Photos by John Cleave
click thumbnail to view full-scale image
(Click thumbnail to view full-scale image)

About the Artist:

John Cleave was born and raised in England but has lived in the U.S. since 1966 and for the past 37 years in Washington. After over a decade in the British Colonial Service in Africa Mr. Cleave joined the World Bank here as an agricultural economist. After a successful career with the Bank, where he worked mainly on projects Africa and East Asia, Mr. Cleave retired to a take up a new vocation as an architectural photographer for a clientele of architects, designers and builders in the Washington area. This work lead him into an exploration of the digital manipulation of photography and thence to the publication of three books of "digital watercolors" on Washington, Athens, and Istanbul. Mr. Cleave's (unmanipulated) photographs also accompany various articles throughout this web site.

click for slideshow

WASHINGTON: Scenes From a Capital City
Illustrator: John Cleave
Introductions: Benjamin Forgey

The 180 color and black-and-white sketch-like illustrations in this 96 page, 10x8 (landscape) hardback book capture the essence of the nation's capital. These unique renderings have been digitally derived from his work by Washington architectural photographer John Cleave, and cover all parts of the original District of Columbia. Benjamin Forgey, architecture critic of the Washington Post, provides a penetrating sketch of the growth of the city over 200 years and an introduction to each of the succeeding chapters: Corridor of Power; Mall, Monuments and Museums; Downtown and Georgetown; Uptown; East of Rock Creek; and Across the Potomac.

$ 25.00.
October 2003
ISBN 981-4068-71-3

Published by Editions Didier Millet, Paris and Singapore. This book is available on and at many local bookstores.

click for slideshow

Click thumbnails above to pop up enlargements and slideshow

Following the success of his book on Washington, which was a Washington Post best-seller over Christmas 2003, John Cleave turned his attentions to his wife’s birthplace, Athens, Greece.  Published in September 2005, his book of "digital watercolors" has been critically acclaimed in the city it depicts as "unique," "a literate, image-rich guide to [the] city," which "stands out as a visual delight."  It is now available through bookstores in the USA and on the web, including

slide show

ATHENS: Scenes from a Capital City
By John Cleave
Introductions by Nikos Vatopoulos

A new book by NARPAC member John Cleave
(click picture above for additional info and slideshow)

Requests for more information should be addressed to

Athens images copyright © 2006 John H. Cleave


ISTANBUL: City of Two Continents

by John Cleave

Introductions by John Freely

In the third of his "digital watercolor" sketchbooks, John Cleave has turned his artistry to the former capital of the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires and today Turkey's largest city. Standing astride Europe and Asia, surrounded by a garland of water, a vibrant 21st century city with a visible history that stretches back nearly three millennia, Istanbul is, simply, unique.

The many facets of this spectacular city are captured by John in his 175 captioned illustrations. John Freely, doyen of writers on Istanbul and its history, sets the stage with his overview, City of Two Continents , and his introductions to the three succeeding chapters: The Historic Heart of Istanbul; Across the Golden Horn: Beyoglu and Beyond; and The Other Side: Istanbul in Asia.

Publisher: Editions Didier Millet, Paris and Singapore.

$ 30.00

ISBN 978-981-4217-52-1

Available in the USA at good bookstores or from from October 2008

A new book on the city of Istanbul by NARPAC member John Cleave
Click picture above or this link for additional info and a ten page slideshow.

Istanbul images © 2008 John Cleave

Return to Washington Artists Overview

This page was updated on August 15, 2008

home issues status analyses email

© copyright 2008 NARPAC, Inc. All rights reserved