[Panoramic sketch of Athens, ca. 1834.]
Panoramic views of cities have been a popular subject in illustrations of travel works since the late 15th century. The earliest panoramas were rendered somewhat roughly in wood engravings. The evolution of copper engraving and the introduction of the lithograph in approximately 1830 gradually permitted a more exact representation of cities and their surrounding areas. From the mid-19th century, panoramas became more prominent in travel editions thanks to the technique of photography. To date, they are always a most alluring mode of representing space.
This panorama of Athens was drawn by an anonymous German artist around 1834. It renders the view from Areopagus. Among the areas discernible from left ro right are the city to the west of modern-day Theseion area, the temple of Hephaestus on Agoraios Colonos Hill at the Ancient Agora, Lycabettus, Acropolis, Philopappus Hill, Aegina island in the Saronic gulf, Piraeus and the famous olive grove on the banks of Cephissus river.
The annotations also show the position of Hagioi Asomatoi monatery and Elgin's clock-tower. The lush vegetation in the foreground is above all a decorative addition, while the few human forms add a picturesque note to the composition.
Written by Ioli Vingopoulou