistic recognition especially as a miniature painter, working mostly in watercolour on ivory in a meticulous technique. He produced some miniatures on religious themes and others of birds, but the majority, measuring no more than 50 mm in height or width, were portraits of members of the Guatemalan aristocracy and bourgeoisie. It is not known exactly how many he produced, but from the middle of the 1830s he began to number them, starting from 500; the highest known number of the approximately 200 authenticated miniatures is 745. Although he suffered some illness, he was most productive during the last five years of his life. An evolution can be discerned from his earliest works, dating from ...


Argentinian, 18th – 19th century, male.

Born at the end of the 18th century, in Buenos Aires; died 1878, in Buenos Aires.

Painter, lithographer. Figure compositions.

Camana was the founder of the Society for the Development of Art in Argentina in 1876, and also taught design to Doña Mamelita Rosas, wife of the famous general. He created the picture: ...


Puerto Rican, 18th – 19th century, male.

Born 1751; died 1809.

Painter. Religious subjects, portraits.

José Capeche is regarded as the father of Puerto Rican painting. His father, Tomás de Rivafrecha y Campeche, was the slave of a Canon at the cathedral; later, having been freed, he taught himself how to gild and paint and eventually introduced his son to painting. José Campeche later worked with the Spanish painter Luis Paret y Alcázar, exiled to Puerto Rico in ...


(b Lima, 1785; d Lima, 1841).

Peruvian painter, also active in Chile. He was self-taught. He spent many of his early years in Chile (see also Chile, Republic of, §III, 2), during which he worked in the army as, among other things, a topographer. He also painted a number of religious works during this period, including Our Lady of Mercy (1815; Lima, Irene Eyzaguirre Col.) and portraits of prominent society figures (e.g. Isabel Rodríguez Riquelme, 1819; Santiago, Mus. Hist. N.). In 1822 he returned to Peru, where he designed the army uniform and painted portraits of leaders of the Independence movement, including the Martyr Olaya (1823; Lima, Mus. N. Hist.) and various paintings of Simón Bolívar (e.g. 1822; Lima, Mus. A.). While vestiges of colonial art can be seen in de Castro’s work, his subject-matter and his skilled treatment of perspective, colour, and composition singled him out as the most important painter of the early Republican era, and his work constitutes an invaluable historical record....


Elisa García Barragán

(b Teziutlán, Puebla, June 10, 1822; d Mexico City, May 28, 1884).

Mexican painter. He studied painting at the Academia de San Carlos, Mexico City, and in 1844 went to the Accademia di S Luca, Rome, where he was taught by the Sicilian Neo-classical painter Natal di Carta. His earliest works were portraits, for example that of the Mexican sculptors Pérez and Valera (1847; Mexico City, Mus. N. A.). He exhibited Columbus before the Catholic Kings (1850; Mexico City, Mus. N. A.) in his studio in Florence, to critical acclaim, and the painting made a great impression in Mexico when he returned there in 1853, also taking with him his most ambitious, and highly academic, easel painting, Christ the Redeemer and the Woman Taken in Adultery (1853; Guadalupe, Mus. Reg.). In his Romantic portrait of Doña Dolores Tosta de Santa Anna (1855; Mexico City, Mus. S. Carlos), wife of the president of the Mexican Republic, Cordero modelled the sitter in a sculptural fashion; the work is remarkable in 19th-century Mexican art in its departure from mild academic aesthetics, notably through its use of strong colour contrasts. In his mural (...


Zilah Quezado Deckker

(b Povos, nr Lisbon, July 25, 1747; d Rio de Janeiro, March 21, 1819).

Portuguese architect, active also in Brazil. He studied in Italy under royal patronage, a pattern of artistic education established in Portugal at the beginning of the 18th century. He went first to Bologna, in 1769, becoming a member of the Accademia in 1775. He subsequently went to Rome, making an extensive tour of Italy before returning to Lisbon in 1779. In 1781 he was invited to run the school of architecture at the new Academia do Nu in Lisbon, founded under Mary I. He also became an honorary member of the Accademia di S Luca, Rome. In 1785 he completed the sanctuary of the Italian church of Nossa Senhora do Loreto, Lisbon, the rebuilding of which was started by Manuel Caetano de Sousa.

Costa e Silva’s first major work was the opera house, the Teatro S Carlos (1792–3), Lisbon, which was built in six months for a group of wealthy citizens anxious to follow the latest fashions in Italian opera. The design was consciously Neo-classical: the three-bay arcaded ...


Teresa Gisbert

Term used to refer to the Peruvian painters of various ethnic origins active in Cuzco from the 16th to the 19th century (see fig.). When Viceroy Toledo reached Cuzco in 1570, he commissioned a series of paintings (destr.) to be sent to Spain, which included depictions of the conquest and capture of Atahuallpa (d 1533) and portraits of the Inca rulers. These works were painted by Indians who had been taught by such Spanish masters as Loyola. From the beginning of Spanish colonization until the end of the 16th century, two currents existed in painting in Cuzco: that of the Spanish masters, influenced by Netherlandish and Late Gothic art; and the indigenous tradition. Both influences persisted simultaneously until Roman Mannerism reached Peru through the work of three Italian painters based in Lima: Mateo Pérez de Alesio, Bernardo Bitti, and Angelino Medoro. Bitti, a Jesuit, worked in Cuzco with, among others, two disciples of Medoro: the Indian ...


Roberto Pontual

(b Paris, April 18, 1768; d Paris, June 28, 1848).

French painter and draughtsman, active in Brazil. When very young he accompanied his cousin, Jacques-Louis David, on a trip to Italy from which he returned in 1785. He then enrolled in the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture in Paris, initially following parallel studies in civil engineering but soon devoting himself to painting. Between 1798 and 1814 he entered several of the annual Paris Salons with historical or allegorical paintings, Neo-classical in both spirit and form, for instance Napoleon Decorating a Russian Soldier at Tilsit (1808; Versailles, Château). He also collaborated at this time with the architects Charles Percier and Pierre-François Fontaine on decorative works. With the fall of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte I, whom he greatly admired, he agreed to take part in the French artistic mission which left for Brazil in 1816. He stayed there longer than the rest of the group, returning to France only in ...


Brazilian, 18th – 19th century, male.

Born in São Sebastiao.

Painter. History painting, genre scenes.

Dias de Oliveira completed his studies in Portugal and Rome, where he was the pupil of Cavalucci. He became a drawing master in Rio de Janeiro.


David Watkin

(b Oving, W. Sussex, 1814; d Jamaica, Nov 26, 1847).

English architect. Elmes was responsible for one of the finest Neo-classical public buildings in Europe, St George’s Hall and Assize Courts, Liverpool; a remarkably convincing re-creation of the grandeur of imperial Rome for someone who had never visited Italy or Greece. Elmes was a pupil of his father James Elmes (1782–1862) and of his uncle Henry John Elmes, a London builder. Author of the first documented life of Sir Christopher Wren (1823) and founder of a pioneering art journal, Annals of the Fine Arts (1816–20), James Elmes doubtless gave his son a firm grounding in architectural history as well as practice. In 1834 Harvey Elmes passed from the Royal Academy Schools, London, to the Bath office of H. E. Goodridge (1797–1864), with whom he remained for three years. At this time Goodridge was engaged on designs for the Roman Catholic procathedral in Bristol (building of which was never completed). The grandeur of Goodridge’s scheme of ...


Blanca García Vega

(fl Madrid, 1793–1828).

Spanish engraver. He trained at the Real Academia de S Fernando, Madrid, where he was a pupil of Manuel Salvador Carmona. In 1795, under Salvador Carmona’s direction, he copied Gerard Edelinck’s print of the Holy Family, a painting (Venice, Pin. Manfrediniana) formerly attributed to Leonardo. Fernández Noseret engraved St Cecilia (Madrid, Pal. Real) by Guido Reni, after the drawing by León Bueno (1793); St Joseph and St Lawrence after the paintings by Alonso Cano; and 13 plates after drawings by Antonio Carnicero for Colección de las principales suertes de una corrida de toros (Madrid, 1795). He collaborated on Brigada de artillería volante (Madrid, 1796) and in 1828 copied two 18th-century prints: St Barnabas by Francisco Muntaner Moner and St Ferdinand (Madrid, Prado) by Murillo, the latter after the engraving by Salvador Carmona.

E. Paez Rios: Repertorio de grabados españoles de la Biblioteca Nacional, 1 (Madrid, 1981), p. 344...


Eduardo Serrano

(b Bogotá, c. after 1750; d Bogotá, 1838).

Colombian painter. Like the painters who had worked in the region during the colonial period, he specialized in portraits and religious paintings and displayed a preference for a frontal treatment of the human figure and for heavy draperies as backdrops. Nevertheless, his work was distinguished by indications of atmosphere, customs, and politics, which established the terms for the development of painting in Colombia during the 19th century. The portraits he painted after 1812 of the national hero, Simón Bolívar (e.g. Bogotá, Mus. N.), combined the solemnity and showiness of his attire with an understated and almost naive manner. His most important religious work, the Trinity (Bogotá Cathedral), is characterized by a pictorial economy and delicacy.

Figueroa’s importance as the outstanding transitional figure between Colombia’s colonial and republican periods can be measured by the influence that he exercised through his studio, where the most important Colombian painters of the 19th century received their artistic education. His sons ...


Roberto Pontual

[Valentim, Mestre ]

(b Brazil, c. 1750; d Rio de Janeiro, 1813).

Brazilian sculptor and wood-carver. His earliest surviving works, mainly commissioned from religious fraternities and all located in Rio de Janeiro, date from the late 1770s. His surviving work, typical of the transition from Baroque-Rococo to Neo-classicism, includes the carving on the main altar of the noviciate chapel of the church of Carmo and the altar of the church of S Francisco de Paula; the statues of St John the Evangelist and St Matthew (both Rio de Janeiro, Mus. Hist. N.); the two monumental candelabra in the monastery of S Bento; and the fountains das Marrecas, das Saracuras, and do Lapidário in city squares. His most important work was the large-scale sculptural project that he planned for the Passeio Público in Rio de Janeiro, consisting of terraces with benches tiled with azulejos (glazed tiles), pavilions decorated by the painter Leandro Joaquim (1738–98), waterfalls, four flights of steps, statues of ...


Jorge Luján-Muñoz

(b Cádiz, ?1750; d Guatemala City, Sept 15, 1809).

Spanish engraver and architect, active in Guatemala. He studied in Cádiz around 1760, and in 1773 he moved to Madrid, where he was probably taught by the noted engraver Tomás Francisco Prieto (1726–82). In 1778 he was appointed assistant engraver of the Real Casa de Moneda in Guatemala, where he arrived the next year. Following the death of the principal engraver, he was confirmed in this post in 1783 and held it until his death. Besides his work as engraver of coin dies and medal stamps, Garci-Aguirre made numerous fine copperplate engravings for books (e.g. P. Ximena: Reales Exequias por el Señor Don Carlos III, Guatemala City, 1790) and other publications. In Guatemala he revived the art of engraving, working in the Neo-classical style, which he was one of the first to introduce to the country. He soon became involved with architectural works in connection with the building of the new capital of Guatemala City, first in the Real Casa de Moneda and then on other royal projects. From ...


(b Paris, July 15, 1776; d Rio de Janeiro, March 1, 1850).

French architect and urban planner, active in Brazil. He studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris with Charles Percier and Pierre Fontaine and won the Prix de Rome in 1799 with a scheme for a necropolis. In 1801 he moved to Italy to complete his studies at the French Academy of Fine Arts in Rome. There he restored (1803) the early imperial tomb of Caecilia Metella on the Via Appia and laid out the gardens of the Villa Medici, which was acquired by the French government in 1804. He travelled throughout Italy, studying, sketching, and executing various designs, among them one for a theatre at Naples. In conjunction with Auguste Famin (1776–1859) he wrote L’Architecture de la Toscane (1815), which was widely read at the time by architects in search of details of early Renaissance buildings. In 1810 he was summoned by Jerome Bonaparte, King of Westphalia (...


Mónica Martí Cotarelo

(b Alava, Spain, 1810; d Mexico City, 1872).

Spanish architect, painter and teacher, active in Mexico. He graduated as an architect from the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de S Fernando, Madrid, but also worked in painting, sculpture and pastel miniatures. In 1836 he worked in Paris under Henri Labrouste, and in 1838 he went to Mexico City, where he opened a school of drawing. As one of the outstanding architects in Mexico at the time, he was made an académico de mérito of the Academia de S Carlos and its director of architecture. His chief work was the Teatro de Santa Anna (1842–4; later Teatro Nacional; destr. 1901), Mexico City, a Neo-classical building that was for a long time the most costly in the city. The principal façade had a portico with four large Corinthian columns rising through two storeys. He also rebuilt the dome (1845–8) of the side chapel of the church of S Teresa la Antigua, Mexico City. His solution was a Neo-classical dome supported by a double drum, producing interesting light effects in the interior. The windows of the upper drum, concealed by an incomplete vault rising from the lower one, illuminate paintings around the bottom of the dome. Few of his other works have survived....


Fine arts institutions with a structured curriculum led by professors or directors, financed by the Spanish monarchy in colonial times and national governments thereafter. Academies of fine arts in Latin America descend from mid-18th-century developments in Spain, which were based on the model of the French royal academies founded in the 17th century. The Spanish monarchy sponsored a number of drawing schools and three royal art academies in the second half of the 18th century, including the academies of S Fernando in Madrid (1752), S Carlos in Valencia (1768), and S Luis in Saragossa (1793). Academic practice could be distinguished from artistic training under an artist’s workshop in which apprentices lived with a master for a number of years and copied his or her style on a path to possibly obtaining a master artist’s status. In the academy, professors (or directors) led students in a structured curriculum organized around the idea of the ...



(b Sainte-Anne, Guadeloupe, Jan 10, 1760; d Paris, April 21, 1832).

French painter. He was the illegitimate son of a white government official and a freed black slave. Although his real name was Guillon, as the third child of the family he called himself Letiers, Lethiers and finally, from 1799, when recognized by his father, Lethière. While accompanying his father to France in 1774 Lethière entered the studio of Jean-Baptiste Descamps at the Académie in Rouen, where he won a drawing prize for an académie in 1776 (Rouen, Bib. Mun.). In 1777 he went to Paris and enrolled at the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture, studying under Gabriel-François Doyen and winning a first-class medal in July 1782. Lacking influential friends and patrons, before the Prix de Rome of 1784 Lethière attempted to attract support by writing to Mme de la Palum (related by marriage to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Charles Gravier, Comte de Vergennes), asking her to intercede in his favour with the Premier Peintre du Roi, Jean-Baptiste Pierre (Paris, Archv. N., A.N. 1. O 1917 2, item 91). In the Prix, Lethière won second prize with the ...