It was once written that the great cities of the world have great skylines. Many cities are easily recognizable by prominent buildings and other structures. City skylines can be seen in many popular panoramic images.
The architecture of cities has long been a popular subject for artists. Using watercolor, oil paints, ink and charcoal drawings and of great cities have long been valued among collectors. Panoramic images that took in the breadth of what the artist saw created a strong demand for these wide angle works of art.
The invention of photography completely changed how people viewed the world around them. Since the early eighteen hundreds, artists have embraced this medium. Photographers have since employed photographic technology to capture, for all time, the worlds great cities. All manner of architecture such as bridges and fountains have been well documented in photographic works. The art of creating panoramas was once a very cumbersome and time consuming process. None the less, artists adapted to this new technology and photographers took advantage of the city skyline genre.
In the early years of photography, making use of the available lighting was critical to producing a quality image. Because of the limitations of available light, early skyline panoramas were produced using daylight images. Electricity forever changed the look and feel of the urban landscape, providing photographers with an entirely new artistic perspective. With constant innovations in photographic technology, the science and art of capturing nighttime skyline and cityscape panoramas was propelled forward.
American Skyline Panoramas
San Francisco is known all over the world great architectural achievements like the Golden Gate Bridge. In addition to the Golden Gate, this world class city offers other buildings and edifices that are unique to the skyline. With the beauty of the San Francisco Bay and the Pacific serving as a backdrop, the Transamerica Pyramid is thought by many some to be the most striking and building in the city. Panoramic images of this great city have been produced by artists and photographers, becoming very popular among collectors of American skyline panoramas.
Heading further east, the City of St. Louis has been referred to for many years as the Gateway to the West. The most prominent feature of the St. Louis city skyline in the imposing Gateway Arch. The gleaming arch stands over six hundred feet tall, making it the largest structure in the city. As the most recognizable symbol of this great city, the Gateway Arch is the centerpiece of many skyline panoramas of the city.
The toddling Midwest town of Chicago is located on the scenic shores of Lake Michigan. This great city offers an incredibly diverse collection of architectural styles, including world famous buildings with the immense height of the Sears Tower, the gentle curves of Lake Point Tower and the CNA Building. Looking back at the city from the vantage point of Lake Michigan one can see views of Lake Shore Drive, waterfront marinas and the newly restored Navy Pier. When the Chicago Skyline is backlit by a setting sun, Lake Michigan provides a giant reflective mirror providing a reverse image of this well known skyline.
Heading out to the East Coast of the United States, the great city of New York has one of the most recognizable skylines in the world. Anchored by the Statue of Liberty at the entrance to New York harbor, the city is known for a cacophony of architectural styles. From the Art Deco splendor of the Chrysler Building to the venerable Empire State Building, the Manhattan skyline is enhanced by many bridges that connect the city to the boroughs.
These are just a few of the dozens of American cities that have become the subject of cityscape panoramas. From Denver, Philadelphia, Houston, Los Angeles and New Orleans, a skyline panorama can enhance any decor or collection.
International City Skylines
The continent of Europe is home to some of the worlds oldest and most beautiful cities such as London, Paris, Rome, Munich and Amsterdam. Each one of these great cities has a unique style of architecture that separates them from other cities.
Built along the banks of the Thames River, London has given us such majestic structures as Westminster Palace, the tower of Big Ben, Tower Bridge and House of Commons. London is also home to several very recognizable features such as the headquarters of Lloyds of London and the charm of the Canary Wharf district.
No skyline panorama of the great city of Paris, France would be complete without including the Eiffel Tower. The tower was built in eighteen eighty nine for the Worlds Fair Universelle Exposition. The tower was scheduled to be demolished years after the exposition. In a successful attempt to save the tower from the scrap yard, the City of Paris gained controlled of the structure. Well over two million people a year visit the Eiffel Tower, making the towering landmark one of the most recognizable and popular tourist destinations in the world.
The Sydney Opera house in Sydney, Australia is easily recognized for its distinctive winged design that juts skyward. An excellent example of expressionist architecture that became popular during the twentieth century, this beautiful opera house has served as a venue for thousands of culture events and world class musical performances.