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Fabulous Journeys

  1. In the late 1500s, European artists depicted foreign cultures in ways that mixed myth, Christian theology, and newly discovered facts. For an example, look at this page from one the earliest illustrated books, the Nuremberg Chronicle. (National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Paul Mellon Collection)
  2. Europeans relished fanciful images like this 17th-century one that portrays the Greek god Dionysus as a leopard returning from India with followers in tow. (National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Ailsa Mellon Bruce Fund)
  3. Here's a detail from the first widely printed road map of Central Europe. This south-on-top map was created for pilgrims traveling to the holy city of Rome. Each dot stands for about 7.5 kilometers. When used with a pocket sun compass, it's quite accurate. (National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Rosenwald Collection)
  4. In this celebrated print from 1513, the German artist Albrecht Durer portrays a rider on horseback as a symbol of moral virtue moving steadfastly through darkness. The print's title is Knight, Death, and Devil. (National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Rosenwald Collection)
  5. This impressive 16-foot-long panorama depicts the overland journey from Europe through the Balkans to Constantinople, which was the capital of the Ottoman Empire. In the early 1500s, this journey would have taken between 30 and 45 days. (National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Rosenwald Collection)
  6. European encounters with the New World fueled a lively market for prints and images of America, such as this 1590 one titled
    "Dance of the Virginians" from The Wonderful but True Report on the Manners and Customs of the Savages of Virginia. (Private Collection)
  7. In 1710, four Iroquois chiefs traveled to London to solicit Queen Anne's help in battling tribes allied with the French. They quickly became the subjects of numerous works of art, plays, and poems. This print shows Etow oh Koam, head of a Mohican tribe. (National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Paul Mellon Fund)

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