toledo cathedral. the transparent

From the marriage were born four daughters and two sons, Matías and Jerónimo, who continued their father’s profession. When his first wife died in 1699, José Benito soon married again to Paula María de Tafalla, with whom he had two more daughters and a son, Nicolás, who also chose to follow his father’s profession.

A manner more in keeping with the norms of the academic and tempered baroque that was developing at the same time in Europe can also be seen in the altarpiece of the church of the Calatravas in Madrid, commissioned in 1720 by the Council of the Military Orders and dedicated to the founder of the Order of Calatrava, Saint Raimundo de Fitero. The preparatory drawing is fortunately preserved in situ, as well as in the National Library. This altarpiece gave rise to a controversy between the artist and the aforementioned Council, as the latter wanted the execution of the design to be entrusted to the assembler who offered the best economic conditions.

Much more important for his fame as an architect was the contact he made, after his return to Madrid following the end of the War of the Spanish Succession, with the Navarrese Juan de Goyeneche, an important pre-Enlightenment figure who, with others from Baztan, gave impetus to industrial and economic activities of great importance.


José Benito de Churriguera José Benito de Churriguera (1665-1725) fue un arquitecto y escultor español de estilo barroco tardío. Su expresión artística fusionó, con una elaborada teatralidad, las influencias del estilo renacentista tardío español y las del barroco romano.

Hasta hace poco se citaba tanto a Salamanca como a Barcelona como probable lugar de nacimiento de José Benito de Churriguera, pero ahora se sabe que nació y murió en Madrid. Su obituario le aclamó como “el Miguel Ángel español”, y su muerte se produjo justo a tiempo para que se librara de conocer la crítica histéricamente adversa lanzada contra sus obras por los neoclásicos, que acuñaron el término “churrigueresco” para significar un estilo maldito de exceso y extravagancia. Irónicamente, estos académicos a veces elogiaban obras suyas, creyendo que tenían otros autores.

José Benito pertenecía a una familia de artistas, de la que se convirtió en cabeza tras la muerte de su padre, José Simónde Churriguera, en 1679. Los hermanos de José Benito fueron Joaquín, Alberto, Manuel y Miguel. De las obras de los tres hijos de José Benito -Matías, Jerónimo y Nicolás, todos arquitectos- se sabe muy poco, sin duda porque se formaron en un estilo rechazado por su generación.

the plaza mayor of salamanca, a meeting point for

View of the Palace-Church of Nuevo Baztán (1709-1713), composed of two adjoining structures: on the left, the palace enclosure and, on the right, at a higher altitude, the church of San Francisco Javier.

He trained in his father’s workshop and after his father’s death in 1679, in the workshop of José Ratés, his adoptive grandfather. In 1690, King Charles II appointed him as one of the court architects, although he did not receive a salary until 1696. In 1702 King Philip V appointed Teodoro Ardemans as chief architect, and soon after, Churriguera was accused of insubordination and presumption, losing his royal patronage.


He was trained in his father’s workshop, and upon his father’s death in 1679, José became the head of the family. In 1690 King Charles II appoints him as one of the court architects, although he does not receive a salary until 1696. In 1702 King Philip V appoints Teodoro Ardemans as chief architect, and shortly after, Churriguera is accused of insubordination and presumption, losing the royal patronage.

One of the first works that made him famous was the altarpiece of the chapel of the Sagrario in the Cathedral of Segovia, built in 1689, which earned him, in 1690, the designation as architect of the cathedral.