[Image: The Age of Civilization by Jan Soucek].
Nearly three years ago, in an email I have subsequently misplaced, a reader sent in some scans he had made of a book about Jan Soucek, a Czech artist whose work consists, it seems, almost entirely of elaborate architectural fantasies.
The one image that really stood out for me, and that I’ve just rediscovered here today in the many, many files of images stored on my computer, is called The Age of Civilization: it features the ruined walls and eroding arches of a Brueghelian Tower of Babel, subsequently built over and subsumed beneath future rings of urban growth.
Very little can be found about Soucek online; from what I can gather, though, he was born in 1941 (which means he is not the other Jan Soucek who pops up a lot whilst Googling) and he has participated in “numerous exhibitions in Czech Republic, Germany, Switzerland, Yugoslavia, Rumania, Bulgaria, Austria, France, USA and Belgium.”
A slightly larger version of this very painting was also uploaded to Flickr two years ago – perhaps by the same person who initially sent me the scan (the image description, oddly, mentions BLDGBLOG).