In 1545, German humanist N. Gerbelius published an accompanying text to the map of Nicolaos Sofianos, also published the mid-16th century). Gerbelius illustrates his texts with views of cities and other locations connected to place names on the map. The first representation of the ancient sanctuary is imaginary, and includes features of a fortified city. Almost two centuries later, the chronicle by G. Wheler (1682), which is but a mediocre copy of J. Spon's work, but highly successful, includes a draft of the area of Delphi, showing the village and some ancient remains. 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.
J.J. Barthélemy created a travel narrative which was at the same time a fictional recreation of antiquity, and painted an idyllic map of the ancient world, thus fuelling the public's interest for antiquity. It was enriched by maps and drawings by Barbié de Bocage (1832 reedition), among which are included a map and a view of Delphi.
J. Stuart and Ν. Revett realized precise measurements and delineations of ancient monuments, and completed their work with archaeological observations and travel impressions. They inaugurated the new era of European neoclassicism, as from now on detailed measurement replaces the imaginary depiction of monuments, and their work was warmly received by the British public. Their highly polished editions (1794, 1814, 1816) include views and plans of the site of the Castalian spring.
Ch.R. Cockerell was a member of the Dilettante society, which inspired, promoted and realized archaeological expeditions to Greek territories until 1846, subsequently publishing their conclusions in monumental volumes. Cockerell drew several architectural features from Delphi.
In the years preceding the Greek revolution several travellers toured continental Greece and left behind them significant works on the subject. They were not indiferrent to Delphi and its past although few remains were to be seen in plain sight. An impressive drawing of the landscape in Delphi is included in the work by J.C. Hobhouse (1813), who produced the most profound analysis of urban centres of Continental Greece and was an ardent supporter of the Greek struggle for Independence.
The poetic and artistic work by W. Haygarth (who travelled in 1810-11 and pubished his chronicle in 1814), includes a view of Delphi, while an interesting topographic draft of the area can be found in the work by T.S. Hughes, another fervent Philhellene and supporter of Greek independence. 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 journey made by British archaeologist Ed. Dodwell and the subsequent editions of Dodwell's account established a new style of reading space and elements included therein such as landscape, antiquities, people etc. Dodwell published drawings of coins from Deplhi. The magnificent plates by Ed. Dodwell (1819) provide a wealth of information on public and private life of the Greeks in the pre-revolutionary period. The plates in the work of Ed. Dodwell (1834) show uncommon and original views of less known archaeological sites. His travel companion, Italian painter S. Pomardi published his own account of the same trip (1820), illustrated with several drawings, including very interesting views of Delphi. Griechenland (1825c) was one of several early 19th-century editions on customs, traditions, costumes and monuments of Greece. The illustrations consisted of plates already published in popular travel accounts of the previous decades. Thus, the view of the Castalian spring at Delphi is a copy of a work by Ed. Dodwell, newly engraved.
Coins of Delphi are also depicted in the treatise by Danish archaeologist P.Ol. Brönstend (1826).
After his journey in Greek lands, at the begining of the 19th century, Stackelberg was able to render historical locations and antiquities in accordance with the emerging tendency of romanticism (1834).
Highly prolific Philhellene painter W. Williams naturally included the landscape of Delphi among his subjects (1829), while one of his subjects is found among the lithographs by painter Et. Rey (1867). Ο F.C.H.L. Pouqueville, author of one of the most thorough works on geomorphology of continental Greece, used views already published in earlier, successful and influential travel accounts to illustrate his work “Gréce” (1835). The plans and drawings of one of the major works of W. M. Leake (1825, photomechanical reprint 1967) show how meticulously and systematically the spaces and monuments were recorded by the passionate archaeologist and topographer.
Chr. Wordsworth published his work on Greece, a historical narrative rather than a travel account, soon after the foundation of the Greek state. The work was richly illustrated and very succesful with the public. In addition to views of Delphi (the Castalian spring, the valley of Pleistos, the village of Castri), Wordsworth has an ancient relief from the site (1882). The landscape of Delphi as part of a romantic scenery is also found in C. Frommel (1830). The Castalian spring, the only visible remains of the sanctuary's history, is often repeated as subject of illustrations (L. Dupré). The lithographs by A. -V. Joly (1824) are inspired by earlier similar works and convey the philhellenic spirit of the era.
Towards the late 19th century, the landscape of Parnassus, the Castalian spring and a male costume of the area are depicted in travel accounts (R.R. Farrer in 1882 και Α. Schweiger Lerchenfeld in 1887). A female costume is included in the remarkable work by O.M. von Stackelberg(1828) who achieved in his paintings of human types the same calm and serene atmosphere that he had conveyed in his paintings of Greek landscapes. By the 19th century travel guides had become indispensable to travellers. 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. Photographs of locals engaged in agricultural and other tasks, as well as impressive landscapes illustrate the memoir of S. J. Barrows (1898).
Thanks to the revolutionary “pocket size” invented by K. Baedeker, the maps of archaeological locations, such as Delphim and fully updated drawings, the Guides became more practical and sold better.
In the early 20th century the photographic lens becomes the “philosophical stone” of historical memory and ancient remains are immortalized in their most realistic form (E. Reisinger in 1923, Fr. Perilla in 1929). Important cultural events which took place in Delphi such as the revival of the Delphic Games, were recorded in photographs by R. Puaux. The landscape of Delphi (which is a World Heritage Site) never ceased to inspire the artists who visited it, and captured its beauty in their paintings (Vera Willoughby in 1925).
Written by Ioli Vingopoulou