Tolosa, Juan de. Salamanca, 1548 – Monforte de Lemos (Lugo), 1598. Jesuit (SI), rigger, architect.
He had an artisan bonding in his family, finding himself related (Gutiérrez de Ceballos does not dare to specify if they were father and son or even brothers) with the rigger of the Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Pedro de Tolosa, a teacher who introduced the influence of that Filipino work in the architectural style of the Valladolid area.
Juan could have worked with him, even before his entry into the Society of Jesus, in the city of Salamanca, in November 1572. He should not be the only member of his family who entered this religious institute, having followed him his brother Esteban, nineteen years younger than him. However, his first job as a Jesuit was that of a cook, to be linked a little later to that of carpenter and assembler.
He works in Monforte instead of Andrés Ruiz, who was absent from the factory repeatedly (probably due to the completion of the Lugo Seminary), named Jesuit Tolosa in 1593, master teacher of the works of the College. Tolosa will be the one who transforms the idea into matter from 1593, directing a large number of construction and stonework teachers. Although Ruiz returns to the factory and signs the traces of the annexes to the facade in June 1594 at the request of the Cardinal, who was from July to November of that same year in Monforte de Lemos, exactly this was not carried out but instead they modified the additions based on a new trace that responds to the Universal Trace that Tolosa will propose to the Cardinal, and that will lead to modifying the entire planimetric system to bring new meaning and symbolism to the College.
That there was a radical change between what was initially projected by Ruiz and what Tolosa materialized, is evident in the “Appraisal of the work and clauses for the continuation of the Monforte de Lemos College” that Tolosa himself performs in 1598, in which he says : “The trace in which they were finished was not saved, but everything should be removed and returned to another form.” Both what has been done so far and what has yet to be done have been modified, and this will be broken down throughout the work.
The plague arrived in Monforte in 1599, greatly reducing both the operators’ companies and the religious community, Tolosa being one of its victims.