In 1545, German humanist N. Gerbelius published an accompanying text to the contemporary map of Nicolaos Sofianos, from Corfu. Gerbelius illustrates his texts with views of cities and other locations connected to the place names on the map. The representation of Thessaloniki is imaginary, congruent with the aesthetic conventions of the time, and tries to convey the grandeur of ancient monuments. The first known representation of the city is thus imaginary, and emphasizes the port and the Muslim buildings.
One of the earliest editions showing costumes and human types, the work by C. Vecellio, includes a characteristic female costume from Thessaloniki. Neither that particular depiction nor the subject were repeated in later similar editions. The editions by J. Enderlin include copies of engravings found in earlier or nearly contemporary popular works (1686).The plates in the work by J. Sandrart (1687) show castles and other location, in their majority under Ottoman rule. Several similar works which highlight the victories of the Venetians against the Ottomans in the Sixth Ottoman-Venetian War (1684-1699) were released during the same period.
“Archipel” (1688), by Flemish publisher Ol. Dapper, is a highly significant historical and geographical treatise, for the wealth of information it provides and its elaborate engravings. Although many of the latter are copied from V.M. Coronelli's editions, Dapper's work includes one of the first realistic depictions of Thessaloniki.
From the 18th century onwards, the antiquities of this city of Northen Greece, so rich in monuments, attracted the attention of travellers and collectors. The grandiose edition by R. Pococke (1761), a blend of the author's personal travel experiences and plagiarized material, includes drawings of those impressive antiquities and ancient sites, such as the now-lost Incantadas monument.
The pioneering multi-volume work by J. Stuart and Ν. Revett, with its diligent measurements, precise depictions of monuments, archaeological observations and travel impressions, provided the public with excellent renderings of details and plan of the Incantadas monument (1794). P.M. Paciaudi's work (1761) shows antiquities that probably ended up in private collections belonging to members of the Venetian nobility. The rich cartographic production of the late 18th century includes the remarkable maps of P.G. Chanlaire (c. 1780), here coloured over. The French diplomat and coin collector E.M. Cousinery illustrated his travel account (1831) with a series of engravings on archaeological subjects, most of which related to modern-day Northern Greece. Although most of the plates in Ed. D. Clarke's work (1816) are mainly of archaeological interest, these engravings are also very valuable for the recomposition of the locations' recent history and the uncommon subjects which they show.
The fact that Thessaloniki and its port occupied a strategic geographic position is confirmed by the inclusion of the area's anchorages in the port index by J. Roux (1804).
In 1864, scholar Ch. Texier, after realizing groundbreaking pioneering archaeological research in Asia Minor, released a work which constituted a landmark in the scholarship of Byzantine monuments. Drawings, plans, views of builidings and architectural details as well as mosaics from monuments in Thessaloniki are published in that edition for the first time. Of special interest are the subjects included in Mary Adelaide Walker's remarkable work (1864).
A coloured lithograph of the port (1850) can be found in a contemporary album (Piraeus and Ports). The work by Al. Van den Brule (1907), which includes chapters on Greece and Greek politics in the early 20th century, includes photographs of Thessaloniki with rare views.
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. The few photographs which illustrate the work of J.Fr. Abbott (1903), which in contrast is very rich in written information, are of considerable interest as images from Northen Greece during that period are quite uncommon
Finally, the Album by G. Patieridis / K. Stamatis (2007) is the most comprehensive known collection of images from Thessaloniki from the 15th to the 19th century. One is able to follow the city's history through a variety of pictures (engravings and photographs), such as maps, port maps, views of the city and its monuments, antiquities, churches, depictions of political events, snapshots from everyday public and private life, costumes, portraits and even caricatures, gathered from travel accounts and mostly 19th century press (newspapers and journals).
Written by Ioli Vingopoulou