The urban landscape is another term for the cityscape. Cityscape paintings depict everything from scenic vistas to lively streets, from residential areas to public squares, and even iconic monuments, bringing our often-overlooked urban environment to life. Cityscape paintings are soothing and exciting because they show a different side of city life.
Artists did not often paint cities until the Middle Ages. Medieval portraiture and depictions of biblical figures were often juxtaposed with urban settings. Since their primary function was that of a background and a kind of suggestion, they were not often incredibly detailed.
Between the 15th and 16th centuries, a new genre of painting known as urban landscape appeared. The Tower of Babel, a symbol of hubris, sin, and evil, and New Jerusalem, a representation of the sublime, spiritual, and divine, were standard in artwork from the time. During this period, painters in the Netherlands also attempted to depict reality as they perceived it. Many other European masters, including those from Germany and France, followed the Dutch in describing urban environments in art. Detail is commonly presented for architectural elements, and cityscape compositions from the 15th and 16th centuries are often multi-level affairs that conform to the principles of perspective.
The Dutch painters of the 17th century were early adopters of the urban landscape genre. Masterworks by artists like Vermeer, Berckheyde, Heyden, Ruisdael, and Goyen depict everyday urban life with remarkable sensitivity and realism. Because of their efforts, we can now see what cities like Amsterdam, Delft, and Haarlem looked like to their residents 400 years ago.
Vedutas of towns were painted in the 18th century with a degree of realism that was almost photographic. The unique character of each city may be conveyed via a photograph's background architecture, which also adds aesthetic value when shooting otherwise mundane items and settings. Artists found inspiration in the decaying masonry of long-abandoned castles and forts. Thus they featured them in landscapes alongside city ruins rather than colorful vedutas. Art representing historical landmarks in urban settings, such as cityscapes and road drawings, gained appeal in the 19th century.
PaintingZ showcases the best works by well-known cityscape painters depicting urban life. Enjoy browsing them and ordering cityscape reproduction paintings that most catch your eye.
The most renowned and prolific cityscape artists include Camille Pissarro (French, 1830 -1903), Albert Marquet (French, 1875 -1947), Gustave Loiseau (French, 1865 -1935), Eugène-Louis Boudin (French, 1824 -1898), Claude Monet (French, 1840 -1926), Constantin Alexeevich Korovin (Russian, 1861 -1939), Henri Le Sidaner (French, 1862 -1939), Frederick Childe Hassam (American, 1859 -1935), Konstantin Gorbatov (Russian, 1876 -1945), Maximilien Luce (French, 1858 -1941), among others.