El Castillo - Chichen Itza by Gordon Nicolson

El Castillo - Chichen Itza by Gordon Nicolson

El Castillo - Chichen Itza

Gordon Nicolson

Title

El Castillo - Chichen Itza

 
Artist

Gordon Nicolson

  1891 - 1975
Year
c. 1940  
Technique
photography 
Image Size
16 x 19 15/16" image and paper 
Signature
artist's stamp verso 
Edition Size
not stated 
Annotations
ink titled, lower left 
Reference
 
Paper
 
State
 
Publisher
artist 
Inventory ID
19689 
Price
$250.00 
Description

From a series of photographs of pre-Columbian ruins by Gordon Nicholson.

Chichen Itza is a site located on the northern center of the Yucatan Peninsula. The site exhibits a multitiude of architectural styles, remniscent of styles seen in central Mexico and of the Puuc and Chenes styles of the northern Maya lowlands.

El Castillo is a Mesoamerican step-pyramid that dominates the center of the Chichen Itza archaeological site in the Mexican state of Yucatan. The pyramid consists of a series of square terraces with stairways up each of the four sides to the temple on top. Sculptures of plumed serpents run down the sides of the northern balustrade. During the spring and autumn equionoxes, the late afternoon sun strikes off the northern corner of the pyramid and casts a series of triangular shadows against the northwest balustrade, creating the illusion of a feathered serpent crawling down the pyramid.

Each face of the pyramid has a stairway with 91 steps, which together with the shared step at the top, add up to 365, the number of days in a year. Climbing El Castillo is no longer allowed after a tourist fell to her death in 2006.