In his maps, Francesco Basilicata (1618), highlighted the topology and morphology of Rethymno and the major sites in the surrounding area by means of skilful use of colour. Basilicata's maps also show details of the same space, such as salt mines, orchards, mills, wells and even trees, while special prominence is given to military installations. The illustration in the edition by German engraver and painter J. von Sandrart (1686) stresses the buzzing movement of a port crowded with ships in an striking manner. The important historic and geopraphic work by Ol. Dapper (1688) depicts the fortifications of the city and the Fortezza in an accurate engraving.
The plates in the work by J. Sandrart (1687) show castles and other location, in their majority under Ottoman rule. Several similar works which highlight the victories of the Venetians against the Ottomans in the Sixth Ottoman-Venetian War (1684-1699) were released during the same period. The same is true of the editions by J. Peeters in the late 17th century (1686). The plates of the 1686 edition show cities, ports and other locations in Austria, southeastern Europe, the eastern Mediterranean and places in Asia all the way to Saudi Arabia, while the 1690 edition shows several locations from the Adriatic sea to India.
The first “realistic” view of the city from the eastern coast is to be found in the invaluable account of pioneering traveller J. Pitton de Tournefort (1717).
After Joseph Pitton de Tournefort (1700), F.W. Sieber was the first naturalist who toured Crete. While his main activity consisted in collecting specimens of flora, he also painted a highly detailed picture of public and social life of the inhabitants of Crete. He collected botanical material and handed down a detailed picture of social life in Crete (1823). Griechenland (1825c) was one of several early 19th-century editions on customs, traditions, costumes and monuments of Greece. The illustrations consisted of plates already published in popular travel accounts of the previous decades.
Robert Pashley composed a travel account accompanied by innovative illustrations (1837). The narrative of his archaeological tour and the snapshots of everyday life which he describes come alive in the plates showing landscapes, monuments, antiquities and people of Rethymno.
The successful as well as prolific landscape painter Ed. Lear travelled mostly in western Crete (1864). He represents the tranquil and beautiful landscape of the city surroundings, Rethymnon itself and the impressive Monastery of Arkadi (the edition includes a similar engraving on the same subject from the work by R. Pashley).
The Album of 1984 includes rare and very interesting wood engravings taken from the pioneering weekly review “The Illustrated London News” (1842-1885) and the similarly themed magazine “The Graphic” (1869-1885). The plates depict locations, people and events (political, social and military), from 1842 to 1885.
Written by Ioli Vingopoulou