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Richard A. Diehl

Term applied to Pre-Columbian peoples of Central Highland Mesoamerica, north of the Basin of Mexico, and to their cultural and artistic traditions.

The Toltecs were one of the dominant cultural and political groups in Mesoamerica during the Early Post-Classic period (c. ad 900–c. 1200). They ruled much of central Mexico from their capital at Tula (Tollan) and strongly influenced groups throughout Mesoamerica and beyond, including northern Mexico and present-day Central America. The oldest extant historical records from Pre-Columbian central Mexico describe Tula and the Toltecs in highly exaggerated terms, but careful study of these sources has allowed scholars to use them as a supplement to archaeological discoveries. The annals stress the multiplicity of ethnic groups comprising Toltec society, specifically mentioning the Nonoalca and Tolteca–Chichimeca. The Náhuatl-speaking Nonoalca may have been priests and élites who abandoned Teotihuacán after c. ad 650; the Tolteca–Chichimeca were migrants from the frontier zone of Mesoamerica in north-central Mexico, who perhaps spoke Otomí. The term Toltec (Náhuatl ...


Iliana Cepero

(b La Plata, Nov 29, 1915; d Paris, Jan 17, 2014).

Argentine sculptor active in France. His father was a carpenter, bricklayer, and painter. Tomasello studied at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes Prilidiano Pueyrredón in Buenos Aires from 1932 to 1938, and then at the Escuela Superior de Bellas Artes Ernesto de la Cárcova from 1940 to 1944. During his first trip to Europe in 1951, he became acquainted with artists making kinetic art and promoted by Galerie Denise René in Paris. In 1957 he relocated permanently to the French capital, where he joined a vibrant expatriate community of Latin American artists.

Responding to legacies of constructivism, Mondrian’s concept of the grid, and Hans Arp’s and Sophie Taeuber-Arp’s reliefs, Tomasello began his series Atmosphère Chromoplastique in 1959. The series consisted of three-dimensional works in which small cubes, half cubes, or polyhedrons—either in white, or painted on their undersides and tilted at various angles—were attached onto a flat, white wooden surface. The white or painted surfaces of these protruding modules’ beveled edges capture the surrounding light, generating either a combination of light and shadows or color reflections in the background. At the same time, the color of the polyhedrons projects itself into the exhibition space, creating a subtle chromatic environment—hence the title “Chromatic Atmosphere.” His other series, ...



David M. Jones and Trent Barnes

Pre-Columbian site in Chiapas, Mexico, 13 km north-east of the modern town of the same name. The ancient site, spread across a mountain slope, was explored by Philip Drucker in 1947 and mapped by Edwin Ferdon in 1949. It comprises five groups of masonry structures, together with various carved stelae, so-called altars, and stone sculptures, many of which appear to be earlier than the final masonry structures. Tonalá was occupied from at least the Middle Pre-Classic period (c. 1000 bcc. 300 bc) into the Post-Classic period (c. ad 900–1521). Throughout its occupation it appears to have been on a major Mesoamerican north–south communication route and to have played a prominent role in the spread of Olmec ideas and in trade between Teotihuacán in the Central Highlands and the Maya region, part of the traffic across the Isthmus of Tehuantepec and down the Pacific Coast to the Maya cities of ...



Claude-François Baudez

revised by Rex Koontz

Pre-Columbian Maya site in the mountains of northeast Chiapas, Mexico. Although its elevation is nearly 900 m above sea-level, the culture and art of Toniná belong to the tradition of the lowland Maya area. Few of the buildings survive, but the originality of the sculptures derives from the city’s peripheral location, which exposed it to artistic trends from diverse sources. Following early visits by various explorers and travelers, including Guillaume Dupaix in 1808 and John L. Stephens in 1840, Frans Blom and Oliver La Farge were responsible for the first systematic study of the site, during the 1920s. Two French expeditions were made to Toniná, in 1972–1973 and 1979–1980, and subsequent excavations have been carried out by Mexican researchers under the auspices of the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, Mexico.

Toniná reached its apogee between c. 500 and c. 900 ce. Its ceremonial center, known as the Acropolis, is built on a hillside with seven terraces supporting the main civic buildings. The highest terrace is 57 m above an esplanade extending from the southern end of the Acropolis, where there are fewer buildings. There are, however, two ballcourts within this area. Two large pyramids standing side by side occupy almost all of the upper terraces. One has been explored: it stood 19 m high, with four staircases flanked by ramps with repeated, modeled stucco masks of the jaguar, patron of sacrifice and war. ...


Carlos Lastarria Hermosilla

(b Santiago, Feb 12, 1934).

Chilean painter, printmaker and illustrator. He studied under the painter Agustín Calvo (b 1878) and then at the Escuela de Bellas Artes in Montevideo, Uruguay, and under Henri-Georges Adam in Paris. While living in Paris from 1950 to 1962 he familiarized himself with techniques of drawing and printmaking. On his return to Chile in 1962 he taught at the Escuela de Arte of the Universidad Católica in Santiago, but he later devoted himself exclusively to his art.

Toral worked first as a printmaker in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and he also received commissions to illustrate volumes of poetry by Pablo Neruda. By the end of the 1960s, however, he worked primarily as a painter. In his Totem series initiated in 1967, for example, he depicted human faces as if imprisoned in enormous blocks, introducing a vein of fantasy that became characteristic of his art. A favourite theme was the conflict between the material and the spiritual, as in his series ...


Monica E. Kupfer

[Octavio ]

(b Boquete, Chiriquí, Aug 29, 1950).

Panamanian painter. He studied at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore in 1969 and at the Nova Scotia College of Art in Halifax from 1969 to 1971 before completing his education from 1971 to 1976 at the Escuela de Comunicación Social of the Universidad de Panamá. His first works were delicate and anecdotal drawings and etchings of mysterious, fairy-tale characters in fanciful surroundings. From the late 1970s he produced brightly coloured abstract paintings with gridlike substructures based on esoteric geometric relationships and inspired by Eastern philosophies; they were usually titled after the date on which they were finished, for example 1–3–1981 (Panama City, Mus. A. Contemp.). Toral moved to the USA in the early 1980s, where he changed to a figurative, neo-expressionist style and produced murals of semi-mechanical figures influenced by graffiti art. After returning to Panama in 1994, Toral explored new territory by combining the abstract geometric style of his earlier works with figurative elements, often human figures such as aborigines or bound women....


Alicia Haber

(b Villa de Porcuna, Spain, 1756; d Montevideo, June 23, 1810).

Spanish architect, active in Uruguay. After graduating from the Academia de San Fernando in Madrid, he became a key figure in the colonial architecture of Uruguay, where he introduced Spanish Neo-classical academicism, with some elements of transitional Mannerism. The Cabildo (des. 1804, under constr. 1804–69), Montevideo, his own house (1804) in Montevideo, and the parish church (1808) at Colonia del Sacramento are his major works and constitute one of the most significant legacies of colonial architecture. The architecture is sober and austere in its orderly treatment of space and subtle ornamentation of façades. The Cabildo, which was the seat of city government as well as jail and court-house (now the Museo y Archivo Histórico Municipal), has an area of 2000 sq. m. It is a bold, vigorous building, square in plan and with a simple internal layout based on a series of rooms built around large open patios, vaulted galleries, and a monumental central staircase. The façade includes rectangular, flat-arched windows, sober moulding, and a rhythmic distribution of pilasters and granite columns. The Doric order is used at first-floor level, and Ionic at the second. Toribio’s house makes excellent use of a narrow plot. The ground-floor is a covered passageway; the upper floor is divided into two sections separated by a hall. The severe façade features a large central balcony with a wrought-iron balustrade. The church at Colonia del Sacramento was damaged by lightning in ...


Lelia Delgado

(b Caracas, 1879; d 1955).

Venezuelan photographer. He photographed the most important political events in Venezuela in the first half of the 20th century. Toro’s work appeared in such major newspapers and publications of the period as El nuevo diario, El cojo ilustrado and Billiken. Aside from his official photography, he was an alert observer of changes in the city of Caracas, and was an exceptional portrait photographer. Much of his work is housed in the Consejo Municipal de Caracas....


Luis Enrique Tord

(b Trujillo, Jan 27, 1893; d May 13, 1981).

Peruvian painter. He travelled abroad while still very young, visiting Bolivia and Argentina and frequenting the group of artists led by Luis Quinquela Martín in Buenos Aires. On his return to Peru he held his first exhibitions in Arica in 1917 and in Trujillo in 1918. His work matured in France, Belgium, Germany and Italy, and he exhibited in Paris at the Salon d’Automne in 1928 and the Salon des Indépendants from 1927 to 1930. Together with other members of the group Los Independientes, led by Ricardo Grau, he brought Fauvism and abstract art to Peru in the late 1930s, opening the way to modernism, but his influence was considerably limited by the prevalence at that time of the movement concerned with indigenous subject-matter led by José Sabogal. Torre’s expressive strength, original personality and versatility led him to depict diverse subjects, including landscapes, gardens painted in an Impressionist style, portraits, still-lifes and vivid multicoloured compositions that he called ‘jungles’ because they suggested landscapes dense with plant life. His most important works are to be found in private collections in Lima....


Walter Smith

(b Puan, Argentina, Nov 2, 1944).

American architect and teacher. She graduated in architecture from the University of Buenos Aires in 1967 and studied at Columbia University, New York (1968–9). She was a principal of the Architectural Studio in New York from 1978 to 1984 and formed an independent practice in 1990. Torre also held academic appointments at Columbia, Yale and Syracuse universities and at Cooper Union, New York. She became an American citizen in 1989. From the beginning of her career, Torre was concerned with the status of women in architecture, studying the history of the subject and advocating a fuller participation of women in the field. Her work is strongly engaged in a dialogue of Modernist and Post-modernist forms. Fire Station Five (1987), Columbus, IN, for example, is a composition of geometric forms in which pitched roofs appear to form a pediment above a cylindrical tower (containing stairs and fireman’s pole), which is reminiscent of Midwestern farm silos. Clark House (...


Louise Noelle

Mexican architectural partnership formed in 1953 by Ramón Torres (b Pachuca, Hidalgo, Nov 22, 1924; d Dec 4, 2008) and Héctor Velázquez (b Mexico City, Dec 25, 1923; d 2006). Both partners studied at the Escuela Nacional de Arquitectura at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, graduating in November 1949. They both then spent a period studying abroad before establishing themselves in private practice. Their first works as a partnership were in the International Style, making free use of glass and metal but nevertheless achieving high-quality, attractive structures, such as a house (1959; in collaboration with Victor de la Lama) in Cuernavaca, Morelos, and the Centro Comercial Jacaranda (1956) in Mexico City, in which the various shop units shared a glass façade. The Lotería Nacional tower (1969–1971), however, designed in collaboration with David Muñoz Suárez and 102 m high, marked the end of this stylistic period; built on a slender isosceles triangle plan, its foundations made innovative use of cryogenic construction techniques....


Angel Kalenberg

(b Montevideo, July 28, 1874; d Montevideo, Aug 8, 1949).

Uruguayan painter, teacher and theorist, active also in Spain and France. His father was a Catalan emigrant from Mataró and his mother was Uruguayan. Financial problems forced the family to return to Catalonia in 1891, and he entered the Escuela de Artes y Oficios in Mataró. In 1892 he went to Barcelona, where he attended the Academia Baixas and became involved in the Cercle Artistic, also working as an illustrator for magazines and participating in various exhibitions. In 1903–4 he collaborated with Antoni Gaudí on the Templo Expiatorio de la Sagrada Familia (begun 1882) in Barcelona and on renovating the stained glass in the cathedral of Palma de Mallorca. In 1905, through the works he exhibited at the Sala Parés, his talent as a muralist was recognized by Eugenio d’Ors. He became involved in teaching and met Manolita Piña, whom he married in 1909. In 1910 he provided decorations for the Uruguayan pavilion at the Exposition Universelle et Internationale in Brussels. In ...


Liliana Herrera

(b Fuente del Maestro, Extremadura; fl 1631; d ?Cuzco, 1664 or 1680).

Spanish sculptor and architect, active in Peru. He influenced generations of indigenous sculptors in the Cuzco region, where he was resident from about the 1630s until 1664 and where he introduced and developed the Plateresque style. Some of his carved retables are known only from documentation, as is the case with the principal altar (1631; destr. 19th century) at La Merced, Cuzco. Other works in Cuzco include the principal retables in Cuzco Cathedral, executed (1637–?1646) in collaboration with Juan Rodríguez Samanez (fl 1626–56), in the monastery of S Clara (1636) and in the monastery of S Agustín (1639; all destr.). He also worked with Rodríguez Samanez on the principal retables for the Monasterio de Nuestra Señora de los Remedios (destr. 1650) and for the Hospital de Españoles de S Juan de Dios in 1637, both in Cuzco. He is best known for the two ambónes (1656) in Cuzco Cathedral, pulpits placed either side of the high altar; which complement the building’s mid-17th-century architecture. They are decorated with paired columns, flanking niches with angular and squared tops, pediments with volutes crowned by a cartouche, and with five carved Apostles on each pulpit. In 1651, following the 1650 Cuzco earthquake, he was contracted as architect to work on the main entrance to the church of La Merced, Cuzco. This was completed in 1669, with the exception of the tower, which was finished in 1675 possibly by Torres himself....


Deborah Cullen


(b Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, 1960).

Puerto Rican sculptor, active in the USA. Torres created plaster and fiberglass casts from life, depicting people in their communities. These include portrait busts, figurative tableaux, freestanding figures, and major outdoor murals. Torres worked both independently and in collaboration with John Ahearn (b 1951), with whom he regularly partnered from 1980.

When Torres was 4, his family moved to upper Manhattan and then to the Bronx. Torres began his art practice in 1979 at age 18 while working in a family factory casting religious statues. He visited Fashion Moda, an alternative space in the South Bronx. There, he met John Ahearn, who was making plaster body casts of neighborhood people. Torres became one of Ahearn’s subjects, and Torres’s first heads were cast there and exhibited alongside Ahearn’s. Torres convinced Ahearn to move to Walton Avenue in 1980, where they worked closely with the community. That year they participated in the historic Times Square Show. Between ...


María Antonia González-Arnal

(b Caracas, Feb 10, 1827; d Caracas, Dec 17, 1902).

Venezuelan painter. He studied (1839–40) under Antonio José Carranza and in 1841 under Carmelo Fernández and Celestino Martínez at the Colegio La Paz, Caracas. In 1850 he studied at the Real Academia de S Fernando, Madrid, and from 1851 to 1855 he lived in Paris and was taught by Léon Cogniet at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. Although he continued to travel frequently to Europe, he returned to Caracas in 1855, painting some of his best portraits before 1860 (e.g. Ana Tovar y Tovar de Zuloaga, 1858; Caracas, Machado Zuloaga estate). In 1859 he gave drawing classes at the Colegio Roscio, Caracas. Tovar y Tovar became associated with José Antonio Salas in 1864, establishing the art photography studio of Tovar y Salas. In 1867 he directed the painting section of the Academia de Bellas Artes. He was the official painter for the government (1870–88) of Antonio Guzmán Blanco, and was commissioned in ...


Beatriz de la Fuente and Trent Barnes

Pre-Columbian Olmec site in the southern Gulf Coast of Mexico that flourished c. 1000–c. 400 bc. It was originally called Hueyapan and extends for about 3.5 km along the right bank of the River Hueyapan at the foot of the Tuxtla Mountains. Tres Zapotes was discovered by José Melgar, who found the first Olmec colossal stone head in 1862. Eduard Seler and his wife visited the site in 1905, as did Albert Weyerstall between 1925 and 1927. Both parties found more sculptures. The site was excavated by Matthew Stirling from 1938 to 1940, when the lower half of Stele C was found, with the Maya Long Count date (see Mesoamerica, Pre-Columbian §II) corresponding to 31 bc, then the oldest known inscribed date (Stele 2 at Chiapa de Corzo bears a date of 36 bc, assuming a baktun 7). Stirling described and illustrated the site and more than 20 sculpted monuments, while colleagues ...


Ramón Gutiérrez

(b Celaya, Oct 13, 1759; d Celaya, Aug 3, 1833).

Mexican architect, painter, engraver, and sculptor. He studied painting under Miguel Cabrera at the Real Academia de las Nobles Artes de S Carlos in Mexico City but did not graduate. He subsequently took up wood-carving and engraving. He learnt the elements of architecture from the Jesuits, who gave him a copy of the writings of Jacopo Vignola. His architecture exhibits a familiarity with the classic treatises, although he never visited Europe. Tresguerras’s first major work (1780s) was the reconstruction in Neo-classical style of the convent church of S Rosa, Querétaro, originally consecrated in 1752. The dome over the crossing is set on a drum articulated by rusticated columns, which flank a series of round-headed openings. He is also credited with remodelling the interior of the convent church of S Clara, Querétaro, and with constructing the Neptune Fountain (1802–7) in the plaza in front of it. The god stands under a triumphal arch, while water pours through the mouth of a fish at his feet. Tresguerras also completed (...


Jerry Besson, John Newel Lewis, Maureen Warner-Lewis, Ricardo E. Alegria, Mela Pons-Alegria, Geoffrey Maclean and Alissandra Cummins

Caribbean country. It comprises the islands of Trinidad (4828 sq. km) and Tobago (300 sq. km) and lies at the southern tip of the Caribbean archipelago (see fig.). Trinidad was colonized from 1532 and was united with Tobago in 1889. The country achieved independence in 1962. The capital is Port of Spain, and the official language is English.

Unlike many largely volcanic Caribbean islands, Trinidad was until recent geological times a part of the South American mainland and is separated from Venezuela by only 11 km of sea. This island is divided by three mountain ranges running east to west: the Northern Range, a continuation of Venezuela’s coastal cordillera; the Central Range, which forms a belt across the middle of the island; and the low hills of the Southern Range. Swamps occur in lowland areas, and tropical rainforest covers much of the island. Tobago lies ...


Brandon Taylor

[Bronstein, Lev (Davidovich)]

(b Yanovka, Ukraine, Oct 26, 1879; d Mexico City, Aug 21, 1940).

Russian politician, writer and theorist of Ukrainian birth. He was a leader of the Bolshevik revolution in October 1917 and the People’s Commissar of War (1918–25) while intermittently writing on literature and art. As an exile in Siberia between 1900 and 1902 he wrote under the name of Antid Oto (from the Italian antidoto) for the Irkutsk newspaper Eastern Review, covering figures such as Nietzsche, Zola, Hauptmann, Ibsen, Ruskin, Maupassant, Gogol and Gorky. In 1924 he published his most important work, Literature and Revolution, which analysed in a dazzling rhetorical style the current state of Soviet art and letters. Critical of the experimentalism of Futurists such as Vladimir Mayakovsky and Formalist literary theorists such as Viktor Shklovsky, he also castigated the Proletkult movement on the grounds that it could be no more than a preparatory stage in the evolution of Socialist and eventually Communist culture, which would be classless. ‘We stepped into the Revolution’, wrote Trotsky, ‘while the Futurists fell into it’. He also opposed Vladimir Tatlin’s ...


Alexandra Kennedy

(b Caranqui-Imbabura, Oct 25, 1845; d Ibarra, March 15, 1920).

Ecuadorean painter. He was self-taught as an artist. Between 1870 and 1874 he was appointed as the sole illustrator to a team of German scientists, including the naturalist Wilhelm Reiss and the geologist Alfons Stübel, who undertook volcanic surveys in Ecuador. Stübel trained him to make scientific oil paintings of landscapes in situ, emphasizing the details of flora and the exact location of mountains and rivers. A few of the 66 works executed during these years are in the Städtische Reiss-Museum, Mannheim. This scientific vision of the Andean landscape, combined with the freedom of the contemporary Romanticism, created a personal style that changed little and made him one of the most important 19th-century landscape painters in Latin America. His scientific paintings served as models for such later works as the Eastern Mountain Range from Tiopullo (1874; Quito, Banco Cent. del Ecuador) and the Deer Hunt (1918; Guayaquil, Mus. Antropol. & Mus. A. Banco Cent. del Ecuador). Troya executed portraits of notable Ecuadorean society figures, including the politician and historian ...