Delos becomes an object of scholarly study and geography together with the other Greek islands with “Liber Insularum Archipelagi” a pioneering chartographic manuscript by Cr. Buοndelmonti written in the early 15th century. Buondelmonti’s work became a model for other isolaria such as those by B. dalli Sonetti (1485) and Β. Bordone (1547). Sonneti's maps are accompanied by commentaries in verse while Bordone notes on his idiosyncratic maps information on myths, the climate and the history of the island. 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.
In Μ. Boschini’s edition, a small beautiful sample of Venetian engraving of the mid-17th century, the maps of Delos 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 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.
J.J. Struys' chronicle (1681) is replete with paradoxes and inaccuracies. Most interesting is a view of an island with several antiquities, clearly resembling Delos, which he nevertheless titles “Delphi island”, while the annotation speaks of “Mount Parnassus”.
The subjects of the illustrations which accompany this edition of J. Spon 's voyage (1678), which is highly significant for the author's pioneering exploration of ancient sites, are novel and groundbreaking for their time. Most of the pictures are first-ever depictions of archaeological sites and remains. The chronicle by G. Wheler (1682), a mediocre copy of Spon's work but very succesful all the same, includes a draft purported to be a map of the island. The same view appears in the erudite work by Ol. Dapper (1688) a work with highly elaborate engravings which was based mainly on ancient Greek and Latin sources, portolani, isolaria, contemporary travel accounts and authoritative maps. Dapper also includes a table of ancient coins of Delos in his work.
J. Pitton de Tournefort' s account of his journey to the Aegean islands (1717) contained a wealth of information and became thenceforth an indispensable guide to all travellers to the Archipelago. Besides the map of Delos, the best available until the excavations by the French Archaeological School in the late 19th century, Tournefort offers the first depiction of the lizard often found in the Aegean (Laudakia stellio), and a view of antiquities. Among the drawings embellishing the work by meticulous and hard-to-please traveller Al. Drummond (1754), drawings realized with clarity and diligence all the same, one finds plans of buildings and fragments of Delian inscriptions.
The paintings by French architect D. Le Roy are lacking in exactitude but follow the aesthetic conventions of the era. Le Roy himself is convinced that everything is permitted in representation, that subject is more important than the image itself and emotion takes precedence over exact depiction. Le Roy was compelled to face the incisive but well-founded criticism of British architects J. Stuart and N. Revett. Nevertheless his work greatly influenced the art and architecture of his time.
J.J. Barthélemy achieved a fictional recreation of the ancient world, doubling as travel narrative. Barthélemy painted an idyllic panorama of antiquity, accompanied by Barbié de Bocage's maps and drawings (first edition in 1788, reedition in 1832). This edition, which fuelled readers' interest for antiquity, includes a map of Delos and nearby islands.
The British James Stuart and Nicholas Revett, members of the society of the Dilettanti, worked hard to meticulously measure and delineate the monuments. Their work, comprised of drawings accompanied by explanatory texts on the use of the monument, archaeological observations and travel impressions, inaugurated the new era of European neoclassicism, as then on detailed measurement replaced1 imaginary depiction of monuments, and was warmly received by the British public. Their highly polished editions (1794, 1814, 1816) include drawings of architectural details and a map of Delos. Ch. R. Cockerell, member of the Dilettante society (which aided, inspired and realized archaeological expeditions to Greek territories till 1846, and subsequently published their outcomes in monumental volumes) also made drawings of architectural details from Delos. The observations made by the members of the Section of Architecture and Sculpture of the French Scientific Mision under G. A. Blouet are accompanied by drawings of excellent technique and high artistic quality. The conclusions of their research and the related graphic material, released in three monumental volumes (1831, 1833, 1838), contributed greatly to the perception of the monuments and constituted a work of reference for all subsequent studies.
A map of the island is included in the monumental work by French nobleman M.G.F.A. Choiseul-Gouffier, ambassador of France to the Sublime Gate,. Towards the end of the 18th century Choiseul-Gouffier travelled to the Aegean. The edition which resulted from his journey radically changed the perception of the East by Western Europeans, and expressed the artistic and intellectual currents of its time in the most impressive way. Delos is included in a map of the anchorages of Myconos, in the significant port index by J. Roux (1804). The drawings by C.F.T.C. D’Aligny (1843) are invaluable to the history of the excavations and of the archaeological site of Delos, whose aspect has changed over time.
A map of Delos is included also in a 1894 travel guide. In the 19th century travel guides evolved into a necessary tool for travellers. Thanks to the revolutionary “pocket size” invented by K. Baedeker, these Guides became more practical and sold much better, as they included fully updated maps and plans of archaeological sites.
From the second half of the 19th century onwards, the modalities of subjective, partial representation of space are subverted by the appearance of photography. This technique becomes the most powerful means of representation, albeit always bearing the seal of the individual photographer. F.F. Boissonnas' work constituted a landmark in the history of this art. His photographs of Delos fuse light, landscape and antiquities in images that teach mutual respect. His shots (1919) include famous masterpieces of sculpture discovered in the sanctuary of Delos, views of ruins, the ancient theatre, architectural details and idyllic landscapes.
The wood engtavings, water colours and photographs (1935) transmit Fr. Perilla's love and enthusiasm for the Cyclades islands, as well as his artistic sensitivity.
Written by Ioli Vingopoulou