Sicily is included in the first printed isolaria, such as the one by B. Bordone (1547), in which each map is accompanied by an explanatory text. The isolario by cartographer G.F. Camocio (1574) contains a map of the island and a plate with the disposition of the fleet of the Holy League before the Battle of Lepanto (1571). 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.
H. Moll produced high quality engravings of very detailed maps, destined for school use (1717). They are based on the information found in Greek and Roman authors, and the Old and New Testaments. This technique permitted the creation of more detailed and accurate images and a greater concentration of information; it gradually became the technique of choice for all illustrated works, until the early 19th century, when progressively lithography became the most popular technique.
Costumes from Sicily, mainly female, are found in the highly remarkable work by C. Vecellio, published in the late 16th century and reprinted in the 19th century.
A view of Messina in a copper engraving is found in the pilgrim chronicle by H. Beauvau (1615), which borrows its subjects from earlier similar editions. A century later, in 1714, the chronicle by C. Le Bruyn, illustrated with exquisite original engravings, includes another view of Messina.The illustrations in the edition by J.A. van Egmont and J. Heymann (1759) show subjects already published in the editions by C. Le Bruyn.
The drawings which accompany B. de Monconys' text (1665-66) constitute a corpus of material unique in travel literature. They include distillation instruments, chemistry experiments, hydraulic devices, hydrometers, architectural drawings, depictions of meteorological phenomena, plans, human types, astronomical instruments etc
Painter R. Dalton, one of the first to achieve an exact depiction of the Parthenon, visited Sicily on his way to the Greek islands and Athens, and drew an interesting view of Mount Aetna.
J. Seller was the creator of the first detailed mapping of the Mediterranean coast, titled “English Pilot...” . First published in the 17th century, it was repeatedly reissued and continued to be used down to the 19th century (here in the 1771 edition). Seller's works established the use of the English language in maritime charts and greatly influenced later cartographic editions. It includes maps of the local shores. The plates and maps in Ch. Thompson's travel account (1752) are also copies of subjects already published in earlier popular travel accounts. A map and view of a town in Sicily is included in the significant work by J. Moreno (1790), while a contemporary port index charts the main anchorages of the island (J. Roux, 1804).The companion Atlas to the work edited by J.B.G.M. Bory de St. Vincent (1823) includes an interesting map of the island.
The edition by J.C.R. abbé de Saint Non (1786) was published at a time when information on the lesser-known locations of Southern Italy was extremely scarce. In addition to filling that gap, it highlights all the main monuments of Sicily. The view of Palermo in the account by Αl. Bisani (1793) is a copy of a similar plate found in the work of J. Houel. C.M. Delagardette composed a work illustrated with plates of the antiquities of Paestum (Posidonia), in an era when the basic questions of research in classical archaeology were fully articulated by European scholars for the first time. The work (1789-99) is contemporary to similar studies on the antiquities of Greece, and includes a map of Magna Graecia.
The same period sees the publication of the first systematic study and delineation of ancient monuments in Sicily (1807) by British architect W. Wilkins. More antiquities will be published later on ((P.Ol. Brönsted in 1830, Ch.R. Cockerell in 1830). In his highly popular paintings (1810), L. Mayer did not limit himself to depicting ancient monuments; he added several picturesque details from people's everyday lives as well.
For the illustration of his work “Grèce” (1835), F.Ch.H.L. Pouqueville (who also wrote one of the most systematic studies on geomporhology of continental Greece), borrowed views from earlier significant and popular editions and travel works.
The works by J. Houel (1782), drawn and engraved by the artist himself, are among the most impressive depictions of the monuments of Sicily and Southern Italy. A series of interesting subjects and views of sights of Sicily are published in the work of T.S. Hughes (1820), fervent philhellene and supporter of the Greek cause for Independence, and in the edition by J.J. Horner (1823). The work of A.-F.-L. Viesse de Marmont, Duke of Raguse, was published in the same year and carried several maps of the region. As with his other works, in “Journal of a tour in Asia Minor”, the British topographer W.M. Leake (1824) provides systematic and detailed archaeological observations.
In the 19th century, the Grand Tour of the East, a dream as well as an obligation of every wealthy European, in order to acquire knowledge and social status, naturally included a visit to Sicily. Consequently, this period offers abundant materal on this great island (J.H. Allan in 1843, Ο’Hara in 1859, W.F. Ainsworth in 1870 and a view of Messina in Piraeus and Ports, approximately 1860).
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.
Finally, 20th century illustrations of travel literature are done in diverse techniques (engraving, water colour, drawings and photographs), or a blend thereof, with striking results, as can be seen in the 1937 work by Α. Suares, exclusively dedicated to the ancient monuments of Southern Italy.
Written by Ioli Vingopoulou