Representing the City. The Chorographic tradition from the Renaissance to the present day

Autores UPV
Año
CONGRESO Representing the City. The Chorographic tradition from the Renaissance to the present day

Abstract

This chapter will carry on a historical review about the chorographic tradition that began in the Middle Ages with a literary genre known as Laudes Civitatum, in which the cities were described literarily for propagandistic purposes. In the Renaissance, chorography widens its meaning to be understood also as a graphic description and many views of cities began to be included in books. These images were gradually gaining relevance in comparison with the text and they constituted a genre by their own, as in the case of atlas. Despite the intrinsic beauty of these representations, chorographic views allow us to study the morphology of the city and its urban evolution. They become, in many cases, the only graphic information source about some missing architectural elements. This study will expose the main chorographic works, the different typologies and the stylistic evolution until reaching excellence, as in the case of bird's-eye views made in the eighteenth century. The development of aerial photography led to the extinction of this pictorial genre, giving rise to modern geographic information systems, which are nowadays an essential tool, nevertheless is important to highlight the work of these chorographic pioneers and of many virtuous artists devoted to this art.