Balbás, Jerónimo de (?–1748)

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Balbás, Jerónimo de (?–1748)

Jerónimo de Balbás (d. 22 November 1748), retablo master. Balbás was born in Zamora, Spain, and lived in Cádiz in the early eighteenth century; later he worked in Seville and in Marchena. In 1718 he was in New Spain. Reminiscent in design of his principal retablo for the Sagrario of the cathedral of Seville (1706–1709, destroyed 1824), his Retablo de los Reyes for the cathedral of Mexico City (1718–1737), with four large estípites, determined the direction that much of the art of New Spain was to take for the rest of the century. The final breakdown of the Renaissance grid scheme in retablo design and the introduction of the estípite along with a new vocabulary of motifs are due to Balbás's work in the cathedral of Mexico City. He stayed on in New Spain and executed numerous other retablos, including the altar of Pardon and the central free-standing retablo, or ciprés, of the cathedral; only the first survives, reconstructed after a fire in 1967.

See alsoRetablos and Ex-Votos .


Manuel Toussaint, Colonial Art in Mexico (1967).

Concepción Amerlinck, "Jerónimo de Balbás, artista de vanguardia, y el retablo de la Concepción de la Ciudad de México," Monumentos históricos 2 (1979): 25-34.

Guillermo Tovar De Teresa, México barroco (1981), pp. 86-87.

Additional Bibliography

Tovar de Teresa, Guillermo. Géronimo de Balbás en la Catedrál de México. Mexico City: Asociación Amigos de la Catedral Metropolitana, 1990.

                                      Clara Bargellini