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Myriam A. Ribeiro de Oliveira and Liliana Herrera

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Article

Maria Concepción García Sáiz

(b Zamora, c. 1680; d Mexico City, 1748).

Spanish architect and sculptor, active in Mexico. Between 1702 and 1703 he worked in Madrid as a designer of stage machinery, later moving to Andalusia, where he produced the principal altar of the sacristy of Seville Cathedral in the Rococo style, completed in 1709 (destr. 1824). Ceán Bermúdez described it as having ‘four large estípites, pilasters, lots of angels prankishly tumbling about and a cornice broken and interrupted in a thousand places with tortuous projections and recessions, the whole topped by a huge arch’. In 1714 Balbás also carried out the plan for the choir-stalls of the church of S Juan in Marchena, carved by Juan de Valencia, equally playful in style and similarly using estípites. The same year he designed the lectern in the same church, though this was not constructed until 1735.

Around 1718 Balbás went to Mexico City to take charge of the ‘retablo del Perdón’ in the Chapel of the Kings at the Metropolitan Cathedral, using the ...

Article

Myriam A. Ribeiro de Oliveira and Liliana Herrera

Portuguese family of artists, active in Brazil. The architect (1) Manoel Francisco Lisboa often appears in the history of Brazilian art only as the father of (2) Antônio Francisco Lisboa. He was, however, the leading architect in the gold-mining province of Minas Gerais in the mid-18th century and was responsible for most of the secular and ecclesiastical buildings that give Ouro Prêto (formerly Vila Rica) its present individual appearance. His brother, the carpenter and master mason Antônio Francisco Pombal (fl 1720–45), probably accompanied him on his emigration to Brazil c. 1720. Although there are few documentary references to Pombal, he won fame for his decoration (1736–45) of the nave of the parish church of Pilar in Vila Rica. In a move that was revolutionary for the time, he transformed the traditional rectangular interior of the church into a ten-sided polygon. The architect and sculptor (2) Antônio Francisco Lisboa was the leading Brazilian artist of the colonial period. He became highly influential for the ingenious and original way in which he developed the Rococo religious style that reached Brazil in the mid-18th century....

Article

Mónica Martí Cotarelo

(María)

(b Puebla, 1789; d Puebla, 1860).

Mexican architect, sculptor, painter, lithographer, and teacher. He was the leading figure in Puebla in the fields of architecture, sculpture, painting, and drawing during the early 19th century. He was director of the Academia de Dibujo in Puebla from its foundation in 1814 and the first recipient of a scholarship from the academy, which allowed him to go to Paris (1824–1827), where he studied architecture, drawing, and lithography. He also visited museums, factories, and prisons, intending to introduce French developments and systems into Puebla. On his return to Mexico he devoted himself to intense public activity, architectural reform, painting, lithography, and teaching, and experiments in industrialized production. Among his most important sculptural works is the completion (1819) of the ciprés (altarpiece with baldacchino) for Puebla Cathedral, which had been left unfinished on the death of Manuel Tolsá. It combines a high altar, a sepulchral monument, and a sanctuary of the Virgin, and it is one of the most spectacular examples of Mexican neoclassicism. From ...

Article

Poblano  

Constantino Reyes-Valerio and Liliana Herrera

Term used to describe an exuberant architectural and sculptural style that developed in and around the city of Puebla, Mexico, in the 18th century. It is characterized by Baroque elements used in combination with ornate stucco, geometrically patterned red brickwork, and polychrome glazed tiles (Sp. azulejos), which were produced by flourishing local industries. The style developed in parallel with the growth of the city itself. As Puebla became wealthier and more important in the 17th century, increasing numbers of workshops were set up by ceramicists, many of them from Spain; Spanish artistic trends became more important, and these workshops came to exert a great deal of influence on the development of art in the city and surrounding villages. At the same time the growing wealth of the city financed the construction of religious and secular buildings that reveal their patrons’ and owners’ desire for luxury and display. Heavily ornamented mansions, as well as convents and churches designed in opulent styles reflecting the donations of affluent local merchants, farmers, and factory owners, all contributed to the evolution of an architecture rich in colour and imagination....

Article

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 ...

Article

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 (...

Article

Ramón Gutiérrez and Liliana Herrera

(b San Sebastián; d Cuzco, 1718).

Peruvian architect and sculptor. A descendant of the Inca nobility, he was the finest of the indigenous craftsmen who participated in the reconstruction of the old Inca capital, Cuzco, after the earthquake of 1650. He was self-taught as well as being trained in the system of guild artisans and had excellent technical skills, which included gilding and the building of altarpieces. Tuyru Tupac Inca’s finest work as an architect is the design of S Pedro, attached to the Hospital de Indias in Cuzco, his plan for which was drawn up in 1688 and is preserved in Spain in the Archivo General de Indias in Seville. In addition he built the tower (1688) of the Recoleta Church, Cuzco, and Belén Church (in construction, 1696) in Cuzco is also attributed to him. Among his finest works as a sculptor are the statue of the Virgen de La Almudena (...