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Larissa -Tempe

In 1545, German humanist N. Gerbelius published an accompanying text to the contemporary map of Nicolaos Sofianos. Gerbelius illustrates his texts with views of cities and other locations connected to place names on the map. The representation of Larissa is imaginary, and gives prominence to Muslim buildings. The depiction of Tempe is allegorical, with elements from ancient Greek mythology. The work of Ed. Browne (1673) is among the most significant texts on the inland of continental Greek territory. The plate of Larissa published in his account was to be copied and republished with small variations in several editions released in the following years.

V.M. Coronelli, the founder of the Accademia Cosmografica degli Argonauti in Venice, published several editions illustrated with hundreds of copper engravings, which aimed at exalting Venice's victories during the Ottoman-Venetian war (1684-1687). Coronelli provides a view of Larissa already published in an earlier travel account which narrated an actual voyage made by the author of the book. The engravings in the 1708 works by V. M. Coronelli are highly appealing, although most plates repeat subjects already published in earlier editions of the Accademia Cosmografica degli Argonauti.The work by J. Lauremberg (1660) includes excellent engravings of maps of ancient Greece. The maps are accompanied by historical and geographical explanatory texts, which testify to the author's deep erudition.

In the years preceding the revolution, journeys to Northern Greece became more frequent.  Chronicles of travels to the region deal with subjects such as the intriguing figure of Ali Pasha, economic activity in Ambelakia, and commercial routes. Correspondingly, views of the central bazaar and the bridge of Larissa are published in the much-discussed work by J.S. Bartholdy (1807) and the thorough chronicle by Ed. Dodwell (1819). The Italian artist S. Pomardi (1820) accompanied Edward Dodwell in his archaeological explorations and drew several subjects at the scholar's request. Pomardi's drawings are characterized by clarity and concision. Also, the impressive landscape at the feet of Olympus embellishes the account of Η. Holland's journey and is highlighted in a coloured engraving by Dodwell published in a study on painter L. Dupré.

The prolific philhellene painter W. Williams did not omit to include the impressive mythical Mount Olympus among his subjects (1829). Shortly after the foundation of the Greek State Chr. Wordsworth published his work on Greece, which is a richly illustrated historical narrative rather than a travel account. The 1882 reedition of this popular work shows a view of the bridge of Larissa already published in an earlier travel chronicle, this time rendered in a novel artistic style. F.C.H.L. Pouqueville legated us one of the best-documented texts on geomorphology of continental Greece. In his work “Grèce” (1835), the illustrations reproduce views from earlier popular editions of travel chronicles. 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.

The valley of Tempe always appealed to western imagination, as it was intimately connected with several Greek myths. Long before drawings in situ were made at the beginning of the 19th century, views of the place illustrated numerous historical and geographic works [N. Gerbelius (1545), J. Gronovius in the Album by G. Patieridis / K. Stamatis] and the map of the vale and its suroundings in the work by J. Laurenberg (1660).

Many of the important travellers who toured Greece in the years before the Revolution (archaeologists, architects, painters etc.) embellished their editions with subjects from the enchanting landscape of Tempe and Pineios valley at the feet of Mount Olympus. Thus Ed. Dodwell included three different views of the region in 1819 and H. Holland provides a representation as compelling as his textua description, in 1815.  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 Italian artist S. Pomardi (1820) accompanied Edward Dodwell in his archaeological explorations and drew several subjects at the scholar's request. Pomardi's drawings are characterized by clarity and concision.  In his work of 1826-27 F.Ch.H.L. Pouqueville also provides a view of Tempe, while the painting by L. Dupré (c.1825) presents a view of an Ottoman monument at the entrance of the valley. O.M. von Stackelberg (1830) shows a preference for serene, panoramic views. 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). In a post-revolutionary edition of Pouqueville's work (1835) the subject of Olympus is given prominence once more. 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 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.

In a reedition of Cr. Wordsworth's highly successful work (Chr. Wordsworth, 1882) but also in the edition of 1841 (Chr. Wordsworth, 1841) we see artistically rendered views and we have also an interesting view of the valley from the famous landscape painter Ed. Lear (1851). In the late 19th century, engraving continues to predominate, albeit influenced by photography (A. Schweiger Lerchenfeld, 1887). Photographs of locals engaged in agricultural and other tasks, as well as impressive landscapes illustrate the memoir of S. J. Barrows (1898). Finally, photography manages to render a realistic view of the impressive valley with the flowing river (E. Reisinger, 1923).

Written by Ioli Vingopoulou