The mapping of Piraeus and the nearby coast begins in fact with the 1687 edition by V.M. Coronelli. Coronelli founded the Accademia Cosmografica degli Argonauti in Venice and authored several editions illustrated with hundreds of copper engravings, which aimed at exalting Venice's victories during the Ottoman-Venetian war (1684-1687). However, a mention of an earlier map of the port (1685) is found in the work by the Marquis de Laborde.
Approximately a century later, French architect D. Le Roy visited Athens, and delineated the monuments in the artistic style characteristic of his time. Nevertheless, due to the importance of the port, he includes a map of Piraeus in his work (1770). The British archaeologists and members of the Dilettante Society who visited Attica do not omit to chart the area either; thus maps of Piraeus are found in the works by R. Chandler (1776) and by J. Stuart / N. Revett (1794), which is highly significant for its measurements of ancient monuments.
The late 18th century sees the publication of B. De Bocage's “Atlas” to the highly successful work by Αbbé J.J. Barthélemy, which is a fictional recreation of the ancient world (here in the 1832 reedition). It includes a map of Piraeus as it would have been in the 5th century BCE.
J.N. Bellin's cartographic work on the anchorages of the Adriatic and the Ionian seas (1771) reserves a place for the port of Piraeus. The significant port index by J. Roux, of the early 19th century, charts the anchorages of the area once more. J. Tweddell died during his stay in Athens and was buried in the temple of Hephaestus (also known as Theseion). Later on, his brother published what had survived of his travel notes (1817). The scarce plates include a map of Piraeus. The work by French landscape painter E. Rey (1867) includes a map of Piraeus, while towards the end of the 19th century the area is charted by the authors of the extremely useful Baedeker travel guides (K. Baedeker, 1894).
The small number of antiquities in plain sight were drawn and/or delineated already in the 18th century (A. de La Mottraye in 1727, J. Stuart / N. Revett in 1794). Views of ruins on well-known sites, and depictions of votive offerings are found in the works by Εd. Dodwell in 1819, S. Pomardi in 1820, Εt. Rey in 1867 and Chr. Wordsworth [in the 1882 reedition of his best-selling work (Chr. Wordsworth, 1882), and in the 1841 edition (Chr. Wordsworth, 1841)]. The plates in the work of Ed. Dodwell (1834) show uncommon and original views of less known archaeological sites. After his journey in Greek lands, at the begining of the 19th century, O.M.von Stackelberg was able to render historical locations and antiquities in accordance with the emerging tendency of romanticism (1834). The drawings of W. Black (1822-26) are an invaluable source for the country's history, as they are among the scarce pictures from the era of the Greek Revolution.
The capacity for insight and keen observation evident throughout Henri Belle's text (1881) equally mark the illustrations of his travel account. The prolific Irish scholar J.P. Mahaffy wrote an account of his tour of Greece (1890), illustrated with exquisite wood engravings. The plates were etched from pencil drawings, which in their turn were based on imaginary representations and photographs. The work of J. von Falke (1887 / 2002) is illustrated by exquisite engravings. They show works of ancient Greek art and imaginary depictions of scenes from the public and private life of the ancient Greeks.
Views of the city of Piraeus in engravings or photographs become frequent from the mid-19th century, while Athens, by now capital of the Greek state, is rapidly expanding and Piraeus evolves into a major commercial port. The opening of the Isthmus of Corinth brought about a modification of maritime routes from the East to the Adriatic. This caused the port of Piraeus to develop very fastly (the album Piraeus and Ports includes several interesting views from that time, as does A. Schweiger Lerchenfeld's work of 1887). The edition by Al. Van den Brule (1907) also includes photographs. A view of Piraeus from the Hill of the Nymphs is also found in the Panorama by F.A. Stademann (1841) and in A. Schweiger Lerchenfeld (1887). he French cartoonist H.L. Avelot (1899) made original sketches of people and scenes of everyday life, and created highly innovative material which pushed other artists to create similar illustrations inspired from their travels. 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