Cityscapes and City Scenes
Artworks that incorporate long-distance views of cities as well as intimate scenes of city life. For centuries, artists the world over have been fascinated by the architecture, rapid development, and dense population of cities. From small views of towns, such as those dotting the background of Rogier van der Weyden’s 15th-century painting Saint George and the Dragon, to the panoramic views of 18th-century Venice in the work of Canaletto, to images of 19th-century Paris painted by the French Impressionists, artists have long found inspiration in the cityscape and the intricacies of urban daily life. This tendency has continued through the 20th century up to today: photographer Berenice Abbott dedicated most of her career to documenting the transformation and growth of 1930s New York City, while contemporary Chinese painter Liu Xiaodong focuses on Ordos, a city in Inner Mongolia, as a model to visually explore the effects of urbanization and industrialization on a small population.