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Elisa García Barragán

(b Teziutlán, Puebla, June 10, 1822; d Mexico City, May 28, 1884).

Mexican painter. He studied painting at the Academia de San Carlos, Mexico City, and in 1844 went to the Accademia di S Luca, Rome, where he was taught by the Sicilian Neo-classical painter Natal di Carta. His earliest works were portraits, for example that of the Mexican sculptors Pérez and Valera (1847; Mexico City, Mus. N. A.). He exhibited Columbus before the Catholic Kings (1850; Mexico City, Mus. N. A.) in his studio in Florence, to critical acclaim, and the painting made a great impression in Mexico when he returned there in 1853, also taking with him his most ambitious, and highly academic, easel painting, Christ the Redeemer and the Woman Taken in Adultery (1853; Guadalupe, Mus. Reg.). In his Romantic portrait of Doña Dolores Tosta de Santa Anna (1855; Mexico City, Mus. S. Carlos), wife of the president of the Mexican Republic, Cordero modelled the sitter in a sculptural fashion; the work is remarkable in 19th-century Mexican art in its departure from mild academic aesthetics, notably through its use of strong colour contrasts. In his mural (...


Zilah Quezado Deckker

(b Povos, nr Lisbon, July 25, 1747; d Rio de Janeiro, March 21, 1819).

Portuguese architect, active also in Brazil. He studied in Italy under royal patronage, a pattern of artistic education established in Portugal at the beginning of the 18th century. He went first to Bologna, in 1769, becoming a member of the Accademia in 1775. He subsequently went to Rome, making an extensive tour of Italy before returning to Lisbon in 1779. In 1781 he was invited to run the school of architecture at the new Academia do Nu in Lisbon, founded under Mary I. He also became an honorary member of the Accademia di S Luca, Rome. In 1785 he completed the sanctuary of the Italian church of Nossa Senhora do Loreto, Lisbon, the rebuilding of which was started by Manuel Caetano de Sousa.

Costa e Silva’s first major work was the opera house, the Teatro S Carlos (1792–3), Lisbon, which was built in six months for a group of wealthy citizens anxious to follow the latest fashions in Italian opera. The design was consciously Neo-classical: the three-bay arcaded ...


David Watkin

(b Oving, W. Sussex, 1814; d Jamaica, Nov 26, 1847).

English architect. Elmes was responsible for one of the finest Neo-classical public buildings in Europe, St George’s Hall and Assize Courts, Liverpool; a remarkably convincing re-creation of the grandeur of imperial Rome for someone who had never visited Italy or Greece. Elmes was a pupil of his father James Elmes (1782–1862) and of his uncle Henry John Elmes, a London builder. Author of the first documented life of Sir Christopher Wren (1823) and founder of a pioneering art journal, Annals of the Fine Arts (1816–20), James Elmes doubtless gave his son a firm grounding in architectural history as well as practice. In 1834 Harvey Elmes passed from the Royal Academy Schools, London, to the Bath office of H. E. Goodridge (1797–1864), with whom he remained for three years. At this time Goodridge was engaged on designs for the Roman Catholic procathedral in Bristol (building of which was never completed). The grandeur of Goodridge’s scheme of ...


Jorge Luján-Muñoz

(b Cádiz, ?1750; d Guatemala City, Sept 15, 1809).

Spanish engraver and architect, active in Guatemala. He studied in Cádiz around 1760, and in 1773 he moved to Madrid, where he was probably taught by the noted engraver Tomás Francisco Prieto (1726–82). In 1778 he was appointed assistant engraver of the Real Casa de Moneda in Guatemala, where he arrived the next year. Following the death of the principal engraver, he was confirmed in this post in 1783 and held it until his death. Besides his work as engraver of coin dies and medal stamps, Garci-Aguirre made numerous fine copperplate engravings for books (e.g. P. Ximena: Reales Exequias por el Señor Don Carlos III, Guatemala City, 1790) and other publications. In Guatemala he revived the art of engraving, working in the Neo-classical style, which he was one of the first to introduce to the country. He soon became involved with architectural works in connection with the building of the new capital of Guatemala City, first in the Real Casa de Moneda and then on other royal projects. From ...


Kelly Donahue-Wallace

[Gil y PérezGerónimo Antonio]

(b Zamora, Spain, Nov 3, 1731; d Mexico City, April 18, 1798).

Spanish printmaker, medallist, and type designer, active in Spain and Mexico. He was one of the first students at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de S Fernando in Madrid (founded 1752), which awarded him a pension to train as a medallist from 1754 to 1758 under Spain’s Engraver General, Tomás Francisco Prieto (1726–82). In 1760 the academy named Gil Académico de Mérito for his medal-engraving skills.

Upon completing his studies, Gil briefly served as drawing instructor at the S Fernando academy but worked principally making copperplate engravings, letter press type, and medals. He was a frequent contributor to luxury books sponsored by the Real Academia de Historia and the S Fernando academy, including the so-called prince’s edition of Don Quixote (1780) and Antigüedades árabes de España (1787). He spent more than 15 years designing type for the Real Biblioteca, and was credited by his peers with rescuing the Spanish type-making industry. The finest works he carried out in Spain included the engraved illustrations for ...


Mónica Martí Cotarelo

(b Alava, Spain, 1810; d Mexico City, 1872).

Spanish architect, painter, and teacher, active in Mexico. He graduated as an architect from the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, Madrid, but also worked in painting, sculpture, and pastel miniatures. In 1836 he worked in Paris under Henri Labrouste, and in 1838 he went to Mexico City, where he opened a school of drawing. As one of the outstanding architects in Mexico at the time, he was made an académico de mérito of the Academia de San Carlos and its director of architecture. His chief work was the Teatro de Santa Anna (1842–1844; later Teatro Nacional; destr. 1901), Mexico City, a neoclassical building that was for a long time the most costly in the city. The principal façade had a portico with four large Corinthian columns rising through two tories. He also rebuilt the dome (1845–1848) of the side chapel of the church of S Teresa la Antigua, Mexico City. His solution was a neoclassical dome supported by a double drum, producing interesting light effects in the interior. The windows of the upper drum, concealed by an incomplete vault rising from the lower one, illuminate paintings around the bottom of the dome. Few of his other works have survived....



(b Sainte-Anne, Guadeloupe, Jan 10, 1760; d Paris, April 21, 1832).

French painter. He was the illegitimate son of a white government official and a freed black slave. Although his real name was Guillon, as the third child of the family he called himself Letiers, Lethiers and finally, from 1799, when recognized by his father, Lethière. While accompanying his father to France in 1774 Lethière entered the studio of Jean-Baptiste Descamps at the Académie in Rouen, where he won a drawing prize for an académie in 1776 (Rouen, Bib. Mun.). In 1777 he went to Paris and enrolled at the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture, studying under Gabriel-François Doyen and winning a first-class medal in July 1782. Lacking influential friends and patrons, before the Prix de Rome of 1784 Lethière attempted to attract support by writing to Mme de la Palum (related by marriage to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Charles Gravier, Comte de Vergennes), asking her to intercede in his favour with the Premier Peintre du Roi, Jean-Baptiste Pierre (Paris, Archv. N., A.N. 1. O 1917 2, item 91). In the Prix, Lethière won second prize with the ...


Mónica Martí Cotarelo


(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 ...


Louise Noelle

Mexican family of architects. Nicolás Mariscal (b Mexico City, Sep 10, 1875; d Mexico City, Apr 13, 1964) and his brother Federico Mariscal (b Querétaro, Nov 7, 1881; d Mexico City, Aug 19, 1969) both received a neoclassical architectural education at the Academia Nacional de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, graduating in 1899 and 1903 respectively. Despite this traditional background they showed themselves predisposed to change, especially with respect to a national architecture. Both later became professors at the Escuela Nacional de Arquitectura, Mexico City, of which Federico was also dean between 1935 and 1938. Nicolás Mariscal is particularly notable for his militancy on behalf of his profession in Mexico, which he defended against the privileges of the engineers. This activity culminated in 1919 with the creation of the Sociedad de Arquitectos Mexicanos. From 1899 to 1911 he published the prestigious magazine El Arte y la Ciencia...


Mónica Martí Cotarelo

(b 1826; d Guanajuato, 1895).

Mexican architect. After studying architecture at the Academia de San Carlos, Mexico City, he traveled in Europe in 1867–1869. On his return to Mexico he worked as an architect in Guanajuato, and from 1882 he was state engineer of Zacatecas. He designed many types of building, from public squares to residences, churches, schools, and prisons, but his most notable designs are three large European-influenced theaters in the interior of Mexico: the Teatro Doblado (1867–1880) in León, the Teatro Morelos (1882–1885) in Aguascalientes, and the Teatro de la Paz (1889–1894) in San Luis Potosí. The last is considered to be the finest neoclassical theater to have been built in Mexico during the dictatorship (1877–1911) of Porfirio Díaz. The façades of all three are of local stone, and they have porticos with columns of a colossal order, crowned with large pediments. In 1873 he also began the Teatro Juárez, Guanajuato, which was altered and completed in ...


Susan Deans-Smith

(b San Pedro Ecatzingo, May 31, 1774; d Mexico City, 1834).

Mexican sculptor. Admitted to the Real Academia de San Carlos in Mexico City at the age of 10, Patiño Ixtolinque received one of the four scholarships reserved for indigenous students to study sculpture. His early teachers in the academy included José Arias (c. 1743–1788) and Santiago Cristóbal de Sandoval, also an indigenous artist and sculptor. It was Manuel Tolsá, however, who became his primary mentor after he took up his position as director of the sculpture department in 1791. As a pensioner, Patiño Ixtolinque helped Tolsá to mount the outstanding collection of antique plaster casts shipped from Spain in the academy galleries and worked on the decorative reliefs of the pedestal for Tolsá’s life-size equestrian statue of Charles IV. A catalog by Elizabeth Fuentes of Patiño Ixtolinque’s drawings and academias illustrate the intensity of his academy training. The 160 drawings dated between 1788 and 1809 demonstrate his evolution of line, perspective, and chiaroscuro, as well as his ability to represent the human figure, anatomy, and proportions, with increasingly dynamic form....


Ramón Gutiérrez

[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 (...



(b Saint-Quentin, Aisne, Dec 30, 1788; d Saint-Quentin, 1875).

French painter and lithographer, active in Mexico. He studied under David and Jean-Baptiste Regnault and established his reputation in Paris as a painter of portraits, genre scenes, and historical subjects. From 1850 to 1855 he lived and worked in Mexico City, exhibiting annually at the Academia de Bellas Artes. Although he produced outstanding portraits, for example of General Mariano Arista (1851; Mexico City, Mus. N. Hist.), his most important works in Mexico were costumbrista genre scenes, of which he produced a considerable number. He presented his figures, which he painted in a Neoclassical style, as representative of different social types in suitable settings, helping to establish the terms for such subject matter evolved by Agustín Arrieta and other 19th-century Mexican artists.

Obregón, G. Tipos y paisajes mexicanos del siglo XIX. Mexico City, 1976: 6–9.Ortíz Macedo, Luis. Edouard Pingret: Un pintor romántico francés que retrató el Mexico del mediar del siglo XIX...


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, §II, 2(i)). In 1808 he was called to Potosí to design the cathedral in a predominantly neoclassical 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 story was completed before his death; the works were continued by the French engineer Philippe Bertrès and completed in the early 20th century by ...


C. M. Harris

(b Tortola, British Virgin Islands, May 20, 1759; d Washington, DC, March 28, 1828).

American architect, Naturalist and civil servant of British birth. Born on a West Indian sugar plantation, to which he became an heir on the death of his father in 1760, he spent his youth among his English Quaker relatives in Lancaster. He was apprenticed to a ‘practical physician’ and apothecary in Ulverston, Lancs (now Cumbria), then studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh (1781–3), receiving the MD degree from the University of Aberdeen in 1784. He continued his medical studies and pursued his other interests of drawing and painting in London and Paris, and travelled on the continent and in Scotland, before returning to Tortola in May 1785. In the autumn of the following year he emigrated to the USA.

Thornton practised medicine briefly in Philadelphia but found the fees low and the nature of physicians’ work there ‘laborious’ and ‘disgusting’. His scientific accomplishments, however, gained him election to the American Philosophical Society, and his visionary turn of mind attracted him to causes as varied as the anti-slavery campaign and John Fitch’s experimental steamboats, to which he contributed designs as well as capital. His inclination for design led him to enter the competition for the hall of the Library Company of Philadelphia, and his designs were accepted with slight alterations in ...


Ramón Alfonso Méndez Brignardello

(b Rome, c. 1740; d Santiago de Chile, 1799).

Italian architect, active in Chile. He began his career in the office of Francesco Sabbatini, who at that time was working for the Spanish authorities in Naples. In 1759 Charles IV of Naples assumed the Spanish throne as Charles III (reg 1759–88) and took Sabbatini to Madrid as architect to the Crown, together with his best assistants, including Toesca. Toesca’s career in Madrid was pursued under Sabbatini’s shadow, but he came into his own when he was seconded to Chile in 1778 to rebuild Santiago Cathedral, burnt down in 1769. Reusing the existing foundations, Toesca produced a Neo-classical design, now obscured by late 19th-century additions. His major work was the mint in Santiago, the Real Casa de Moneda, now the executive residence. The plan is laid out around several courtyards behind a Neo-classical elevation that features a three-storey central block in three bays flanked by two-storey wings. The central block is articulated below by four sets of coupled columns of a giant order, to which coupled pilasters correspond on the third floor. In lieu of columns, the six-bay wings are marked off by clustered pilasters and surmounted by a heavy balustrade. The composition recalls Luigi Vanvitelli’s backdrop to the Piazza Dante, which was going up in Naples while Toesca was working on ...


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 ...


Alicia Haber

(b Villa de Porcuna, Spain, 1756; d Montevideo, June 23, 1810).

Spanish architect, active in Uruguay. After graduating from the Academia de San Fernando in Madrid, he became a key figure in the colonial architecture of Uruguay, where he introduced Spanish Neo-classical academicism, with some elements of transitional Mannerism. The Cabildo (des. 1804, under constr. 1804–69), Montevideo, his own house (1804) in Montevideo, and the parish church (1808) at Colonia del Sacramento are his major works and constitute one of the most significant legacies of colonial architecture. The architecture is sober and austere in its orderly treatment of space and subtle ornamentation of façades. The Cabildo, which was the seat of city government as well as jail and court-house (now the Museo y Archivo Histórico Municipal), has an area of 2000 sq. m. It is a bold, vigorous building, square in plan and with a simple internal layout based on a series of rooms built around large open patios, vaulted galleries, and a monumental central staircase. The façade includes rectangular, flat-arched windows, sober moulding, and a rhythmic distribution of pilasters and granite columns. The Doric order is used at first-floor level, and Ionic at the second. Toribio’s house makes excellent use of a narrow plot. The ground-floor is a covered passageway; the upper floor is divided into two sections separated by a hall. The severe façade features a large central balcony with a wrought-iron balustrade. The church at Colonia del Sacramento was damaged by lightning in ...


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 (...


Alexandra Kennedy

(b Cuenca, Jul 1829; d Cuenca, Dec 1, 1892).

Ecuadorean sculptor. He received his training in the workshop of the Cuencan painter Eusebio Alarcón (fl 1835–1864). From a young age he was interested in polychromed woodcarving on religious themes, a medium that was greatly esteemed by the Quito school during the colonial period. Vélez, however, transformed the former Baroque language into neoclassicism, inspired by imported examples and incorporating the academic teachings brought so late into Ecuador. Especially worthy of mention are his Crucifixes (e.g. Holy Christ; church of Señor de las Aguas, Girón, Azuay), as well as his images of the Infant Christ and Calvary, which were sought by collectors, religious communities, and museums throughout the country. Together with Gaspar de Sangurima (1787–fl. 1833), his disciple Daniel Alvarado (c. 1867–1953), and other local engravers, Vélez managed to make Cuenca the most important center of 19th-century sculpture in the country. His portraiture was also significant, and he created a series of busts of public figures in wood and marble, including that of the celebrated Franciscan journalist ...