Vintage is the term with what we begin to call any object that takes us back to the style of the twenties of the twentieth century. Because in the twenties of the twentieth century modernity began to label aesthetically. And with this came the “isms” and many of the styles that have existed and have yet to exist. Later, the term vintage has been extended to objects stopped in time compared to the current time. Perhaps a few decades have been enough to make them obsolete, “outdated”, but they keep their own aesthetic that they have not lost. Thus they become “vintage objects”.

Detail of the trompe l'oeil "El colmado"

Detail of the trompe l’oeil “El colmado”

And for this reason, many villages and small towns in the process of depopulation have become authentic museums of the vintage. The trace of material history has been left in the rural houses. That which the industrial revolution has not evolved, or rather it has not twisted towards an accelerated practice of mass production.

And vintage, because it is outdated, does not mean that it is something backward and obsolete. On the contrary, precisely because it is still there, it is more durable, it is better made to last. And, for the same reason, it can return, and to stay. And not just as a temporary fad. Let’s think about vinyl records, references of a way of listening to music more authentic and with greater fidelity among the new later techniques, cassette, cd, etc.

Detail from "Los borrachos" by Velázquez

Detail from “Los borrachos” by Velázquez

Discovering the rustic

The equivalent of vintage, in the rural world, is the rustic, objects whose manufacture has not been mechanized, not to the point of mass production. Normally they are the product of the craftsman and the union work of ancient trades. In its production, a step or process is not skipped that could impair its good use and operation, and its durability. Two concepts that in the mechanization of work have lost value due to a more competitive final sale price.

Detail of the trompe l'oeil "Playful bookshelf"

Detail of the trompe l’oeil “Playful bookshelf”

It is because of their good workmanship that rustic objects persist and are difficult to throw away or dispose of. With their practical limitations, they continue to function, and are a curiosity due to their smaller number and exclusivity compared to mass-produced objects. On the contrary, the latter have been, and are unfortunately, dump meat, adding to their lack of effectiveness their polluting nature.

That is why the recycling and reuse of resources are among the sustainable development goals for an improvement of living conditions. Something that seeks to rebalance the human being with her natural environment. And something that the rural world, with its rusticity, has not stopped seeking and trying to preserve for the good of its own existence.

Ethnological Museum in Albeta, Zaragoza

Ethnological Museum in Albeta, Zaragoza

Living peoples

And speaking of the balance of the human being with the natural, depopulation is a very negative factor in this regard. The consequences are detrimental to both parties, as both are very close. The rural environment and its natural environment feed into each other in a perfect symbiosis. And not only economically, livestock and agriculture, also culturally. The human being in his future has looked and observed nature, replicating some of its solutions in a harmonious way.

But this balance and harmony were lost when the human collective gave itself to the overexploitation of resources, quantity, without counteracting the cultural aspect, quality, in the satisfaction of their needs. This initial imbalance between the human collective and the natural environment that it inhabits, the environment, thus made it extensible to its own habitat. The consequence is the demographic imbalance of the rural and urban areas.

El Moncayo and the Monastery of Veruela, Zaragoza, rural landscape

El Moncayo and the Monastery of Veruela, Zaragoza, rural landscape


Play now, according to sustenaible developement goals (S.D.Gs.), ruralize cities, rationalizing spending and consumption, decentralizing and diversifying production. Specifying and summarizing, changing the economic criterion for the sustainable one.

“In the great age of urbanization, we have increasingly isolated the human race from the rest of the natural world in the belief that we could conquer, colonize and use the rich bounty of the planet to ensure our complete autonomy without dire consequences for ourselves and for the nations. future generations. In the next phase of human history, we will have to find a way to reintegrate ourselves into the rest of the living Earth if we are to preserve our species and conserve the planet for other creatures.” (Rifkin, 2007)

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Ethnology in the trompe l’oeil of L’Atelier de Santi