This website uses cookies to provide a rich user experience. Please consult our Cookie Policy to learn about what cookies this website uses, or to control the cookies you receive. You need do nothing if you are happy to receive cookies.
Look and Learn History Picture Library License images from £2.99 Pay by PayPal for images for immediate download Member of British Association of Picture Libraries and Agencies (BAPLA)

Subject: ‘Exploration’

All of these articles and images are available for licensing: click on an image to see further details and licensing options; contact us about licensing textual content.

Nicolo, Maffeo and Marco

Posted in Exploration, Historical articles, History, Trade, Travel on Friday, 1 July 2016

This edited article about Marco Polo originally appeared in Look and Learn issue number 812 published on 6 August 1977.

Marco Polo, picture, image, illustration

Marco Polo crossing the Persian deserts still largely unexplored today, by Ron Embleton

Seventeen-year-old Marco Polo watched his deeply suntanned father and his uncle packing their bags and cases in their luxury house in Venice.

“Please take me with you,” Marco begged.

His father, Nicolo, looked at Maffeo, and the two elder men in turn looked at the fine, strapping young Marco.

“Very well,” said Nicolo. “You may come with us.”

The Polo’s were preparing for another journey to the mysterious East – only this time, as Marco knew, they had a mission to fulfil.

Two years before, Nicolo and Maffeo Polo had returned from a trip to China which had lasted ten years. They had crossed the great Gobi Desert and come to the court of the Kublai Khan, ruler of all the Tartars, in distant Cathay, where China is today.

At this time – the middle of the thirteenth century – it was unheard on for travellers to ventire so far east. All that men in Europe knew about the other side of the world was what they had been told in legend.

Marco knew that his uncle and his father had returned to Venice because the Great Khan had asked them to speak to the Pope on behalf of the Tartars, so that his people might be told something of the Christian religion.

And the two elder Polos had already told Marco of some of their exciting stories of the Great Khan’s court, and had described to him the riches and treasures that were to be found in the East.

Read the rest of this article »

The best pictures from educational trade cards, 102

Posted in Best pictures, Disasters, Discoveries, Educational card, Exploration, Historical articles, History, Politics, Royalty, War, Weapons on Thursday, 26 November 2015

We have selected three of the best pictures from our large collection of 19th and early 20th century educational trade cards.
The first picture shows the suicide of King Zhou of Shang.

King Zhou, picture, image, illustration

The suicide of King Zhou of Shang

The second picture shows Captain Cook meeting with Maori chiefs in New Zealand, 1769.

Captain Cook, picture, image, illustration

Captain Cook meeting with Maori chiefs in New Zealand, 1769

The third picture shows the sacking of a town in the Middle Ages.

town, picture, image, illustration

Sacking of a town in the Middle Ages

High-resolution scans of all educational cards can be found in the Look and Learn picture library.

The best pictures from educational trade cards, 100

Posted in Architecture, Art, Artist, Arts and Crafts, Best pictures, Castles, Disasters, Educational card, Exploration, Heroes and Heroines, Historical articles, History, London, Rivers, Royalty, Ships, War on Thursday, 26 November 2015

We have selected three of the best pictures from our large collection of 19th and early 20th century educational trade cards.
The first picture shows the Royal reception of Francis Drake on his return to London from South America in 1581.

Francis Drake, picture, image, illustration

The Reception of Francis Drake to London from South America in 1581

The second picture shows the burning of the Chinese fleet at Canton.

Canton, picture, image, illustration

Burning of the Chinese fleet at Canton

The third picture shows Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, meeting with artists.

Burgundy, picture, image, illustration

Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, meeting with artists, 1450

High-resolution scans of all educational cards can be found in the Look and Learn picture library.

The best pictures from educational trade cards, 85

Posted in Art, Artist, Best pictures, Discoveries, Educational card, Exploration, Famous artists, Fashion, Historical articles, History, Leisure, Trade, Transport, Travel on Wednesday, 25 November 2015

We have selected three of the best pictures from our large collection of 19th and early 20th century educational trade cards.
The first picture shows the reception of Vasco da Gama by the Samudiri of Calicut, India, May 1498.

Vasco da Gama, picture, image, illustration

Reception of Vasco da Gama by the Samudiri of Calicut, India, May 1498

The second picture shows men and women on bicycles.

bicycles, picture, image, illustration

Men and women on bicycles

The third picture shows Leonardo da Vinci painting the Mona Lisa.

Mona Lisa, picture, image, illustration

Leonardo da Vinci painting the Mona Lisa

High-resolution scans of all educational cards can be found in the Look and Learn picture library.

The best pictures from educational trade cards, 55

Posted in Architecture, Best pictures, Boats, Disasters, Educational card, Exploration, Famous crimes, Historical articles, History, Nature, Politics, Religion, Royalty, Ships, Travel, War, Weapons on Tuesday, 24 November 2015

We have selected three of the best pictures from our large collection of 19th and early 20th century educational trade cards.
The first picture shows the destruction of Saint-Pierre, Martinque, by the eruption of Mont Pelee in 1902.

Mont Pelee, picture, image, illustration

Destruction of Saint-Pierre, Martinque, by the eruption of Mont Pelee, 1902

The second picture shows The Emperor Frederick II taking the crown of Jerusalem in 1229.

Frederick II, picture, image, illustration

The Emperor Frederick II takes the crown of Jerusalem in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Sixth Crusade, 18 March 1229

The third picture shows the death of Jean-Francois de la Perouse in 1788.

murder, picture, image, illustration

Death of Jean-Francois de la Perouse, French naval officer and explorer, 1788

High-resolution scans of all educational cards can be found in the Look and Learn picture library.

The best pictures from educational trade cards, 30

Posted in Actors, Best pictures, Discoveries, Educational card, Exploration, Famous Composers, Geography, Heroes and Heroines, Historical articles, History, Music, Royalty, Ships, Theatre on Monday, 23 November 2015

We have selected three of the best pictures from our large collection of 19th and early 20th century educational trade cards.
The first picture shows Christopher Columbus entering Barcelona in triumph, 15 April 1493.

Columbus , picture, image, illustration

Christopher Columbus enters Barcelona in triumph, 15 April 1493

The second picture shows a scene from Beethoven’s opera Fidelio.

 Fidelio, picture, image, illustration

Scene from Beethoven's opera Fidelio

The third picture shows Elizabeth I of England amongst her Navy’s sailors.

Elizabeth I , picture, image, illustration

Elizabeth I of England amongst her Navy's sailors

High-resolution scans of all educational cards can be found in the Look and Learn picture library.

The best pictures from educational trade cards, 18

Posted in America, Architecture, Best pictures, Boats, Disasters, Educational card, Exploration, Famous landmarks, Famous news stories, Geography, Heroes and Heroines, Historical articles, History, Mystery, Science, Sea, Ships on Monday, 23 November 2015

We have selected three of the best pictures from our large collection of 19th and early 20th century educational trade cards.
The first picture shows Isaac Newton, English physicist and mathematician.

Isaac Newton, picture, image, illustration

Isaac Newton, English physicist and mathematician

The second picture shows the principal street of New York City.

New York, picture, image, illustration

Principal street of New York City

The third picture shows Sir John Franklin’s expedition in search of the Northwest Passage, 1847.

Arctic, picture, image, illustration

Sir John Franklin's expedition in search of the Northwest Passage, 1847

High-resolution scans of all educational cards can be found in the Look and Learn picture library.

The best pictures from educational trade cards, 10

Posted in Ancient History, Best pictures, Discoveries, Educational card, Exploration, Heroes and Heroines, Historical articles, History, Industry, Myth, War on Monday, 23 November 2015

We have selected three of the best pictures from our large collection of 19th and early 20th century educational trade cards.
The first picture shows Vasco da Gama leaving Lisbon with three ships loaded with provisions, 25 March 1497.

da Gama, picture, image, illustration

Vasco da Gama leaving Lisbon with three ships loaded with provisions, 25 March 1497

The second picture shows casting molten iron.

Casting, picture, image, illustration

Casting molten iron

The third picture shows Aeneas fleeing the burning city of Troy.

Troy, picture, image, illustration

Aeneas flees the burning city of Troy, carrying his aged father Anchises on his shoulders and leading his son Julus by the hand

High-resolution scans of all educational cards can be found in the Look and Learn picture library.

Hiram Bingham discovers a lost Incan city in Peru

Posted in Architecture, Disasters, Exploration, Famous landmarks, Famous news stories, Historical articles, History, War on Saturday, 21 November 2015

Ruins of lost civilisations are the stuff of great adventure stories, and the search for them drives many an explorer like Hiram Bingham, pictured here at the thrilling moment when he first sees the lost Inca city of Machu Picchu, which he has found with the help of local farmers, one of whom stands excitedly at his side.

Peru, picture, image, illustration

Hiram Bingham discovers the lost Incan city of Machu Picchu in Peru

Many more pictures of exploration can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.

Burke and Wills reaching Cooper Creek

Posted in Animals, Australia, Exploration, Famous news stories, Geography, Historical articles, History, Mystery, Travel on Friday, 20 November 2015

This intriguing picture creates compelling atmosphere and mystery in the simple tension between the figures of Burke and Wills and the mysteriously deserted stockade of Cooper Creek, towards which one of them gestures with growing apprehension. When they enter they find recent traces of cattle and horses, and burnt-out fires; but where have the depot party got to?

Burke and Wills, picture, image, illustration

Burke and Wills by Andrew Howat

Many more pictures of exploration can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.