Observations on Urban Aesthetics
London, Paris and New York
London, Paris and New York were each designated as 'capital of the world' in the course of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Besides their cultural importance, they were also admired for their beauty. How travellers described these cityscapes is the theme of this book. Why is it interesting to look at these cities through the eyes of travellers from the past who visited places, which have changed over time? Well, firstly, because if you always restrict your views on architecture by only looking through your own eyes, your perceptions and appreciation become increasingly limited and narrow. By looking at the views of earlier generations we can show how points of view regarding architecture change over time and why these cities were considered especially beautiful. Wim Denslagen (1946) is an architectural historian and professor in the history and theory of conservation at Utrecht University. He has published among other works: Architectural Restoration in Western Europe: Controversy and Continuity (1994), Architectural Imitations (2005 with Niels Gutschow), Memories of Architecture: Architectural Heritage and Historiography in the Distant Past (2009) and Romantic Modernism: Nostalgia in the World of Conservation (2009). In 2011, he published a study in Dutch on the history of how landscapes are perceived: Beemden en bouwlanden.
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