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Cityscape art is an art movement, the main theme of which is the image of the city and urban landscapes. This genre is represented in painting, drawing, photography, and even sculpture.

The history of cityscape art dates back to the era of the Roman Empire. The fresco on the walls of Trajan’s thermae, which depicts a bird's-eye view cityscape, is dated 1st century AD.

In the Middle Ages, cityscape painting served as a field for religious subjects.

In the XVI - XVIII centuries, engravings made on copper plates with bird's-eye view cityscapes were popular.

Cityscape art became a separate genre of painting in the middle of the 17th century in the Netherlands. It was dearly loved by the Dutch painters of that century.

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Artist Peter Jans Saenredam specialized in depiction of church interiors. His artworks - cityscape canvas paintings - are characterized by Protestant asceticism and accurate presenting of the depicted architectural objects.

His compatriot Jan van der Heyden glorified his native Amsterdam in his paintings. Another Dutch painter became famous for his realistic and detached cityscapes of the Netherlands.

The Dutch artist Jan Vermeer also belongs to this epoch. It is worth mentioning his artwork View of Delft created in 1661. The city of Delft was accurately reflected in this oil painting, one of the largest Vermeer's artwork. The French writer Marcel Proust called it the most beautiful painting in the world. Later cityscapes of other cities in this country appeared.

The Dutch were followed by artists of Britain, Germany and France, where cityscape painting also found its admirers and connoisseurs.

The following XVIII century was the heyday of the cityscape in Venice. At that time, a whole galaxy of prominent landscape painters worked in this city. The most famous of them are Marco Ricci and Francesco Guardi. New genres of cityscape art appeared then.

In the 17th and 18th centuries, the capriccio (caprice) genre became popular. Capriccio is a flight of architectural fantasy on canvas, work of imagination. Its followers depicted the ruins of imaginary antique buildings. In addition to the Venetian artists mentioned above, Giovanni Paolo Panini, Giovanni Piranesi and Giambattista Tiepolo became recognized masters of capriccio. The cityscape artworks of the latter are not limited solely to architectural fantasies. In his paintings you can see unusually dressed people in the likeness of philosophers and warriors walking among mysterious ancient ruins and statues.

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Another genre in the cityscape, art that flourished in Europe in the 18th century is veduta. This is a painting, engraving or just a drawing with a detailed view of the city. Venetian Antonio Canaletto is considered the most prominent veduta artist of all times and peoples. And his nephew Bernardo Bellotto created cityscape canvas paintings of Central Europe - Vienna, Dresden, Warsaw.

From the middle of the XIX century, artists sought to revive cityscape paintings with genre scenes, and later Impressionists began to peer into the city as if through the rainy windows of city cafes.

Their keen eyes noticed all the details of the metropolis - posters, niches, roofs, chimneys, hotels, theaters, clubs and others. At that time, painters discovered areas that they had previously been afraid to look into - industrial zones with factory chimneys, railways and stations, construction sites. Then art went on to soul searching, but even nowadays there are artists who remain faithful to the cityscape art.

You can find cityscape paintings for sale in the online Jose Art Gallery.

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