Maximalism (and as Minimal as Maximalism Gets)

A collection of hugely over-the-top maximalism, mostly in the form of religious buildings.

Since I usually favour minimalism I thought I’d focus on maximalism, and then try to make it as minimal as maximalism gets.

Ornate gilded barrel ceiling leading up to a dome that was even more ‘maximal’ in a cathedral in Puebla, Mexico. Gilded ceiling in the main cathedral in Puebla, MexicoDetail of the gilded scrolls on the walls. Detail of the gilded scrolls on the walls in the main cathedral in Puebla, MexicoThe Khai Dinh Royal Tomb in Hue, Vietnam was decoration overload. The statue of the king called Khai Dinh in his royal tomb in Hue, Vietnam was decoration overloadA rope around the golden king meant we couldn’t get in close, but this image, from another statue of the king in the tomb, shows the finely carved detailing on his robe. Detail of the King's Gown in Khai Dinh Royal Tomb in Hue, VietnamThis is one of the over 4000 pillars in the Jain Temple at Ranakpur, all intricately carved of white marble and no two the same. The ceiling is similarly ornate.The Jain Temple at Ranakpur in India's province of RajasthanJain is a religion in India, bearing some of the ideas of both Hinduism and Buddhism but also has concepts that are different.The Jain Temple at Ranakpur in India's province of RajasthanThese colourful mosaic tiles in a three-dimensional floral pattern adorn the exterior of the Wat Pho Pagoda, part of the Royal Palace complex in Bangkok, Thailand.colourful mosaic tiles in a three-dimensional floral pattern that adorns the exterior of the Wat Pho Pagoda, part of the Royal Palace in Bangkok, ThailandA detail of the flowery exterior from the Wat which contains a reclining Buddha so huge it is almost impossible to get the entire Buddha in one shot. detail of colourful mosaic tiles in a three-dimensional floral pattern of the Wat Pho Pagoda, part of the Royal Palace in Bangkok, ThailandIn a Buddhist temple in Penang, Malaysia, chandeliers light up an enormous golden Buddha (although only about half the size of the Buddha in Wat Pho). The intricate carving of the wood on the walls and ceilings was astonishing.Chandeliers light up a golden Buddha A Buddhist temple in Penang, Malaysia I found a different sort of gold on this fish swimming in a pond in the courtyard, an oasis of calm. A golden fish in a pond that is an oasis of calm in a Buddhist temple in Penang, MalaysiaA dome over the altar of the Toledo Cathedral is painted with a heavenly scene, and ringed by sculptures of cherubs (Spain).The interior dome of the Toledo Cathedral in Spain is painted with a heavenly scene ringed by sculptures of cherubsA wood carving within the Cathedral showing warriors at the gates of a walled city that may be Jerusalem although it looks more like Toledo.A wood carving with a view of the city in the interior of Toledo Cathedral in SpainExtravagant gold-encrusted pillars inside one of the many rooms in the Buddhist Shwedagon temple in Yangon, Myanmar.Ornate gold-encrusted pillars inside one of the many rooms in the Shwedagon temple at night in Yangon, MyanmarA detail of gold-leaf and embedded glass on one of the pillars.
A detail of gold-leaf on a pillar in the in the Shwedagon temple in Yangon, MyanmarA vertical panorama of Gloucester Cathedral in England, showing a small portion of the incredible vaulted ceilings in the building.A vertical panorama of England's Gloucester CathedralAbout as subdued as Gloucester Cathedral gets.Wall in Gloucester Cathedral, EnglandMore of the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Minimalism-Maximalism.

10 responses to “Maximalism (and as Minimal as Maximalism Gets)

    • I tried to find buildings where almost every surface was covered in incredibly detailed decoration. It’s funny how some countries, Mexico, India, Spain and Myanmar in particular, had so many examples it was hard to choose, and others such as Holland, tended to go foursquare and graphic, with only the occasional bursts of elaborate whimsy for contrast…

  1. LOL Elizabeth – maximalism to the max! And you’re right, your images typically do tend to be more minimalist. It is truly amazing what the artisans of long ago were able to achieve, and your examples illustrate that beautifully. Well done!

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