BONAVÍA, Santiago
(b. 1705, Piacenza, d. 1759, Aranjuez)

Biography

Santiago Bonavía (Italian: Giacomo Bonavia), Italian architect and decorator, active in Spain. Called in 1731 by King Philip V of Spain, Cardinal Infante Luis of Chinchón commissioned him in 1739 the construction of the Church of Sts. Justus and Pastor in Madrid, today's Pontifical Basilica of Saint Michael. In 1743 he was appointed master of the cathedral of Toledo, and in 1748, he was in charge of the reconstruction the royal palace of Aranjuez destroyed by a fire. In addition, also in the same royal site, he was in charge of the completion and interior decoration of the church of Alpajés, with the collaboration of Alejandro González Velázquez (1719-1772), and, alone, the church of San Antonio, attached to the residential complex. But perhaps the most important effort of Bonavía in Aranjuez is the project of urbanization of the locality, demolishing the old houses, unifying the new ones and creating axes that leave the palace and the houses of offices in several directions.

Bonavía was member of the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando since its creation by royal decree in 1744. He became director of the Architecture department in 1753.