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Article

Ramón Gutiérrez

(b nr Rome, 1677; d Córdoba, Argentina, Dec 25, 1740).

Italian architect, active in Argentina. Having studied architecture in Rome, in 1716 he joined the Jesuit Order. In 1717 he travelled with Giovanni Battista Primoli to Buenos Aires, subsequently settling in Córdoba. He was an able designer with a considerable theoretical knowledge of architecture and often worked in collaboration with Primoli, who completed many of his designs. Bianchi’s purified, classical style contained some Mannerist tendencies, and its implementation helped to increase the level of craftsmanship in architecture in the region. In 1719 he set up the lime kilns at La Calera, near Córdoba, so enabling an improvement in the building techniques of the region. In 1720 he moved to Buenos Aires, where he directed work on the Jesuit Colegio and later completed the construction of their church. Other important projects in Buenos Aires were his designs for the churches of Nuestra Señora del Pilar (Recoletos), Belén, S Catalina, La Merced, and S Francisco as well as the façade of the cathedral (all ...

Article

Annick Benavides

[Bitti, Aloisio Bernardino Giovanni Demócrito]

(b Camerino, the Marches, 1548; d Lima, 1610).

Italian painter and sculptor active in Peru. One of seven children born to Pablo and Cornelia Bitti, Bernardo Bitti commenced formal training in the arts at the age of 14 in Camerino and completed his training in Rome. He was inducted into the Society of Jesus as a Coadjutor Brother on 2 May 1568 at the age of 20. The General of the Society of Jesus, Everardo Mecurián, assigned Bitti to the Viceroyalty of Peru in 1573 at the request of the Jesuit Provincial in Peru, Diego Bracamante, who believed religious imagery would facilitate the Catholic indoctrination of indigenous Andeans at missions. After spending 14 months in Seville, Bitti arrived in Lima on 31 May 1575 and worked there for 8 years. He subsequently embarked on a peripatetic career decorating the interiors of Jesuit sites in Cuzco, Juli, La Paz, Sucre, Potosí, Arequipa, and Ayacucho.

Bitti created the main and lateral altarpieces of the Jesuit provisional church of S Pedro in Lima with the assistance of the Andalusian Jesuit artist Pedro de Vargas (...

Article

Veerle Poupeye

(b St Ann, 1917).

Jamaican painter and sculptor. A self-taught mystic and visionary, unknown until the late 1960s, he drew his artistic inspiration from a very personal interpretation of two Afro-Christian Jamaican cults, Rastafarianism and Revivalism. His imagery developed through meditation and techniques similar to the automatism of the Surrealists. The curious limestone formations found in Jamaica frequently served as a source of inspiration, as in Bush Have Ears (1976; Kingston, N.G.). He also made ritual objects, such as carved wooden staffs and decorated musical instruments. During the 1970s he worked in close collaboration with his son Clinton Brown (b 1954), who also received substantial critical acclaim.

V. Poupeye-Rammelaere: ‘The Rainbow Valley: The Life and Work of Brother Everald Brown’, Jamaica Journal, 21/2 (May–June 1988), pp. 2–14G. Mosquera: ‘Everald Brown’, Ante América (exh. cat. by G. Mosquera and others, Bogotá, Banco de la República, 1992), pp. 25–30V. Poupeye: Caribbean Art...

Article

Julia Detchon

(b Lübeck, 1937).

Uruguayan conceptual artist, critic, educator, and curator of German birth, active in the USA. Of Jewish ancestry, he fled with his family to Uruguay in 1939. He studied at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes in 1953–1957 and 1959–1962, working with students to reform the school’s curriculum. In 1961, a Guggenheim fellowship took him to New York to study printmaking. Though he retained his Uruguayan citizenship, he settled permanently in New York, where he taught at the Pratt Graphics Art Center; co-founded the New York Graphic Workshop in 1964 with Liliana Porter (b 1941) and José Guillermo Castillo (1938–1999); and in 1971 helped establish New York’s Museo Latinoamericano and its subsequent splinter group, the Movimiento de Independencia Cultural de Latino América. From the 1970s, political repression in Latin America inspired a series of conceptual installations that addressed such issues as language, identity, freedom, political violence, and the role of art. For Camnitzer, the task of the artist was to identify and express the problems that surrounded him, transforming art into a political instrument. His questioning of traditional values applied not only to the themes of his work, but to its material form; employing objects of little intrinsic value, he rejected traditional notions of art as beautiful and of commercial worth....

Article

Spanish and Latin American cathedrals are distinguished by their broad hall-like interiors, their gilded and polychrome Retables, the central position of the enclosed choir (coro), and the pairs of monumental organs that flank each side of the choir. The construction of twin organs reached its apogee in the middle of the 18th century. Typically, these organs have two façades, one facing towards the choir and one facing out towards the lateral aisles. The earliest extant example of this design is found in the double-façade organ (1469) of the cathedral of Saragossa. This organ is noted for its red-and-gold Gothic case.

The technical development of the Spanish organ, though distinct in detail, parallels the general trends found throughout Europe. The 17th, and particularly, the 18th century saw the modest size of cathedral organs evolve into large and complex machines. The enlarging of the sound palette (organ stops) resulted in an increase in the space needed to house the pipes. The position of the organ in Spanish cathedrals—in the nave arches—intrinsically constrained the organ builders’ ability to expand the depth of the instrument. The solution was to stack the internal division of the organ vertically, and most innovatively, externally. Organ cases grew higher and wider, eventually occupying the entire space of the arch. Examples of this are the monumental mirror-organs of the Andalusian cathedrals of Seville (...

Article

Emmanuel Ortega

(fl 16th century).

Mexican painter. Gerson’s life and oeuvre has been linked to the Apocalypse of St John frescoes (1562) in the Franciscan church of Tecamachalco in the state of Puebla. The images were first painted on amate (bark paper made from the amate tree) and later transferred to the vaults above the choir where pigments were added in the fresco medium to blend both surfaces together. The cycle came to prominence via the scholarship of Manuel Toussaint, who in 1932 assigned the authorship to a painter from Flanders named Juan Gerson. Since then, the cycle’s authorship, along with Gerson’s identity, has remained a topic of controversy. Starting in the 1960s, art historians Rosa Camelo Arredondo, Jorge Gurría Lacroix, and Constantino Reyes Valerio revised this view stating that Gerson was instead a local indigenous artist. They agreed that Gerson was the principal master behind these images whose technique remains a prime example of how Pre-Columbian and European traditions were intertwined in religious spaces in New Spain....

Article

Humberto Rodríguez-Camilloni

(b 1617; d Lima, 1696).

Peruvian architect. He was a friar of the Dominican order in Lima and one of the most active architects in Peru during the second half of the 17th century. His earliest known work was a new plan (1643) for the cathedral at Trujillo, on the north coast. However, all his known works from 1659 were in Lima: that year he signed a contract to repair the water system in the main cloister of the convent of Nuestra Señora de la Concepción, and in 1663 the Sagrario was begun to his designs on the Plaza de Armas. Following the earthquake of 1678, Maroto took charge of the reconstruction of the transept of S Domingo and designed a new dome using quincha, a light construction of plastered reeds on a timber frame, an anti-seismic system first used in Peru in 1657 by Constantino de Vasconcelos. Maroto also rebuilt (1678–81...

Article

Joan Kee

(b Taichung, Feb 16, 1964).

Taiwanese conceptual artist, active also in the USA. Lee spent his childhood in Taichung, where he studied Chan Buddhism from the age of eight. At 12, Lee spent time among Taiwanese expatriates in the Dominican Republic, and two years later moved to the USA, where he later studied biology at the University of Washington, Seattle. He transferred, however, to the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, CA, where he focused on architecture and textiles (1993). During this time, Lee made work that originated from personal memories, such as One Hundred Days with Lily (1995), which he started after his grandmother’s death. This work was a long-term endeavour documenting the life cycle of a lily that Lee took with him as he went about his daily activities in San Francisco.

After graduating from Oakland, Lee went on to receive a master’s degree in sculpture from the Yale School of Art. At Yale, Lee expanded upon his interest in interpersonal communication, which resulted in the production of works such as ...

Article

Since religious conversion was believed to justify conquest, Spanish and Portuguese colonists quickly began establishing missions to instruct the original inhabitants of the “New World” in the Roman Catholic faith. This work was first entrusted to members of religious orders: principally, Franciscans, Dominicans, and Augustinians. By the end of the 16th century in New Spain, the friars had trained natives not only in religion but also in European art and architecture. This involved invention and accommodation, as well as major technological change, seen, for example, in the introduction of metal tools and vaulted spaces. The stone churches and monasteries of central and southern New Spain, situated within large, enclosed atria with open chapels for outdoor liturgy, and adorned with altarpieces and wall paintings, are monuments to European teaching and expertise, and to native knowledge and skills (see also Missions of New Spain in the 16th century).

Later mission efforts were entrusted to the same religious orders, but also to the Jesuits, founded in ...

Article

In 16th-century New Spain (Mexico), missions were the principal part of the Spanish crown’s program to convert Native Americans to Catholicism and transform them into loyal subjects in “New World” Spanish society.

With the Pope’s support, the Spanish Crown viewed conversion of the Native Americans as sufficient reason for their conquest and subjugation, financed and directed by the King. The Spanish explorer/conquistador Hernán Cortés (1485–1547) and a small group of armed men landed on the Gulf Coast of Mexico in 1519 to investigate stories they had heard about large cities on the mainland. After two years of fighting the Mexica, more widely known as Aztecs, and making alliances with other native city-states opposed to them, Cortés succeeded in conquering the Aztecs in Tenochtitlán (now Mexico City) in 1521. This led to an unprecedented missionizing effort to convert the native population of what is today central Mexico to Catholicism....

Article

Carmen María Fernández-Salvador

From Darién to Tierra del Fuego, religious orders founded missions that served the double purpose of converting native populations to Christianity, while incorporating new territories under imperial dominion. In this region, missions typically occupied frontier lands, that is, the intermediary, often violent, spaces between the Portuguese and Spanish Empires, and between different cultures and peoples. While various religious orders engaged in missionary work early in the colonial period, notably the Franciscans, the most important contribution was made by the Jesuits in the 17th and 18th centuries (see Jesuit Order, §4(ii)).

Jesuit missions had an international character. Missionaries from Italy and Central Europe not only brought with them engravings and images from Europe. Many of them, trained as painters or architects, also introduced new artistic traditions. This is the case of the German Jesuit architects, Leonard Deubler (d 1770) and Georg Winterer (fl. c. 1730), who worked in the mission of Mainas, in the Amazon, and the Swiss, ...

Article

José María Peña and Liliana Herrera

(b Seville, 1699; d ?Buenos Aires, 1784).

Spanish architect, active in Argentina. In 1741 he joined the Franciscan Order in Buenos Aires. When he took his vows it was noted that he was a ‘mason–architect’, and he worked in this capacity in Buenos Aires, Córdoba, and Salta. From 1730 he designed the vaulting for S Francisco, Buenos Aires, following the plans of the original architect Andrea Bianchi, who had begun it c. 1724. The dome (1752) of Córdoba Cathedral is attributed to Muñoz. As has been noted, it is a majestic cupola reminiscent of those of Toro Cathedral in Spain or the Old Cathedral in Salamanca (Spain). Its corner turrets are designed in the Romanesque style, although its skilful interplay of curves and counter-curves, onion-shaped crown, and base strengthened by a balustered ring are derived from Piedmontese Baroque (Gallardo). In 1754 Muñoz was involved in the construction of S Roque Chapel, Buenos Aires, designed by ...

Article

Ramón Gutiérrez and Liliana Herrera

[Buix, José Domingo ]

(b Petrés, Valencia, June 9, 1759; d 1811).

Spanish architect and Capuchin monk, active in Colombia. He trained with his father, the stonemason Domingo Buix. Joining the Capuchin Order in 1780, he was sent to Murcia, where he studied at an art school directed by Francisco Salzillo y Alcarez. In 1792 he was posted to Santa Fe de Bogotá, Colombia, where he took over and concluded the work on the hospice of S José and quickly achieved a well-deserved renown in the viceroyalty of New Granada. He provided designs for S Domingo, Bogotá (1794), and the basilica of the Virgin of Chiquinquirá (1796–1823), where his use of an ambulatory recalls the work of Diego de Siloé at Granada. He designed Bogotá observatory (1802) and the cathedral of Zipaquirá (1805), 40 km north of the capital, but his masterpiece is Bogotá Cathedral (1806–14), which he rebuilt in the Neo-classical style. Petrés also undertook civil engineering work, such as the conduits and basin for the fountain of S Victoriano, and several bridges, including that of El Topo at Tunja (...

Article

Ramón Gutiérrez

(b Milan, Oct 10, 1673; d Mision de Candelaria, Sept 15, 1747).

Italian architect, active in South America. He practised as an architect before entering the Jesuit Order. In 1717 he travelled to Rio de la Plata with Andrea Bianchi, and they collaborated successfully on works of major regional importance. In these Bianchi acted primarily as a designer, while Primoli completed many of the buildings planned by his colleague. Primoli alternated his work between Buenos Aires and Córdoba, and in 1719 he built projects of his own design for the town council of Buenos Aires. From 1720 to 1729 he was established in Córdoba, working on the Colegio Máximo of the university with Bianchi and starting the construction of the Convictorio and the Casa de Ejercicios. After briefly returning to Buenos Aires to work on the Colegio de S Ignacio, in 1730 Primoli toured the Jesuit missions to the Guaraní Indians. He began by working on a project for the church (...

Article

Noémie Goldman and Kim Oosterlinck

Term for the return of lost or looted cultural objects to their country of origin, former owners, or their heirs. The loss of the object may happen in a variety of contexts (armed conflicts, war, colonialism, imperialism, or genocide), and the nature of the looted cultural objects may also vary, ranging from artworks, such as paintings and sculptures, to human remains, books, manuscripts, and religious artefacts. An essential part of the process of restitution is the seemingly unavoidable conflict around the transfer of the objects in question from the current to the former owners. Ownership disputes of this nature raise legal, ethical, and diplomatic issues. The heightened tensions in the process arise because the looting of cultural objects challenges, if not breaks down, relationships between peoples, territories, cultures, and heritages.

The history of plundering and art imperialism may be traced back to ancient times. Looting has been documented in many instances from the sack by the Romans of the Etruscan city of Veii in ...

Article

Rafael Moreira

(fl 1552–71).

Portuguese architect. A Dominican, he was responsible for the construction of convents in northern Portugal during the Counter-Reformation period, probably more as a supervisor of matters affecting liturgy than as a master mason; this was a forerunner of the tendency of religious orders and the Jesuit rule to use ‘specialist’ members of the Order as architects.

Romero was educated in the monastery at Batalha, where university studies were instituted in 1538, and appears to have fulfilled diplomatic missions on behalf of the Order under the patronage of Don Bartolomeu dos Mártires (d 1590), Archbishop of Braga, a renowned Tridentine theologian. In 1552 Romero went to Rome to urge the beatification of S Gonçalo de Amarante, returning via Lyon on 22 August 1553. He must have become immediately involved in the construction of the Amarante convent of S Gonçalo (founded in 1540), since the sacristy lavabo in the style of Michelangelo bears the date ...

Article

Cristina Gonzalez

(b Sahagún, León, 1499; d Mexico, 1590).

Spanish writer, missionary, linguist, and ethnographer. Bernardino de Sahagún wrote and compiled the Historia general de las cosas de Nueva España (c. 1577), a comprehensive account of the Aztecs. Before arriving in New Spain (Mexico), he studied at the prestigious Universidad de Salamanca, one of the principle centers of culture in western Europe. He took the habit of the Franciscans while still a student. In 1529, at the invitation of friar Antonio de Ciudad Rodrigo, one of the twelve Franciscan friars to arrive in Mexico with Martín de Valencia in 1524, he sailed to New Spain as a missionary. In Mexico City he witnessed the ruins of the Templo Mayor and, according to friar Juan de Torquemada, commissioned a painting of the site and sent it to Spain. He was custodian of the monastery in Tlalmanalco and also resided at the monastery in Xochimilco before becoming a teacher of classics and history at the trilingual imperial Colegio de Santa Cruz de Tlatelolco in ...

Article

Maria Concepción García Sáiz

(b Medina Sidonia, 1577; d Mexico, 1652).

Spanish architect and writer, active in Mexico. After a first visit to America in 1593, when he was shipwrecked, he returned there permanently in 1596, entering the Order of Discalced Carmelites in Mexico City (1600). From 1606 he was occupied with the construction and repair of many buildings belonging to the Order. Between 1606 and 1611 he supervised the building, to his own design, of S Desierto de Cuajimalpa, Puebla, a timber-roofed oratory surrounded by six hermit cells (destr.). In 1608 he continued work on the Carmelite convent in Mexico City, begun in 1602 to the plans of Alonso Pérez de Casatañeda (fl c. 1573). In 1615 he began the convent of S Angel, Mexico City, which was mostly completed in the following year, although the barrel-vaulted church was not built until 1622–4. Between 1618 and 1629 he worked in the Carmelite convents of Querétaro, Celaya (destr.) and Valladolid (destr.), and others have been attributed to him in Puebla and Atlixco (Puebla). He inspected the drainage of Mexico City (...

Article

Teresa Gisbert

(d La Paz, 1834).

Catalan architect, active in Bolivia. He was a Franciscan friar and the leading architect in Bolivia between 1800 and 1830 (see Bolivia, Republic of §II 2., (i)). In 1808 he was called to Potosí to design the cathedral in a predominantly Neo-classical style coexisting with reminiscences of the Baroque. There were brief interruptions in its construction, and it was not finished until 1838. In Potosí he also redesigned the church of S Domingo. He interrupted his work there to execute the principal altar (1820) of the church of La Merced, Cuzco, and a new retable (1830) for the church of La Merced, La Paz. Shortly after he commenced work on a new cathedral for La Paz (for illustration see La Paz), although only the ground storey was completed before his death; the works were continued by the French engineer Philippe Bertrès and completed in the early 20th century by ...

Article

Santos  

James Cordova and Claire Farago

Term that refers to handmade paintings and sculptures of Christian holy figures, crafted by artists from the Hispanic and Lusophone Americas. The term first came into widespread use in early 20th-century New Mexico among English-speaking art collectors to convey a sense of cultural authenticity. Throughout the Americas, the term imagenes occurs most frequently in Spanish historical documents. Santos are usually painted on wood panels (retablos) or carved and painted in the round (bultos). Reredos, or altarpieces, often combine multiple retablos and bultos within a multi-level architectural framework.

European Christian imagery was circulated widely through the Spanish viceroyalties in the form of paintings, sculptures, and prints, the majority of which were produced in metropolitan centres such as Mexico City, Antigua, Lima, and Puebla, where European- and American-born artists established guilds and workshops. These became important sources upon which local artists elsewhere based their own traditions of religious image-making using locally available materials such as buffalo hides, vegetal dyes, mineral pigments, and yucca fibres, commonly employed by native artists long before European contact....