José Martín de Aldehuela (1734-1802). Del ornato rococó a la arquitectura hidráulica.
- Rosario Camacho Martínez
- Alfonso Sánchez
- Date of publication:
- History of Architecture
José Martín de Aldehuela was an important architect who developed part of his work in the city of Málaga.
José Martín de Aldehuela (1724-1802), trained in Teruel as a “master sculptor” and, with Corbinos and Moyo in the assembly of altarpieces, a profession in which he achieved prestige, was an important architect thanks to his great capacity and extraordinary versatility, a bridge architect whose master is recognized in Ventura Rodríguez, who played a fundamental role between the traditional decorative baroque options and the new classicist alternative. Combining the knowledge of drawing, perspective, geometry and ornamentation, he moved on to the design of chapels, which he later monumented in more complex works, developing an intense activity in Teruel, Cuenca and Málaga, and whose style evolved from Rococo ornamentation to increasingly classicist and rational forms, always looking for creative solutions; but he was also an outstanding technical architect as demonstrated by his interventions in the field of hydraulic engineering.
In the same 18th century, Agustín Ceán Bermúdez considered him “one of the most acclaimed practical architects of his time” and Antonio Ponz stresses that “he has known how much more important it is to operate the true rules of art than the extravagances of those who, without intelligence or reason, order the works”. Already in our time, Fernando Chueca Goitia wrote about him: “Few men had given architecture so happily endowed to exercise it in grace to its power of visual assimilation, without which many architects loaded with precepts have not passed the mediums. If he had lived in a more universal environment, if he had made more important and expensive works, if he had had more valuable artists and collaborators, he could have been among the great architects. He would not be the provincial artist we know today, author of small works that are now forgotten, most of them of poor materials, fragile stuccoes, imitated marbles and naive paintings. But the wonderful creator of architectural forms doesn’t stop there”.