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Elisa García Barragán

(b Marseille; d after 1912).

Italian sculptor and teacher, active in France and Mexico. He began his career in Marseille as a sculptor of the French school, and in 1888 he received an honourable mention at the Salon des Artistes Français, where he exhibited regularly until 1913. He probably moved to Mexico at the end of 1889. He won critical acclaim for his first works there, marble and bronze busts of important Mexican figures. In 1891 the government commissioned him to create statues of national heroes and dignitaries for the Paseo de la Reforma, Mexico City; the statue of Col. Miguel López was exhibited at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, IL, in 1893 and at the World’s Fair in Atlanta, GA, in 1895, winning prizes on both occasions. This was Alciati’s most dramatic and realist work, and the influence of Rodin is clear. In 1895 he was appointed professor of sculpture, decoration and modelling at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes, Mexico City. At the turn of the century he was commissioned to create, under the direction of ...


Myriam A. Ribeiro de Oliveira and Liliana Herrera



Roberto Pontual

(b Guadalajara, 1852; d Rio de Janeiro, 1931).

Brazilian sculptor. The son of Italian musicians, he spent his childhood in Mexico and Chile before coming to Brazil with his family. In 1870 he was already enrolled in the course on statuary sculpture in the Academia Imperial das Belas Artes in Rio de Janeiro, from where he was awarded a trip to Europe in 1876. He remained abroad until 1885, living briefly in Paris from 1878 to 1879 but staying mainly in Rome, where he finished his studies with Achille Monteverdi. During that time he executed one of his best-known works, the marble Christ and the Adulteress (1884; Rio de Janeiro, Mus. N. B.A.), which bears witness to the persistence in Brazil of a Neo-classically based naturalism throughout the 19th century and beyond. He taught in the Academia Imperial, and when this was renamed the Escola Nacional de Belas Artes with the establishment of the Republic, he became its director from ...


Brian Austen


(b ?Sheffield, 1785; d Port of Spain, Trinidad, Nov 1846).

English sculptor, designer and architect. In 1810 he exhibited at the first Liverpool Academy Exhibition and showed models and drawings there in 1811, 1812 and 1814. These included designs for the restoration of the screen in Sefton church, Merseyside, and for a chimney-piece for Speke Hall, Liverpool, and two drawings of Joseph Ridgway’s house at Ridgmont, Horwich, Lancs. Bridgens designed furniture and furnishings in Gothic and Elizabethan styles for George Bullock. In 1814 he moved to London with Bullock, using his address at 4 Tenterden Street, Hanover Square, and prepared designs for Sir Godfrey Vassal Webster (1789–1836) for improvements to Battle Abbey, E. Sussex, and similarly for Sir Walter Scott’s home, Abbotsford House, at Melrose on the Borders. Two chair designs for Battle Abbey were published in Rudolph Ackermann’s Repository of Arts in September 1817, and Bridgens was also involved in the design of chairs supplied to Abbotsford House in ...


Jorge Luján-Muñoz

(b Guatemala City, Sept 16, 1781; d Guatemala City, Nov 21, 1845).

Guatemalan painter, printmaker, and medallist. He entered the mint in 1795 as an apprentice engraver but on the recommendation of its director, Pedro Garci-Aguirre, also became Master Corrector at the Escuela de Dibujo de la Sociedad Económica de Amigos del País, Guatemala City, in 1796, holding the post until 1804. He continued working at the mint until 1809 and demonstrated outstanding skill both as a medallist and engraver of coins and as an engraver and etcher. He returned to the mint in 1823 as second engraver, remaining in the post until his death.

Despite the quality of his work as a printmaker and medallist, Cabrera gained artistic recognition especially as a miniature painter, working mostly in watercolour on ivory in a meticulous technique. He produced some miniatures on religious themes and others of birds, but the majority, measuring no more than 50 mm in height or width, were portraits of members of the Guatemalan aristocracy and bourgeoisie. It is not known exactly how many he produced, but from the middle of the 1830s he began to number them, starting from 500; the highest known number of the approximately 200 authenticated miniatures is 745. Although he suffered some illness, he was most productive during the last five years of his life. An evolution can be discerned from his earliest works, dating from ...


Nelly Perazzo

(b Buenos Aires, Feb 28, 1861; d Buenos Aires, Nov 28, 1890).

Argentine sculptor. He studied in Buenos Aires under Julio Laguens before traveling in 1877 to Florence, where he studied sculpture under the Italian sculptors Urbano Lucchesi (1844–1906) and Augusto Passaglia (1838–1918). His bronze Slave, now in the Jardines del Parque 3 de Febrero in Buenos Aires, was awarded a gold medal at the Exposición Continental, Buenos Aires, in 1882. In 1885 he returned to Argentina with his monument to Admiral Guillermo Brown (bronze; Adrogué, Plaza Almirante Brown), unveiled in 1886; as the first monument by a native artist to be erected in Argentina it received an enthusiastic reception.

Cafferata also produced busts of his father, of the revolutionary Spanish ideologist Mariano Moreno, and of the poet José de Espronceda, and he was one of the few 19th-century artists in Argentina to recognize the role of Afro-Argentines, for example in a monument to the popular hero Falucho...


Fausto Ramírez

(b Aguascalientes, January 20, 1866; d Mexico City, July 13, 1902).

Mexican sculptor. He studied under Miguel Noreña at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes in Mexico City and collaborated with him in 1886–7 on the casting of the bronze statues for the Cuauhtémoc monument. Awarded a fellowship to complete his training in Paris, he pursued his studies there between January 1888 and December 1889, not at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts but in workshops renowned for casting (Gagnot, Thiébaut Frères) and stone-cutting (Colibert). While in Paris he completed 12 large bronze reliefs for the Mexican pavilion at the Exposition Universelle held in Paris in 1889, representing gods and kings of the pre-Hispanic period; these were later moved to Aguascalientes (six in Casa Cult.; two integrated into the monument to J. F. Contreras) and Mexico City (four integrated into the Monumento a la Raza; three of them now in the Museo del Ejército in Mexico City).

Both as a practising sculptor and as a teacher, Contreras understood clearly the need to incorporate industrial processes into the preparation of sculpture. On his return to Mexico City he conducted classes at both the Escuela de Artes y Oficios and the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes, but his new concept of artistic training soon brought him into conflict with the academic authorities, and he was forced to give up teaching. In ...


Fausto Ramírez

(b Barcelona, June 27, 1854; d Rome, Jan 23, 1938).

Catalan painter, sculptor, and teacher, active also in Mexico. He was the son of the draughtsman Cayetano Fabrés. He studied at the Academia Provincial de Bellas Artes in Lonja (1867–75) and in the studio of the sculptor Andrés Aleu y Teixidor. With his sculpture in plaster the Dead Abel (1875; Barcelona, Real Acad. Cat. B.A. San Jordi), he won a scholarship to study in Rome. There he was attracted to the work of the sculptor Vincenzo Gemito and at the same time to the paintings of Mariano José Bernardo Fortuny y Marsal; eventually he abandoned sculpture to devote himself completely to painting. He worked in a similar Orientalist genre, inspired by North African subject-matter, in paintings such as the Warrior’s Repose (1878), the Sultan’s Present (1877–8; both Barcelona, Mus. N. A. Catalunya), and On the Sultan’s Order (c. 1902; Mexico City, Mus. N. A.). His painting of musketeers, ...


Angel Kalenberg

(b Montevideo, May 21, 1874; d Buenos Aires, Oct 31, 1916).

Uruguayan sculptor. He received his first sculptural lessons at the workshop of his father, the Italian sculptor Juan Ferrari (1836–1918), followed by a brief period at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes in Buenos Aires in 1888. From 1890 he studied in Rome under Ettore Ferrari and Ercole Rosa, winning first prize for sculpture in 1892. On returning to Montevideo in 1897 he established a workshop as well as a course in visual arts at the University of Uruguay. By the time he moved to Buenos Aires in 1910, his reputation as a sculptor specializing in monumental work was firmly established in Uruguay and Argentina.

While still living abroad Ferrari created sculptures of the human figure influenced by Auguste Rodin’s use of voids and striking contrasts of light, such as Prometheus Chained (1893; Montevideo, Av. Agraciada). On his return to Latin America he made numerous full-length figures on a small scale such as ...


Roberto Pontual

[Valentim, Mestre ]

(b Brazil, c. 1750; d Rio de Janeiro, 1813).

Brazilian sculptor and wood-carver. His earliest surviving works, mainly commissioned from religious fraternities and all located in Rio de Janeiro, date from the late 1770s. His surviving work, typical of the transition from Baroque-Rococo to Neo-classicism, includes the carving on the main altar of the noviciate chapel of the church of Carmo and the altar of the church of S Francisco de Paula; the statues of St John the Evangelist and St Matthew (both Rio de Janeiro, Mus. Hist. N.); the two monumental candelabra in the monastery of S Bento; and the fountains das Marrecas, das Saracuras, and do Lapidário in city squares. His most important work was the large-scale sculptural project that he planned for the Passeio Público in Rio de Janeiro, consisting of terraces with benches tiled with azulejos (glazed tiles), pavilions decorated by the painter Leandro Joaquim (1738–98), waterfalls, four flights of steps, statues of ...