Guatemalan family of architects. They were active in the 17th and 18th centuries and dominated the architecture of the whole of Central America for a century. José de Porres (b Santiago de Guatemala [now Antigua], 1635; d Santiago de Guatemala, 17 May 1703) was of mestizo and mulatto origin. He carried out his first works under the master builder Juan Pasqual, a mulatto, from whom he took over (1666) the construction of the church of the Hospital de S Pedro Apóstol, the first vaulted church in the city (completed 1669). He then became assistant architect on the new cathedral, a completely vaulted building, assuming charge from c. mid-1670 to its completion in 1686. A triumphal-arch system articulates the façade (for illustration see Antigua). His final works were the Belén church (completed 1678), the church and monastery of S Teresa (1683–7), churches and for the Jesuit order (completed ...
(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 ...