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Torres, Martín de  

(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....