Patmos attracts the attention of scholars and geographers together with the other Greek islands with “Liber Insularum Archipelagi”, a pioneering early 15th century chartographic manuscript by Cr. Buondelmonti. Buondelmonti’s work established a model for the isolaria which followed, such as those by B. dalli Sonetti (1485) and B. Bordone (1547). Among other data, Bordone notes information on the myths and history of the islands on his idiosyncratic maps.
Towards the end of the 16th century, Patmos appears in G. Fr. Camocio’s isolario, also a groundbreaking work for its era, which inspired later isolaria such as G. Rosaccio's (1598) and lent its illustrations to pilgrim chronicles (H. Beauvau, 1615). 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 Patmos 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.
J.J. Struys' chronicle (1681) is replete with paradoxes and inaccuracies. His views of Tinos and Patmos are highly interesting in this respect. The actual geography and morphology of both islands and the placement of their settlements point us to to the conclusion that the view of Patmos is in reality a depiction of Tinos and vice versa.
J. Pitton de Tournefort' s account of his journey to the Aegean islands (1717 ), published after his voyage to the Aegean sea, contained a wealth of information and became thenceforth an indispensable guide to all travellers to the Archipelago. He includes views of women of Patmos in local costume, a view of the port and the first view of the Cave of the Apocalypse. The highly successful edition of J.B. Van Mour's drawings, which depicts costumes and ethinicities of the East, with texts on everyday life in the Ottomam Empire, contains an impressive illustration of women of Patmos in local dress. The plates in Ch. Thompson's travel account (1752) are copies of subjects already published in earlier popular travel accounts.
The articles, essays and travel accounts collected by R. Walpole (1820), together with the accompanying illustrations, touch on rarely treated subjects and thus constitute valuable sources of information on the antiquities, history and natural environment of each location.
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.
A. de La Mottraye's work (1727) is embellished with striking engravings of rare subjects. Some of them consist of fictitious scenes, created by copying and combining figures and themes from contemporary editions. Such is the dance of the women of the Archipelago, which includes a woman from Patmos. This engraving is also included in Ph. Argenti' s annotated editon on traditional costume (1953).
Female figures of the island, the Cave of the Apocalypse, the port and also the drawing of the author's encounter with a Greek monk who unexpectedly inquired whether Voltaire was still alive are included in the monumental work by M.G.F.A. Choiseul-Gouffier. This work expressed the love of antiquity and the philhellenism of the era in new and original fashion, establishing at the same time (around the late 18th and early 19th century) the primacy of image, or graphic representation, in travel chronicles.
Written by Ioli Vingopoulou