Warsaw

How postwar Warsaw was rebuilt using 18th century paintings

An article by The Guardian about how Bellotto’s paintings were used to reconstruct the city

Warsaw was invaded during the Second World War by the Nazi’s. These were dark times for the Polish capital, since there was a lot of resistance against the German occupation. The result: More than 85% of the city’s historical centre was reduced to ruins. The inhabitants of Warsaw however found an innovative way to reproduce their familiar surroundings; by looking at the paintings that 18th century Italian painter Bernardo Bellotto made. 

Bellotto’s paintings, along with the expertise of Polish architects, art historians and conservators, enabled the reconstruction of the Old Town to take place in an impressively short period of time. Most of the work was finished before 1955 – although additional construction continued into the 1980s, and the city is arguably still feeling the impacts of the second world war even now.

Read the full article here.

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