Accidental Citadel #1. Arequipa, Peru. 2005

A bastion of painted masonry, concrete, and signage. This is one of my favorite examples of informal architecture I have ever found.  Multiple overlapping planes of pink, yellow, white, and exposed brick create a comic composition of great virtual depth in a compressed space. The invocation of a fortified village is alive and well on the backside of a Peruvian urban neighborhood near one of the city’s main cemeteries.  Truck service ramps act as glacis off to the right while a single off-center gate in the squat “Mobil Lubricantes” structure restricts access. Multiple guard towers and exposed re-bar spires peer over this low “castle’s” walls.

Diptych with scenes from the Life of Saint Martin of Tours: The Consecration of Saint Martin as Bishop (left), Saint Martin shares his Cloak with a Beggar (right)
Cologne, Germany, 1340-50
Ivory with polychromy, gilding, and original silver hinges

“This beautiful and well-preserved diptych includes its original polychromy, gilding, and silver hinges, though these are no longer connected. With its lapis background, red roof tiles, and gilded details of the figures’ clothing, the appearance is one of luxuriousness. The diptych provides us with a rare and vivid impression of how such devotional ivories were originally decorated in the 14th century.”

Currently in the collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art. Image and description taken from the Cleveland Museum of Art website.