Reference Library: Cityscape
A 'cityscape' is the urban equivalent of a landscape.
In the visual arts a cityscape (urban landscape) is an artistic representation, such as a painting, drawing, print or photograph, of the physical aspects of a city or urban area.
From the 'first century A.D.' dates a fresco at the Baths of Trajan in Rome depicting a bird's eye view of an ancient city. In 'the Middle Ages' cityscapes appeared as a background for portraits and biblical themes. From 'the 16th up to the 18th century' numerous copperplate prints and etchings were made showing cities in bird's eye view. The function of these prints was to provide a map-like overview. 'Halfway the 17th century' the cityscape became an independent genre in the Netherlands. In his famous 'View of Delft' in 1660-1661 Jan Vermeer painted a quite accurate portrait of the city Delft. Cities like Amsterdam, Haarlem and The Hague also became popular subjects for paintings. Painters from other European countries (Great Britain, France, Germany) followed the Dutch example. 'The 18th century' was a flourishing period for cityscape painting in Venice (Canaletto, Guardi).
At the 'end of the 19th century' the impressionists focused on the atmosphere and dynamics of everyday life in the city. Suburban and industrial areas, building sites and railway-yards also became subjects for cityscapes. During 'the 20th century' the attention became focused on abstract and conceptual art, by this the production of cityscapes declined. American painter Edward Hopper, who stayed loyal to figurative painting, created intriguing images of the American scene. With a revival of figurative art at 'the end of the 20th century' comes a revaluation of the cityscape. Well-known living cityscape painters are Derek Buckner (New York), Joe McIntyre (London) and Frans Koppelaar (Amsterdam).
Some famous painters who practised cityscape-painting were:
*James McNeill Whistler
*George Hendrik Breitner
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Cityscape".