I'm laughing at myself right now, because I'm posting a picture of a beautiful wall inside of this amazing church built from 1381 to 1487--Die Kirche St. Nikolai in Wismar, Germany--and I don't have a single picture of the towering spires or the flying buttresses, or any other detail that would represent this church as the "masterpiece of late Gothic architecture in northern Europe" that it is. (For the record, I did try to get a shot of the vaulted ceiling, but it was so dark in there and I wasn't in the mood to fiddle with my camera settings--we were on our way to the beach!)
Instead, the detail that grabbed me was this crumbling wall covered in what looks like test strips of plaster and paint--something that I imagine was not created to be aesthetically pleasing in itself. I wonder how old this "experiement" is; I wonder if it will be covered over in current renovations, or if it happened years ago and others find it as beautiful as I do, and hate to cover it up! Whatever the story, inspiration from this wall just might find it's way into my next painting.
We were in Wismar one day last October too, and I went crazy taking pictures of crumbling plaster and grungy, peeling paint! I don't think it will ever get old ...