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Annick Benavides

[Bitti, Aloisio Bernardino Giovanni Demócrito]

(b Camerino, the Marches, 1548; d Lima, 1610).

Italian painter and sculptor active in Peru. One of seven children born to Pablo and Cornelia Bitti, Bernardo Bitti commenced formal training in the arts at the age of 14 in Camerino and completed his training in Rome. He was inducted into the Society of Jesus as a Coadjutor Brother on 2 May 1568 at the age of 20. The General of the Society of Jesus, Everardo Mecurián, assigned Bitti to the Viceroyalty of Peru in 1573 at the request of the Jesuit Provincial in Peru, Diego Bracamante, who believed religious imagery would facilitate the Catholic indoctrination of indigenous Andeans at missions. After spending 14 months in Seville, Bitti arrived in Lima on 31 May 1575 and worked there for 8 years. He subsequently embarked on a peripatetic career decorating the interiors of Jesuit sites in Cuzco, Juli, La Paz, Sucre, Potosí, Arequipa, and Ayacucho.

Bitti created the main and lateral altarpieces of the Jesuit provisional church of S Pedro in Lima with the assistance of the Andalusian Jesuit artist Pedro de Vargas (...

Article

Humberto Rodríguez-Camilloni

(b 1617; d Lima, 1696).

Peruvian architect. He was a friar of the Dominican order in Lima and one of the most active architects in Peru during the second half of the 17th century. His earliest known work was a new plan (1643) for the cathedral at Trujillo, on the north coast. However, all his known works from 1659 were in Lima: that year he signed a contract to repair the water system in the main cloister of the convent of Nuestra Señora de la Concepción, and in 1663 the Sagrario was begun to his designs on the Plaza de Armas. Following the earthquake of 1678, Maroto took charge of the reconstruction of the transept of S Domingo and designed a new dome using quincha, a light construction of plastered reeds on a timber frame, an anti-seismic system first used in Peru in 1657 by Constantino de Vasconcelos. Maroto also rebuilt (1678–81...

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

Rafael Moreira

(fl 1552–71).

Portuguese architect. A Dominican, he was responsible for the construction of convents in northern Portugal during the Counter-Reformation period, probably more as a supervisor of matters affecting liturgy than as a master mason; this was a forerunner of the tendency of religious orders and the Jesuit rule to use ‘specialist’ members of the Order as architects.

Romero was educated in the monastery at Batalha, where university studies were instituted in 1538, and appears to have fulfilled diplomatic missions on behalf of the Order under the patronage of Don Bartolomeu dos Mártires (d 1590), Archbishop of Braga, a renowned Tridentine theologian. In 1552 Romero went to Rome to urge the beatification of S Gonçalo de Amarante, returning via Lyon on 22 August 1553. He must have become immediately involved in the construction of the Amarante convent of S Gonçalo (founded in 1540), since the sacristy lavabo in the style of Michelangelo bears the date ...

Article

Cristina Gonzalez

(b Sahagún, León, 1499; d Mexico, 1590).

Spanish writer, missionary, linguist, and ethnographer. Bernardino de Sahagún wrote and compiled the Historia general de las cosas de Nueva España (c. 1577), a comprehensive account of the Aztecs. Before arriving in New Spain (Mexico), he studied at the prestigious Universidad de Salamanca, one of the principle centers of culture in western Europe. He took the habit of the Franciscans while still a student. In 1529, at the invitation of friar Antonio de Ciudad Rodrigo, one of the twelve Franciscan friars to arrive in Mexico with Martín de Valencia in 1524, he sailed to New Spain as a missionary. In Mexico City he witnessed the ruins of the Templo Mayor and, according to friar Juan de Torquemada, commissioned a painting of the site and sent it to Spain. He was custodian of the monastery in Tlalmanalco and also resided at the monastery in Xochimilco before becoming a teacher of classics and history at the trilingual imperial Colegio de Santa Cruz de Tlatelolco in ...

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 (...