Fabulous Journeys and Faraway Places: Travels on Paper 1450–1700
Introduction image: compass rose Biblical, Allegorical, and Fantasy Travel image: compass rose Travel to Rome, Constantinople, and the Holy Land image: compass rose Further Marvels of the East and West " "
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Moralizing tales in which travel was a metaphor for the journey of life, fraught with peril and temptation to lead astray all but the heartiest and truest souls, were popular. Divine punishment was often depicted as violent expulsion from a paradisiacal home to eternal exile in the terrifying unknown. Ancient and medieval legends that described magical enclaves in the vast, unexplored regions of the earth inspired artists to create views of enchanted lands. These charmed places offered unlimited culinary delights, opportunities for erotic love, or fountains of youth; however, not all these mythical regions were enticing. Pictorial narratives also warned of evil lurking beyond the horizon in sites inhabited by monstrous, savage beasts and demons who cast wicked spells on hapless travelers venturing into their domains.