French art movement of the late 19th century that, inspired by scientific knowledges about the physical compositions of colours, tried to render them in an exact as possible way. To this purpose the impressionists went into nature (plein-air-painting), to catch their subjects as they were. The surrounding light conditions let contours blur and the visual impression prevails (Atomization of the objective world).
This implies the representation of constructional objects (houses, squares, bridges etc.) for their own sake, thus serving not only as staffage, background, or as attribute. There were architecture pictures already in ancient Pompeji. In Middle Ages depicted constructions just indicate a certain scene. The actual architecture picture arises in the 16th century in Netherlands(f. e. “Brueghel's Tower of Babel”). Dutch artists prevailed here up until the 17th century, and were followed by Italian artists in the 18th century. In modern times the representation of architecture has become a domain of photographers.