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Urban paintings

Carré d'artistes presents a wide selection of urban paintings. The painting of cities is very widespread today: many artists offer works of, more or less figurative, urban landscapes in order to transcribe the emotion and the atmosphere specific to the city which is represented.

Characteristics of urban art

Since cities are now inseparable elements of our landscapes, whatever their size or their notoriety, painting has often taken hold of this subject. A city painting is easily recognizable: it contains elements that clearly relate to urban architecture. We can thus very clearly distinguish houses, roofs, chimneys, streets, pedestrians, vehicles, and often tall buildings. The focus is usually on the long streets, lined with high rise buildings. This characteristic of urban art comes from the United States and the iconic New York City which remains today a model for many painters of city paintings. Thus, cityscape painting is inspired by the architecture of the world and the hectic atmosphere, the turbulent traffic and the feverish atmosphere of the very large cities that we have built.

Famous cityscapes history and painters

The first urban paintings

Paintings of cities are important in today's artistic production. But this kind of painting was not always very widespread. In history, we find paintings of towns in the golden age of the Netherlands, in the 17th century, when city dwellers wanted to show the pride and beauty of their cities. Jan van der Heyden, for example, is one of the most famous initiators of this urban landscape movement. Reproducing the smallest details, he painted, among others, Cologne, Düsseldorf, or Amsterdam. Before this time, there are some representations of cities, but almost always as a background. The city as the main subject actually appears in the Netherlands. Johannes Vermeer also painted some landscapes, such as the famous View of Delft, in 1660-1661. Subsequently, it is in Venice that this genre unfolds. In the 18th century, they wanted to paint the beauty of the canals and Venetian buildings, as Canaletto or Francesco Guardi did. But it's in Paris that the movement really developed, especially with the Impressionists. It became the city to be painted, which Pissaro, Manet, Monet, Caillebotte, Renoir and others did. At this time, the industrial and technical elements of the city appear in the paintings: we see trains, train tracks, cars, etc. The urban landscape is changing very quickly and so are the paintings of cities.

Urban painting today

Well, it's mostly American painting which redefined the parameters of the current genre. The paintings of urban landscapes become paintings of contemporary architecture where buildings are dominant. Since the 1970s, the urban landscape, or cityscape, is a recurring theme in American hyperrealist painting. The reproduction of streets filled with pedestrians and high buildings comes from this American trend. The representation of cities is changing at the same time as the evolution of the big cities of the world. The painting of urban landscapes is then a reflection of what our current cities are and of the atmospheres that reign there.

At Carré d'artistes, discover paintings of cities by contemporary artists such as Maurizio Galloro, Patrick Rousseau, Julien Rey, Solveiga, and many others.

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