Art UK has updated its cookies policy. By using this website you are agreeing to the use of cookies. To find out more read our updated Use of Cookies policy and our updated Privacy policy.

Close

Souvenir paintings of the ruins of ancient Rome made for Grand Tourists often included the Colosseum. In modern times too, theatres have been among the most prominent and prestigious buildings in the townscape. Opera houses, circuses, ballrooms and cinemas are among other types of venue that may be found in paintings of the urban scene. With the coming of gas and electric lighting such buildings were always brightly lit at night and even more attractive to artists.

The interiors of theatres have also attracted artists. Impressionists like Degas and Toulouse-Lautrec depicted life on or behind the stage; in Britain, Walter Sickert and Laura Knight made a speciality of their scenes of performers and audiences at the music hall and ballet.