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City as a concept and a visual artistic image
Gorelova Yuliya Robertovna

PhD in History

Academic Secretary, Siberian branch of the Russian Scientific Research Institute of Cultural and Natural Heritage named after D. S. Likhatchev

644077, Russia, Omsk, Andrianova Street 28, office #204a





This article portrays city as a certain mental construct, cluster of ideas, as well as analyses the essential features of a city, which allow identifying the distinctness of such fragment of reality in people's perception. The author analyzes the connection between the terms of "concept" and "image", considering their interaction at the level of essence and structure. Particular attention is paid to the specificity of artistic image as a special type of imagery, along with the images of everyday perception, official images, and others. At the same time, prioritized attention is given to the specificity of artistic imagery of the city captured in the visual arts. The author reveals the dynamics of the key trends in reflecting a city as a concept in the works of artists of various eras. Peculiar for this study became the imposition of subject areas of a city as a concept (as a term, mental construct) and methods of working with visual sources, namely the analysis of visual "texts" in form of the urban landscapes (the author compiled 843 city landscapes). A link is established between the term of "city" and the spectrum of qualities, characteristics and associations that stand behind it and form the perception of such fragment of reality. Analyzing the connection between the terms of "concept" and "image", the author concludes that the image and the concept have a similar structure (centered core, following by concentric layers in proportion to weakening of characteristic and decrease of its importance and awareness in the consciousness of recipients). However, the term of "image" is broader, filled with visual and emotional components. The concept is more focused on the category of essential and typical features, as well as familiar meanings. Describing the specificity of artistic image, the author notes that it is related to specificity of the sphere of art, which  distinctness manifests in subjectivity and emotionality of perception and presentation. The author determines the range of basic characteristics included in the concept of "city" that allow singling out the specific perception of this fragment within the framework of artistic imagery reproduced in works of art.

Keywords: mental construct, city landscape, art, visual markers, artistic image, image, concept, city, dynamics of images, urban limits



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