Rodríguez, Lorenzo (1704–1774)

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Rodríguez, Lorenzo (1704–1774)

Lorenzo Rodríguez (b. 1704; d. 1774), innovative colonial architect. Born in Gaudix, Andalusia, Rodríguez was in New Spain in 1731 and was examined as an architect in Mexico City in 1740. Despite competition from native architects, his career advanced. In 1744 he was an inspector of the architects' guild, and between 1749 and 1768 he was the architect of the Sagrario Metropolitano of Mexico City Cathedral, a very important commission, which is the basis of his reputation. In 1758 he was also named maestro mayor (chief architect) of the Royal Palace, a post he held until his death. During the last years of his life, Rodríguez wrote an architectural treatise, only recently discovered, in which he stresses the importance of mathematics for his profession.

Rodríguez is considered to have been responsible for introducing the estípite (architectural support whose main element is an elongated inverted pyramid) on church exteriors in New Spain. Previously, the estípite had been used only in reta-blos. At the Sagrario, Rodríguez combined a sober, centralized plan and classicistic interior with elaborate estípite portals full of figures. Most estípite façades in and near Mexico City have been attributed to him in the past, although later these attributions were rejected or considered doubtful. He died in Mexico City.

See alsoArchitecture: Architecture to 1900 .


Margaret Collier, "New Documents on Lorenzo Rodríguez and his Style," in Acts of the Twentieth International Congress of the History of Art (1963), pp. 203-218.

Additional Bibliography

Weismann, Elizabeth Wilder, and Judith Hancock de Sandoval. Art and Time in Mexico: Architecture and Sculpture in Colonial Mexico. New York: Icons Editions, 1995.

                                          Clara Bargellini

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Rodríguez, Lorenzo (1704–1774)

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