chapter  5
Amsterdam eternal and fleeting: The individual and representations of urban space
Pages 26

Visual representations of the industrialized metropolis around 1900 were inextricably interwoven with conceptions of time. The city’s inhabitants confronted the rapid transformations of their social and economic milieu with a variety of strategies that both embraced and repulsed the onslaught of urban fragmentation and renewal, both celebrated and lamented the city’s past and future. While much has been written about representations of the alienating streetscape or about the picturesque cityscape, particularly those depicted by well-known painters and photographers, we know relatively little about the ways that individual “ordinary” observers of these mutating cities encountered those changes or about their visualizations of the city and the notion of time inherent to them. This essay will examine two responses by members of the metropolitan elite.