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Ricardo Descalzi

(b Quito, ?end of the 17th century; d Quito, May 31, 1773).

Ecuadorean wood-carver and painter. He was a pupil of José Olmos, and he set up his workshop in Quito facing the Franciscan monastery for which he worked. A versatile artist, he was also active as a gold- and silversmith, printer, and gunsmith. In 1736 Legarda carved his masterful Virgin of the Apocalypse or Winged Virgin of Quito (Quito, S Francisco), which was inspired by a painting by Miguel de Santiago. Legarda’s fine work reflects the mystical fervour of the legend it depicts. The twisting figure of the Virgin, trampling the head of a dragon underfoot, is balanced by her outspread arms and wings. Her face reflects the beauty of the mestiza, the mixed-race woman of Quito. Elsewhere in Quito, Legarda carved the Baroque altarpieces for the church of La Merced, the hospital and the churches of the Carmen Moderno and Cantuña, as well as the Crucifixion in this last church. In ...