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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

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 ...