Although basically Ventura Rodríguez Tizón (Ciempozuelos, 14.7.1717 - Madrid, 26.9.1785) was recognized as an architect, his work in the technical drawing is also very interesting. In his case, the interest in this type of drawings is even greater as many of his projects were not realized because of the vicissitudes of his life.
Ventura Rodríguez’s private and professional life turns out to be rather unusual comparing to other famous Spanish artists. Even in his childhood he was responsible for some tasks, but after the death of Fernando VI in 1759 the Court that was domineered by Sabatini and Juan de Villanueva ostracized him, and Ventura Rodríguez could not establish himself as a great architect of the Court as he wanted in his youth. Still his preserved, destroyed, and designed buildings are of great value in he period of baroque and neoclassicism in architecture.
The first son of the bricklayer Antonio Rodriguez by his second marriage to Jeronima Tizon, Ventura Rodríguez got to know the world of architecture on the 2nd of May, 1727 when he collaborated with his father in the work at the Royal Palace of Aranjuez under the guidance of Pedro Caro Idrogo. Taking orders from Caro Idrogo, Ventura Rodríguez, being in his teens at that time, worked as a designer until, as a result of the fire in Alcazar in 1734, he was called by Juvara to work under his guidance as a designer in the new Royal Palace where he was supervising the work.
After Juvara’s death and Sachetti’s arrival the role of Ventura Rodríguez was even more important as he made himself indispensable for the Italian architect because he was a talented designer and he worked as a translator. The proof of the important role that he played was his nomination as Major Assistant of Architect in the Royal Palace on the 28th of April 1741.
After this nomination a new period in the life of Ventura Rodríguez began. He joined the elite group of the Spanish architects and the culmination of his professional life was his appointment as Honorary Member in the Academy of San Luca in Rome in 1747 and as Senior Architect of the Royal Palace in 1749. These appointments resulted in other assignments and additional work. In 1752 he was appointed Director of Architecture in the Royal Academy of San Fernando, the institutuon that he will run two times afterwards (in 1766 and 1775).
As far as his artistic productions are concerned, his first great work, besides his participation in the construction of the Palacio Nuevo, was the Church of San Marcos in Madrid (1749 - 1753), followed by such buildings as the Cathedral of Cuenca with its stained-glass window ( 1752 ), the Chapel of the Pilar de Zaragoza ( 1754 ) and the design of the Chapel of San Pedro de Alcantara en Arenas de San Pedro ( 1755 ).
This period of the artist’s prodigious output ended up with the fiasco at the construction of the Casa de Correos ( the post office ) in Madrid in 1761. He made the designs of the building whicht were accepted by the King, but the construction of the building was ascribed to the French architect Marquet. After this failure his architectural career went downhill. Sabatini was made a royal favourite and Ventura Rodríguez was oustered from the monarch’s close circle. Thus his activity as an architect was carried out according to the orders of the Counsil of Castilla, some members of the Royal family and the City Counsil of Madrid where he was appointed Maestro Mayor of the architecture in 1764.
The ousting of Ventura Rodríguez happened due to some personal and professional reasons. The succession to the throne of Carlos III stimulated a number of changes in the world of artists and as a result Ventura Rodríguez was disfavoured. As Royal Architect he could not be dismissed but the King always showed a special preference to Sabatini, and Ventura Rodríguez could not help it.
From an artistic point of view Sabatini’s modernity united with pure neoclassical approaches clashed with the style of Ventura Rodríguez, who was in the middle between the late baroque and neoclassicism that was imposed by Sabatini during the period of his supremacy.
In spite of the fact that new architects replaced him, the career of Ventura Rodriguez did not come to an end. On the contrary, he was very prolific until his death (there were more than one hundred works of art realized by him). From 1766 the most notable of the buildings he designed were the Surgical College in Barcelona (1760), the Sanctuary of the Cathedral of Jaen (1761 – 1764), el Palacio del Infante Don Luis en Boadilla del Monte (1763), el Palacio de Liria in Madrid (1773) and the Basilica de Covadonga (1779).
Besides the work there were also some nominations: in 1768 he was nominated Academician of the Academy of San Carlos de Valencia, in 1775 he was in charge of some architectural work of the Royal Economic Society of Madrid of Friends of the Country.
So the years of this frenetic activity went on until his death in Madrid on the 26th of August, 1785. He was buried in the central part of his own creation – the Church of San Marcos in Madrid, next to his second wife.
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