MEDIEVAL SCULPTOR, Spanish
(active in 15th century)

Two Wild Men

1486-96
Stone
Colegio de San Gregorio, Valladolid

A number of 'wild men' line the jambs of the façade of the Colegio de San Gregorio in Valladolid. Their iconographic meaning is uncertain; do they represent the discovery of America, a mysterious reference to the golden age of the 'noble savage,' a cosmic pantheistic yearning of man to join in creation, to immerse himself in nature? On this façade plant life is so ubiquitous that man appears to be assimilated into it, and merges into the decoration as he had done in Romanesque art. This represents the last burst of vitality in Spanish Gothic art, before the introduction of Renaissance motifs.