Journal cover Journal topic
Proceedings of the ICA
Journal topic
Articles | Volume 2
10 Jul 2019
 | 10 Jul 2019

City maps: Dreams, Art, Cartography, Planning

Cosimo Palagiano

Keywords: Art, Cities, Cartography, Dreams, Planning

Abstract. The importance of cities becomes ever greater not only for the modification of the landscape, but also for the distribution of social classes. Poets, philosophers and artists have imagined ideal cities that could satisfy the need for a good quality of life for citizens.

Since the most ancient civilizations poets and philosophers have imagined ideal cities, with road plots corresponding to the various social classes. In the final text I will describe some examples of ideal cities presented by Homer, especially in the description of the shield of Achilles, from Plato in the description of his Atlantis, etc.

Atlantis (Ἀτλαντὶς νῆσος, "island of Atlas") is a fictional island mentioned in Plato's works Timaeus and Critias, where Plato represents the ideal state imagined in The Republic.

The city depicted in the Homeric shield of Achilles, as an ideal form, centred and circular, competes with the other city scheme based on an orthogonal plan and linear structures. The form of the Homeric city has exerted a paradigmatic function for other cities in Greece and Rome.

Among the best known images of ideal cities I will consider the Città del Sole (City of the Sun) by Tommaso Campanella and Utopia by Thomas More.

There are many books of collection of paintings of cities (G Braun and F Hogenberg, 1966).The most complete and interesting is that of Caspar van Wittel or Gaspar van Wittel (1652 or 1653, Amersfoort – September 13, 1736, Rome). He was a Dutch painter who played a remarkable role in the development of the veduta. He is credited with turning city topography into a painterly specialism in Italian art (G Briganti, 1996).

A rich collection of maps of Rome in the books by Amato Pietro Frutaz.

The city "liquid dimension" represents the complexities and contradictions of civic communities increasingly characterized by fragmentation and social unease.

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