Pattern Play: Multi Cityscape

It’s no surprise that since there have been cities, artists have wanted to paint them. They all understood the intrigue of urban landscapes, and wanted to bring these spectacular scenic views to life on their canvas. From an art perspective, cityscapes are a means of showcasing all aspects of a city, from the architecture to the colours to the skylines, and are reflected on a variety of mediums such as paintings, sketches, drawings or photographs.

Throughout history, cityscapes have always had their special place in the art world. Although there's no exact date for the birth of cityscape art, based entirely on the fact that there's no precise date for when the first city was born. Since ancient Rome, bird’s-eye views of the city have been painted such as The Baths of Trajan, which is considered one of the earliest cityscape art pieces. The middle ages saw a growth in popularity for cityscape art, although for the most part, these cityscapes acted as backdrops to portraits rather than being the main focal point. Having said this, in the late 13th century, western art began to come back into the mainstream, largely thanks to two men by the names of Duccio da Buonisegna and Giotto di Bondone. On the other hand, cityscape in particular didn’t secure its place as standalone art until Ambrogio Lorenzetti painted a cityscape in 1335 called ‘City by the Sea’, which is said to be the first true cityscape of its time. By the mid 17th century, the cityscape was an extremely popular genre of art. In the Netherlands, the cityscape was extremely popular for showcasing Dutch cities such as Amsterdam and Haarlem. By the 18th century, the popularity from cityscapes in the Netherlands reached other European countries, especially in Venice. This point in time crafted some of the world’s most celebrated cityscapes to date.

As time went on, the 19th century saw a new birth of cityscape art different from its predecessors. Impressionism, characterized by relatively small, thin, yet visible brush strokes, began to focus their cityscapes more around the ambience and dynamics of urban life, with places such as industrial cities, buildings and railway yards being used as their subjects. Although, the 19th century also saw an overall decline in popularity of cityscape art due to the emergence of more modern and abstract works of art.

In present day, cityscape art can be seen everywhere from fashion to tourism. Because of the photorealist and hyperrealist painters in the 20th century making important contributions to cityscape painting, the timeless view of the physical aspects of an urban area has resonated with popular culture and doesn't look like it’s slowing down anytime soon.

Drawing our inspiration from pop culture references such as Where’s Waldo and also from the beautiful italian coastal towns such as Cinque Terre, our multi cityscape short is an ode to the life by the ocean. Incorporating the lovely coloured houses on the italian coast that almost look like their floating off of a cliff, we wanted the design to look continuous and almost as if the illustrations were defying gravity, just like the houses on the coast. Intended to be a more playful pattern than any of our previous designs, the multi cityscape pattern was started by drawing all the illustrations by hand, then uploaded it digitally to play with the layout and colours, and add fun elements like the guy in a shark suit you can see enjoying his time on the beach.