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Bort, Jaimelocked

(b San Mateo, Castellón,?early 18th century; d Madrid, Feb 2, 1754).
  • Joaquín Bérchez

Extract

(b San Mateo, Castellón,?early 18th century; d Madrid, Feb 2, 1754).

Spanish sculptor and architect. In 1733 he was appointed city and diocesan architect for Cuenca, where he designed the town hall in 1734. He was subsequently summoned by the chapter of Murcia Cathedral in 1736 and appointed surveyor to the fabric and city architect. He directed works on the new façade of the cathedral (1736–49), which is really a retable in stone and decorative marbles, albeit on a monumental scale, and is scenographically designed to complement the townscape. Jacopo Vignola’s two-storey scheme for the façade of Il Gesù, Rome (see Rome, §V, 16, and figs 49 and 50), is the ultimate model, but it was modified by Bort to form a complex rhythm of fluid curves and powerful columnar projections. The wealth of fine detail recalls French Rococo—in particular Juste-Aurèle Meissonier’s design (1726) for St Sulpice, Paris—while exploiting the existing Renaissance elements of the building. The curved cresting of the façade, like an ornamental Spanish comb used to hold a mantilla in place, has a deep concave surface. Bort’s pupils executed this work, which recalls the expedients in Andrea Pozzo’s ...

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