If you were to travel to London and visit the Houses of Parliament, this is what you would see.
Now close your eyes and try to picture this scene. Now try to draw it— from memory.
Artist Stephen Wiltshire is internationally renowned for his incredible ability to accurately recreate cityscapes after having only observed them briefly. With his photographic memory, Wiltshire garnered public interest as a young child and sold his first commissioned work, a drawing of the Salisbury Cathedral, to the late Prime Minister Edward Heath.
Even more extraordinarily, Wiltshire was diagnosed with autism at age three. Very soon after, teachers at his school in West London took notice of his interest in art. Beyond drawing, Wiltshire has also shown talent in music, having perfect pitch as well as an exceptional knack for memorizing music.
Between 2005 and 2010, Wiltshire created a collection of panoramas of major cities—all drawn from memory after 20-minute helicopter rides over the locations—including Hong Kong, Madrid, Dubai, Jerusalem, and New York, among others. Wiltshire also enjoys drawing caricature “snapshots” documenting amusing people and incidents from his travels abroad.
Stephen Wiltshire’s permanent gallery is located in London’s Royal Opera Arcade. He has received an Honorary Life Fellowship from the Society of Architectural Illustrators, and has been named a Member of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of his services to the art world.
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