Lefkada attracts the attention of scholars and geographers together with the other Greek islands with “Liber Insularum Archipelagi” a pioneering early 15th century cartographic manuscript by Cr. Buοndelmonti. Buondelmonti’s work became a model for the isolaria that followed, such as Benedetto Bordone's work (1547). Among other information, Bordone notes on his idiosyncratic maps information on myths, the climate and the history of the island.
Towards the end of the 16th century Lefkada appears in G. Fr. Camocio’s isolario, a groundbreaking work for its era, which influenced later isolaria such as G. Rosaccio's (1598). Representations of Lefkada always include the adjacent coast of continental Greece. Like all similar works, the isolario of Antonio Millo (1582-91) is enriched by engravings already published in contemporary editions. Antonio marks perillous waters on the maps of his isolaria, and uses the place names found in contemporary portolani.
The engravings in H. Beauvau's edition (1615) imitate a popular edition which had circulated a few years earlier.
Towards the end of the 17th century, the celebrated works by V.M. Coronelli were copied and translated into various languages, inspiring numerous similar editions. His isolario in particular, which offers a plethora of historical and geographic information and an exhaustive list of ancient sources on each island, became a major reference to travellers from Western Europe, who consullted the book before or after their journeys to the Greek seas. Thus the editions of the Accademia Cosmografica degli Argonauti in Venice, directed by Coronelli, include hundreds of engravings exalting Venice's victories during the Ottoman-Venetian War (1684 -1687), and naturally a map of the island (V.M. Coronelli, 1688), engravings (views and plans) of the Castle and the strategic strait of Drepanon (V.M. Coronelli, 1687). Copies of these drawings, either identical or with variations, have been included in the reprints and translations of Coronelli's works since then. In addition, they illustrate historical treatises, geographic works as well as later travel chronicles. During the same period, J.v. Sandrart's work (1686) shows the influence of similar copper engravings, dating from the late 16thcentury. The plates in the 1687 edition by Sandrart 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 release d during the same period. The editions by J. Enderlin include copies of engravings found in earlier or nearly contemporary popular works (1686). και The editions by J. Peeters in the late 17th century (1686 and 1690) also exalt the victories of the Holy League in the Ottoman-Venetian wars. The plates show cities, ports and other locations in Austria, Southeastern Europe, the eastern Mediterranean and places in Asia all the way to India and Saudi Arabia.
The work by J. Lauremberg (1660) includes excellent engravings of maps of ancient Greece. The maps are accompanied by historical and geographical explanatory texts, which testify to the author's deep erudition.
Ol. Dapper's rich erudite work, which became distinguished for its highly elaborate engravings and was based primarily on ancient Greek and Latin sources, portolani, isolaria, contemporary travel accounts and authoritative maps, includes a plan of the Castle of Santa Maura.
The travel account by the important ancient scholar R. Chandler, traveller equally interested in antiquity, geography, history and contemporary inhabitants of the places he visited, includes a map of all the islands near Lefkada as well. We come upon a similar illustration in the companion Atlas to J.J. abbé Bartélemy's historical fiction and travel narrative, which creates an idyllic panorama of the ancient world. The port indexes by J.N. Bellin (1771) and J. Roux (1804) include maps of the main anchorages of the island. This is also the case with the Atlas to A. Grasset de Saint Sauveur's three-volume edition on the Ionian islands (1800), which contains a drawing of local costume. A conscientious state functionary, Grasset de Saint-Sauveur manages to render a comprehensive image of the Ionian islands, including Lefkada, towards the end of Venetian dominion with intelligence, precision and sensitivity, in a mature and insightful text which also conveys all the charm of insular life. The companion Atlas to the work edited by J.B.G.M. Bory de St. Vincent (1823) includes an interesting map of the island.
A map and a list of archaeological locations is also found in the text by surgeon W. Goodisson (1822), who did thorough research and recorded a wealth of information concerning Lefkada. J. Cartwright's works (1821) render landscape and people realistically, with great technical dexterity, delicacy, spontaneity and sensitivity. As we learn from the work by P.M. Paciaudi (1761), numerous antiquities of the island were probably transported to Venice after the Venetian campaign of the late 17th century. The Italian artist Pomardi (1820) accompanied Edward Dodwell in his archaeological explorations and drew several subjects at the scholar's request. Pomardi's drawings are characterized by clarity and concision.
The plans and drawings of one of the major works of W. M. Leake (1825, photomechanical reprint 1967) show how meticulously and systematically the spaces and monuments were recorded by the passionate archaeologist and topographer.
Almost all travellers who saw Lefkada, albeit from afar, aboard a ship, commemorated cape Leucata and the legends which surround it, of which most famous is the story of poet Sappho's leap to her death. Many illustrated their chronicles with a view of this impressive cape. (T.S. Hughes, 1820 / J.Comte d’Estourmel, 1848 / Ed. Lear, 1863 / Ch. Wordsworth, 1882 / A. Von Sschweiger Lerchenfeld, 1887). Christopher Wordsworth's highly successful work, which is more of historical narrative than a travel chronicle, also includes views and antiquities of Lefkada, some executed in a novel style and others copied from earlier popular editions (1882). A representative view of the town of Lefkada also illustrates F.Ch.H. L. Pouqueville's edition (1835), a highly important work, mainly for the author's observations on Continental Greece.
An engraving in S. Pomardi's work (1820), as well as a photograph in Ε. Reisinger's edition (1923) depict the impressive scenery composed by the islands along Lefkada's coastline and the landscape of the islet cluster southeast of the island. Rare watercolours from the album of the Gennadius Library depict a serene and lush landscape, and interesting locations and monuments (“Sketches of the Ionian Islands”, 1835-1840).
Finally, the Emblem of the United States of the Ionian islands (1817-1864), with the royal coat of arms of Great Britain, is included in J.H. Allan's account of his journey to the Mediterranean (1843).
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