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Vibrant: Virtual Brazilian Anthropology

versão On-line ISSN 1809-4341


DUARTE, Luiz Fernando Dias. Damascus in Dahlem art and nature in burle Marx' tropical landscape design. Vibrant, Virtual Braz. Anthr. [online]. 2011, vol.8, n.1, pp.495-509. ISSN 1809-4341.

One of the main features of Burle Marx’s biography is the idea that he discovered the aesthetic qualities of tropical flora that came to characterize his famous new approach to landscape design during a juvenile visit to Berlin-Dahlem Botanical Gardens, in the 1920s. Having been born [1909] in São Paulo, he is supposed not to have had previous contact with tropical spontaneous richness, thanks to the Europeanized taste that prevailed there. As any young member of the local elites with a disposition towards an artistic career, his family trip to Europe was an essential condition for close contact with the avant-garde tendencies of early 20th century. Ever since the 19th century, that pattern of contact of Brazilian prospective artists with ‘civilization’ had entailed the emergence of different trends of ‘nativist’ renderings of metropolitan taste. In such a context, the peculiar aspect of RBM’s European début was the ‘discovery’ of tropical nature and not only that of the formal, ‘universal’ language of high culture. The discussion of what is involved in this game of mirrors is the aim of this paper.

Palavras-chave : nation; art; landscape; nature; civilization.

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