Books Travels Images

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About illustrated travellers' accounts, and the return to travel that the pandemic interrupted, the Art Library presents a selection of books published between the beginning of the 19th century and the first decades of the current century.

In books published throughout the 19th century, the narratives were accompanied by engravings that enriched the descriptions and allowed readers to travel through exotic and picturesque landscapes. In the accounts of travellers and artists, the artistic quality of drawing, the exoticism of the places visited and the attention to detail stand out. While in some of these works text and image complement each other, in others the text only exists as a supplementary reference to drawing and engraving, which are gradually being replaced by the photographic image.

Until the mid-1970s, in addition to guidebooks and books with a more diaristic register, other publications dedicated to travel gained publishing space. Books that bring together writers and photographers, graphically fine editions, with quality photographic reproductions that wish to please not only potential travellers and tourists, but also photography lovers and “sofa travellers”. From the 1980s onwards, photographic books, or “photobooks”, appeared, resulting from photographers’ trips made without any touristic intention and not complying with any commercial and/or advertising requirements. They are books with images of abandoned places, marginalised populations, or social realities that have remained invisible, where the texts lose relevance and dimension and are often written by the photographers.

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