Discover our collection of London map art for sale or available to rent today. We have hand-selected the most exciting contemporary artists who are exploring the art of cartography within their work. Why not start by browsing our prints of London maps or our map drawings? Explore our collection today to find the perfect piece for your home or workplace.…
Cartography is defined as the science or practice of drawing maps, highlighting its dual nature as both a science and an art form. This practice has taken decorative and symbolic forms. Not only does cartography require expert draughtsmanship but it also represents cultures, how land is used or perceived and the extent of human exploration.
Ursula Hitz creates maps of cities out of place names. In her work Map of Greater London - Neon Orange / Bark (2014) Hitz highlights the River Thames in orange, demonstrating its iconic nature. The map itself is made up of place names which bustle together to reflect life in London, or perhaps the rush hour tube. Hitz creatively encapsulates the feeling of the cities she represents to create visually exciting works of art.
Kristjana S Williams creates incredibly decorative maps by embellishing maps with cultural references, such as pigeons or the London eye as well as exotic flora and fauna. The result is an imaginative and exciting vision of London.
The oldest known map is dated to approximately 2300 BC and is preserved on a Babylonian clay tablet, known as the Babylonian Map of the World. The limited engravings and small size demonstrate how much more of the world was yet to discover.
Cartography greatly advanced during Ancient Greek rule, with Greek philosophers considering the concept of the spherical world.
During the Medieval period, religion influenced cartography, whereby Jerusalem was depicted at the centre and the East was oriented toward the top of the map.
As humans began to explore more of the world, maps began to grow. However, their functionality was limited, as each map had to be individually drawn. In the Renaissance, the invention of printing allowed maps to be ‘mass’ produced using carved wooden blocks and later engraved copper plates.
World maps began to be produced in the 16th century following voyages to the New World. The first true world map and use of the name America is credited to Martin Waldseemüller in 1507.
Charles Booth’s London Poverty Maps were made in the late 19th century and are considered as some of the most famous historical maps of London. To create them, Booth and his team painstakingly mapped and coded the levels of deprivation in London.
The London tube map is also infamous for its size and colours and is considered an integral part of London culture.