Eyes to behold stunning artworks in world-class museums.


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The Metropolitan Museum contains a wide variety of artworks related to buildings and other structures. These artworks include both freestanding buildings and smaller structures such as signal towers and fountains. Some of the buildings represented in the Museum date back to the medieval period, providing insight into how different cultures have designed and constructed buildings over time. In addition to artworks depicting buildings, the Museum also contains artworks related to the structural components of buildings, such as balloon frames and garage doors.

Imaginary Landscape with the Palatine Hill from Campo Vaccino

French, Paris 1703–1770 Paris / The Met

    This painting is a capriccio.
    It was painted after Boucher's return to Paris from Italy.
    It is a fanciful depiction of the rustic countryside around Rome.

Piazza San Marco

Italian, Venice 1712–1793 Venice / The Met

    This view can be compared to Canaletto's of the same location from forty years prior.
    Guardi's technique is altogether looser and less adherent to the geometric ordering of the square, its pavement, and facades.
    Guardi employs a playful, illusionistic device by signing his name in the miniature canvas being carried by the man at lower right.

Views of Vienna

Austrian, 1769–1851 / The Met

    The light screen consists of four leaves, each consisting of two topographical views of Vienna, identified by inscriptions beneath, in translucent enamels on glass.
    The light screen is set into a frame of blond wood trimmed with darker wood.
    The frame has a wood panel in the lowest register set with a framed, mother-of-pearl, shaped cartouche.


French, Aix-en-Provence 1839–1906 Aix-en-Provence / The Met

    This is one of three views of Gardanne, a hill town near Aix-en-Provence where Cézanne worked from the summer of 1885 through the spring of 1886.
    The steeple of the local church crowns the cluster of red-roofed buildings which animate the sloping terrain.
    Faceted and geometric, the structures anticipate early-twentieth-century Cubism.

The Boulevard Montmartre on a Winter Morning

French, Charlotte Amalie, Saint Thomas 1830–1903 Paris / The Met

    After spending six years in rural Éragny, Pissarro returned to Paris, where he painted several series of the grands boulevards.
    Surveying the view from his lodgings at the Grand Hôtel de Russie in early 1897, Pissarro marveled that he could "see down the whole length of the boulevards" with "almost a bird's-eye view of carriages, omnibuses, people, between big trees, big houses that have to be set straight."
    From February through April, he recorded - in two scenes of the boulevard des Italiens to the right, and fourteen of the boulevard Montmartre to the left - the spectacle of urban life as it unfolded below his window.

Venice: The Dogana and Santa Maria della Salute

Italian, Venice 1712–1793 Venice / The Met

    The views of Venice by Guardi were hugely popular among eighteenth-century visitors to the city.
    However, not all were by the artist himself.
    His workshop reproduced compositions and motifs based on his earlier paintings and drawings, while emulators took advantage of the market for the taste he had helped to set.

Pirna: The Obertor from the South

Italian, Venice 1722–1780 Warsaw / The Met

    Bellotto was Canaletto's nephew and student who himself was to become an internationally renown view painter.
    Between 1747 and 1758, he worked for the court of Dresden and painted the nearby village of Pirna, depicted here with its city gate, adjacent tower (known as the Obertor), church, and town hall.
    Friederich August II, elector of Saxony and king of Poland, and Count Brühl, his prime minister, commissioned larger scale views of Pirna between 1753 and 1756.
    A private patron must have commissioned this reduced replica either concurrently or sometime in the 1760s.

Parochialstrasse in Berlin

German, Berlin 1801–1877 Zechlin / The Met
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