Franciscan architect; b. Seville, Spain, 1699; d. Salta, Argentina, Sept. 8, 1784. He entered the convent of Buenos Aires as a Franciscan novice on July 7, 1741. Muñoz directed the building of the church of San Francisco in Buenos Aires, begun in 1730 with plans formulated by Andrés Blanqui, SJ. Since the church was not inaugurated until 1754, Muñoz probably carried out the major part of the work. Years later, when the convent was rebuilt, he again acted as builder and director. Muñoz also directed the work on the chapel of Terciarios de San Roque in Buenos Aires. Muñoz, called to Córdoba to complete work on the cathedral (begun in 1690 by architect José González Merguelte and continued in 1729 by Blanqui), probably designed its majestic dome, equalled in beauty by few works in all America. In 1759 he moved to Salta to direct the work of the new Franciscan church. Although there is no documentary proof that the plans were by Muñoz, the similarity of the dome to that of the cathedral of Córdoba suggests that he was the author. In 1882 the forward part of this church was completely remodeled by Luis Giorgi, and at present Muñoz is credited with the design of San Francisco de Salta only from the transept back. Although there is no proof that he planned the buildings mentioned above, it is certain that he was their builder, a fact that attests to the exceptional quality of his skills as a technician.
Bibliography: g. furlong, Arquitectos argentinos durante la dominación hispánica (Buenos Aires 1946). m. j. buschiazzo, Historia de la arquitectura colonial en Iberoamérica (Buenos Aires 1961).
[m. j. buschiazzo]