Cuitzeo, Michoacán, Santa María Magdalena

Cuitzeo, Michoacán, Santa María Magdalena - The Sixteenth Century: Age of the Convento
On a bluff overlooking Lake Cuitzeo lies the small, attractive town of Cuitzeo centered around the enormous Augustinian convento of Santa María Magdalena. Its layout is attributed to Pedro del Toro, a Spanish architect from Estremadura to whom San Pablo is nearby Yuriria is also attributed. Constructed between 1550 and 1580 the work at Cuitzeo was overseen by the residing friar, Géronimo de Morante. The monastery was once part of a huge atrio, now Cuitzeo’s main square, beautifully open and timeless in its majesty. The six-arched portería, topped with merlons and lined with arches subtly divided by slender, fluted columns, is one of the purest examples of European Renaissance architecture in Mexico and wonderfully complements the well proportioned façade. Joseph Baird suggests that the responsibility for the undertaking of the construction of the façade was that of resident friar Francisco de Villafuerte. Numerous historians including Pablo de Gante cite the attribution of its carving to an incorporated inscription pointing to the native artist Juan Metl. The large choir window is separated from the pediment below by a relief of a pierced heart – emblem of the Augustinian order. The North tower was added nearly a century later. Overall, the convento it is a work of great compositional harmony.

“Such is the façade of the Augustinian church at Cuitzeo; within the familiar Plateresque design that originated {in}Acolman new motifs appear, and are rendered in a new kind of relief. The whole thing is very handsome; the emphasis and proportion of the model are not impaired, but the detail is free and yet authoritative. To say that this is no longer a pure Plataeresque is praise, for it does more than repeat the Plateresque vocabulary; it creates something original.” (Weissman, Elizabeth Wilder. Art and Time in Mexico: Architecture and Sculpture in Colonial Mexico, Harper and Row, New York, 1985, pps. 25-26)

Cuitzeo, Michoacán, Santa María Magdalena


Also in: The Sixteenth Century: Age of the Convento

Acatlán, Hidaglo, San Miguel
Acatlán, Hidalgo, San Miguel, cloister
Acatzingo, Puebla, San Juan Bautista
Acolman, México, San Agustín
Acolman, México, San Agustín, alfíz
Acolman, México, San Agustín, espadaña
Acolman, México, San Agustín, façade
Acolman, México, San Agustín, large cloister
Acolman, México, San Agustín, small cloister, atrial cross
Actopan, Hidalgo, San Nicolás de Tolentino
Actopan, Hidalgo, San Nicolás de Tolentino, atrium
Actopan, Hidalgo, San Nicolás de Tolentino, capilla abierta
Actopan, Hidalgo, San Nicolás de Tolentino, cloister
Actopan, Hidalgo, San Nicolás de Tolentino, cloister
Actopan, Hidalgo, San Nicolás de Tolentino, convent

Comments

Photo comment By Charlotte Ekland: Nice photos. I enjoyed looking at them. I notice that you sometimes supply photos for Richard Perry's work. I use him as an important source for my website on Colonial architecture of Mexico.

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