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Fine arts institutions with a structured curriculum led by professors or directors, financed by the Spanish monarchy in colonial times and national governments thereafter. Academies of fine arts in Latin America descend from mid-18th-century developments in Spain, which were based on the model of the French royal academies founded in the 17th century. The Spanish monarchy sponsored a number of drawing schools and three royal art academies in the second half of the 18th century, including the academies of S Fernando in Madrid (1752), S Carlos in Valencia (1768), and S Luis in Saragossa (1793). Academic practice could be distinguished from artistic training under an artist’s workshop in which apprentices lived with a master for a number of years and copied his or her style on a path to possibly obtaining a master artist’s status. In the academy, professors (or directors) led students in a structured curriculum organized around the idea of the ...

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Ramón Gutiérrez

(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 ...