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From Pissarro’s Impressionist Parisian boulevards to the industrial chimneys of LS Lowry’s Manchester, the urban life of the city in all its forms has been a source of inspiration for artists as long as city life has existed. Depicting urban scenes has enabled artists from the 17th century onwards to not only draw energy from the city’s allure, but also to depict the harsh realities of the urban poor and the small dramas of everyday life.


The painting of urban cityscapes flourished with the growth of cities following the industrial revolutions of the 18th and 19th centuries. In the early 20th century,as the mechanisation of transport sped up the rhythm of city life, avant-garde artists such as Ferdinand Leger and Natalia Goncharova went further, drawing on the city as inspiration for their Cubist and Futurist experimentation with colour and form.


While Lowry perhaps remains the definitive artist of the Northern cityscape in British painting, the industrial chimneys are long-gone. Nevertheless, contemporary cities continue to feed artists with their architecture and diversity of human experiences. 


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Water Street Gallery 4.8 / 5 - 40 Reviews @ Google Customer Reviews
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