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Churrigueresque, a style of architectural decoration of eighteenthcentury Latin America. Named after José Benito Churriguera (1665–1725) of Madrid, its origin and character in Mexico are actually based on the work of Jerónimo de Balbás, whose Retablo de los Reyes (1718–1737) in the cathedral of Mexico City is the first Churrigueresque work in New Spain. In Peru, the pulpit in the Iglesia San Blas in Cuzco is an outstanding example of this style as is the Basílica Menor de Nuestra Señora de la Merced in Lima. Academic neoclassicism put an end to Churrigueresque by around 1790. Its identifying feature is the estípite (a pillar whose lower section is an elongated and inverted truncated pyramid), but just as significant are the changes in proportions and, consequently, in compositional principles. Freestanding figure sculpture and a more naturalistic style of ornament with rococo elements also accompany the estípite. The historical inaccuracy of the word "Churrigueresque" has led many scholars to reject or limit its use. Alternatives are "ultrabaroque," "balbasiano," or, simply and most commonly now, "estípite baroque."

See alsoArchitecture: Architecture to 1900xml .


Justino Fernández, El Retablo de los Reyes (1972), pp. 279-282.

Additional Bibliography

Early, James. The Colonial Architecture of Mexico. Dallas: Southern Methodist University Press, 2001.

Mullen, Robert Jame. Architecture and Its Sculpture in Viceregal Mexico. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1997.

Peraza Guzmán, Marco Tulio, and Pablo A Chico Ponce de León. Arquitectura y urbanismo virreinal. Mexico City: Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología, 2000.

                                            Clara Bargellini

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