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Architecture Prints

The relationship between printmaking and architecture is rooted in 17th- and 18th-century European taste for “portraits” of buildings and landmarks. Prior to the 18th century, architecture was rarely more than the background for other subject matter.

Created to feed a new traveler's market, prints were an inexpensive record of the landmarks and architecture in a foreign city. Architectural images flourished particularly well in the Netherlands and Italy in the 17th and 18th centuries. In Venice, artists captured the architecture of the city using etching and engraving methods, selling the picturesque prints to tourists.

A growing interest in architecture and urban scenes developed in the 19th and 20th centuries as a response to rapid industrialization in Europe and the United States. As lithography was a new technology that appeared at the turn of the 18th century, artists often chose this method to capture the effects of industry.


Quick Facts

  • Though their focus was on how people survived in urban America at the turn of the 20th century, artists of the Ash-Can school also captured the architecture of industrial and squalid New York City
  • A distinctly American group of artists known as “Precisionists” emerged in the early 20th century. Artists such as Charles Sheeler and Charles Demuth created prints, photographs, and paintings heavily influenced by the machine age, urban architecture, and skyscrapers
  • Following the Great Depression in the 1930s, fascination with industry and urban expansion declined, and artistic attention returned to the figure, which replaced architecture as inspiration

Recommended Items at Auction

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FRAMED ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN, Frame: 21 1/2 x 17 1/2 in. (54.6 x 44.5 cm.)
Jul 31, 10:00 AM EDT
FRAMED ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN, Frame: 21 1/2 x 17 1/2 in. (54.6 x 44.5 cm.)
by Potomack Company
Est: $25- $50
$303 Bids
Lot of engravings, architecture and others
Jul 27, 10:00 AM CEST
Lot of engravings, architecture and others
by Auktionshaus HanseArt
Est: €0- €0
€201 Bid
Charles H. Tatham, Ancient Ornamental Architecture
Jul 27, 11:00 AM CDT
Charles H. Tatham, Ancient Ornamental Architecture
by Direct Auction Galleries, Inc.
Est: $300- $500
$1000 Bids
Giovanni Orlandi
Jul 24, 2:00 PM CEST
Giovanni Orlandi
by Bolli & Romiti s.r.l
Est: €200- €300
€2000 Bids
Lot of 10 engravings depicting churches and basilicas in Rome
Sep 25, 3:00 PM CEST
Lot of 10 engravings depicting churches and basilicas in Rome
by Bertolami Fine Art s.r.l.
Est: €150- €200
€1500 Bids
Six 18th C. Architectural Prints by Various Artists, circa 1714-1749
Aug 03, 9:30 AM EDT
Six 18th C. Architectural Prints by Various Artists, circa 1714-1749
by Rafael Osona Auctions
Est: $1,000- $1,500
$7000 Bids
AFTER GIOVANNI BATTISTA PIRANESI, A SET OF TEN PRINTS OF CLASSICAL RUINS
Aug 08, 10:30 AM BST
AFTER GIOVANNI BATTISTA PIRANESI, A SET OF TEN PRINTS OF CLASSICAL RUINS
by Dreweatts 1759 Fine Sales
Est: £400- £600
£3000 Bids
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GIOVANNI BATTISTA PIRANESI - VEDUTE DI ROMA
Jul 24, 10:00 AM EDT
GIOVANNI BATTISTA PIRANESI - VEDUTE DI ROMA
by Litchfield Auctions
Est: $1,000- $1,500
$5000 Bids
ROSSINI: Two Framed Prints
Jul 27, 10:00 AM EDT
ROSSINI: Two Framed Prints
by Roland Auctions NY
Est: $75- $125
$300 Bids
Lithograph of Original Washington Monument Design.
Aug 03, 10:00 AM EDT
Lithograph of Original Washington Monument Design.
by Casco Bay Auctions
Est: $250- $350
$1200 Bids
THREE LARGE ARCHITECTURAL PHOTO REPRODUCTIONS, Frame: 26 1/2 x 40 1/2 in. (67.3 x 102.9 cm.)
Jul 31, 10:00 AM EDT
THREE LARGE ARCHITECTURAL PHOTO REPRODUCTIONS, Frame: 26 1/2 x 40 1/2 in. (67.3 x 102.9 cm.)
by Potomack Company
Est: $200- $300
$1000 Bids
Le Corbusier (after)
Aug 06, 6:00 PM CEST
Le Corbusier (after)
by TGP Auction
Est: CHF190- CHF290
CHF900 Bids
Le Corbusier (after)
Aug 06, 6:00 PM CEST
Le Corbusier (after)
by TGP Auction
Est: CHF190- CHF290
CHF900 Bids
Le Corbusier (after)
Aug 06, 6:00 PM CEST
Le Corbusier (after)
by TGP Auction
Est: CHF190- CHF290
CHF900 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Architecture Prints


TGP Auction

TGP Auction

Potomack Company

Potomack Company

Apple Tree Auction Center

Apple Tree Auction Center

Rafael Osona Auctions

Rafael Osona Auctions