As the science of photography developed, so architectural drawings became less realistic and more impressionistic (since there was no need to produce a realistic facsimile of a scene when a photograph could achieve this in an instant). Architectural draftsmen, however, were required to produce something that looked realistic when in fact it was pure fantasy.

Often the lovingly-drawn perspective flattered the building rather more than it deserved, putting it into a romantic light, or drawing it from an impossible viewpoint. Many architectural designs were never built, or worse, demolished – in such cases, the original drawings are the only evidence that the building ever existed.

We are proud to present a selection of architectural drawings and watercolours by some of the twentieth century’s greatest architectural artists, including Cyril Farey and JDM Harvey.


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