Part of the Dodecanese, Kos enters the space of scholarly study and geography together with the other Greek islands with “Liber Insularum Archipelagi” by Cr. Buondelmonti, a groundbreaking cartographic manuscript of the early 15th century. Buondelmonti’s work became a model for the isolaria that followed, such as those by B. dalli Sonetti (1485) and Β. Bordone (1547). Sonetti's maps are accompanied by commentaries in verse, while Bordone notes information on myths, the climate and the history of the island on his idiosyncratic maps. In the late 16th century Kos appears in G. Rosaccio’s isolario, a work influenced by earlier similar books (1598). The edition by H. Beauvau (1615) imitates a map published a few years earlier in another popular isolario. 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.
V.M. Coronelli, the founder of the Accademia Cosmografica degli Argonauti in Venice, published several editions illustrated with hundreds of copper engravings, which aimed at exalting Venice's victories during the Ottoman-Venetian war (1684-1687). The edition of 1688 includes maps of islands in the Southeastern Aegean, with views of their fortifications. In Μ. Boschini’s edition, a small beautiful sample of Venetian engraving of the mid-17th century, the maps of Kos and other islands are accompanied by an explanatory text with historical and geographical information. The isolario of Fr. Piacenza (1688) includes superbly engraved maps and a wealth of material on the Aegean islands, Cyprus and the Peloponnese. 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.
Ol. Dapper’s edition (1688) 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. It includes a view of Kos and a table of ancient coins of the island. C. De Bruyn's highly popular work (1714), which included a great number of original subjects, shows a view of the city and port.
The monumental work of M.G.F.A. Choiseul-Gouffier expressed the love of antiquity and the philhellenism of the era in new and original fashion, establishing at the same time image as opposed to text, graphic representation, as a primary feature of travel chronicles (late 18th -early 19th century). It presents for the first time an illustration of the famous plane tree at the central square of Kos. To date, this subject remains very popular. It was copied in numerous travel accounts that followed, such as the edition by J. H. Allan (1843), where we find other images from Kos, such as reliefs and antiquities. The territory of Kos is charted in the travel chronicle by F. Beaufort (1817) in a very accurate map while a series of engravings and watercolours of landscapes, details of space and human types are included in the work of P. Jeancard (1919); they were based on the author's own drawings, and are reminiscent of photographic shots.
Written by Ioli Vingopoulou