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The Shelter of the Savage: “From Valladolid to the New World”

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Vegetal architecture, also known as Astwerk (literally “branch-work”) spread since the middle of the 15th century until the first two decades of the following century all over Europe. Efforts to interpret this phenomenon, however, have remained focused on the North European examples. The analysis of the extraordinary building of the Colegio of San Gregorio (Valladolid, Spain) shows how Astwerk in Castile was shaped both by the concrete ideas that related architecture and nature in the writings of Seneca, but also as a reflection of the first impressions of Europe’s encounter with the New World, where, as first reported by Columbus, the forces of nature and technology were viewed through startling and new lens.


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Affiliations: 1: Facultad de Filosofía y Letras, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Ciudad Universitaria de Cantoblanco, Departamento de Historia y Teoría del Arte 28049 Madrid Spain, Email:


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