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Title: Of the Decorative Illustration of Books Old and New - 3rd ed.
Author: Crane, Walter, 1845-1915
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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[Illustration: G Bell and Sons]






This book had its origin in the course of three (Cantor) Lectures given
before the Society of Arts in 1889; they have been amplified and added
to, and further chapters have been written, treating of the very active
period in printing and decorative book-illustration we have seen since
that time, as well as some remarks and suggestions touching the general
principles and conditions governing the design of book pages and

It is not nearly so complete or comprehensive as I could have wished, but
there are natural limits to the bulk of a volume in the "Ex-Libris"
series, and it has been only possible to carry on such a work in the
intervals snatched from the absorbing work of designing. Within its own
lines, however, I hope that if not exhaustive, the book may be found
fairly representative of the chief historical and contemporary types of
decorative book-illustration.

In the selection of the illustrations, I have endeavoured to draw the
line between the purely graphic aim, on the one hand, and the ornamental
aim on the other--between what I should term the art of _pictorial
statement_ and the art of _decorative treatment_; though there are many
cases in which they are combined, as, indeed, in all the most complete
book-pictures, they should be. My purpose has been to treat of
illustrations which are also book-ornaments, so that purely graphic
design, as such, unrelated to the type, and the conditions of the page,
does not come within my scope.

As book-illustration pure and simple, however, has been treated of in
this series by Mr. Joseph Pennell, whose selection is more from the
graphic than the decorative point of view, the balance may be said to be
adjusted as regards contemporary art.

I must offer my best thanks to Mr. Gleeson White, without whose most
valuable help the book might never have been finished. He has allowed me
to draw upon his remarkable collection of modern illustrated books for
examples, and I am indebted to many artists for permission to use their
illustrations, as well as to Messrs. George Allen, Bradbury, Agnew and
Co., J. M. Dent and Co., Edmund Evans, Geddes and Co., Hacon and Ricketts
(the Vale Press), John Lane, Lawrence and Bullen, Sampson Low and Co.,
Macmillan and Co., Elkin Mathews, Kegan Paul and Co., Walter Scott,
Charles Scribner's Sons, and Virtue and Co., for their courtesy in giving
me, in many cases, the use of the actual blocks.

To Mr. William Morris, who placed his beautiful collection of early
printed books at my disposal, from which to choose illustrations; to Mr.
Emery Walker for help in many ways; to Mr. John Calvert for permission to
use some of his father's illustrations; and to Mr. A. W. Pollard who has
lent me some of his early Italian examples, and has also supervised my
bibliographical particulars, I desire to make my cordial acknowledgments.


KENSINGTON: _July 18th, 1896_.


A reprint of this book being called for, I take the opportunity of adding
a few notes, chiefly to Chapter IV., which will be found further on with
the numbers of the pages to which they refer.

As touching the general subject of the book one may, perhaps, be allowed
to record with some satisfaction that the study of lettering,
text-writing, and illumination is now seriously taken up in our
craft-schools. The admirable teaching of Mr. Johnston of the Central
School of Arts and Crafts and the Royal College of Art in this connection
cannot be too highly spoken of. We have had, too, admirable work, in each
kind, from Mr. Reuter, Mr. Mortimer, Mr. Treglown, Mr. Alan Vigers, Mr.
Graily Hewitt, and Mr. A. E. R. Gill; and Mrs. Traguair and Miss
Kingsford are remarkable for the beauty, delicacy, and invention of their
work as illuminators among the artists who are now pursuing this
beautiful branch of art.

So that the ancient crafts of the scribe and illuminator may be said to
have again come to life, and this, taken in connection with the revival
of printing as an art, is an interesting and significant fact.

As recent contributions to the study of lettering we have Mr. Lewis F.
Day's recent book of Alphabets, and Mr. G. Woolliscroft Rhead's sheets
for school use.

I have to deplore the loss of my former helper in this book, Mr. Gleeson
White, since the work first appeared. His extensive knowledge of, and
sympathy with the modern book illustrators of the younger generation was
remarkable, and as a designer himself he showed considerable skill and
taste in book-decoration, chiefly in the way of covers. As a most
estimable and amiable character he will always be remembered by his


KENSINGTON: _June, 1904_.





  ART.   185.


  INDEX.   329.



  GERMAN SCHOOL, XVTH CENTURY.                                     PAGE

  "Leiden Christi." (Bamberg, 1470)                                   3
  Boccaccio, "De Claris Mulieribus." (Ulm, 1473)                  7, 11
  "Buch von den sieben Todsünden." (Augsburg, 1474)                  15
  "Speculum Humanæ Vitæ." (Augsburg, _cir._ 1475)                    17
  Bible. (Cologne, 1480)                                             21
  Terrence: "Eunuchus." (Ulm, 1486)                                  27
  "Chronica Hungariæ." (Augsburg, 1488)                              35
  "Hortus Sanitatis." (Mainz, 1491)                                  39
  "Chroneken der Sassen." (Mainz, 1492)                              41
  Bible. (Lübeck, 1494)                                              47
  "Æsop's Fables." (Ulm, 1498)                                       53


  "Spiegel onser Behoudenisse." (Kuilenburg, 1483)                   25
  "Life of Christ." (Antwerp, 1487)                                  31


  "La Mer des Histoires." Initial. (Paris, 1488)                     37
  "Paris et Vienne." (Paris, _cir._ 1495)                            51


  "De Claris Mulieribus." (Ferrara, 1497)                            54
  Tuppo's "Æsop." (Naples, 1485)                                     55
  P. Cremonese's "Dante." (Venice, 1491)                             56
  "Discovery of the Indies." (Florence, 1493)                        57
  "Fior di Virtù." (Florence, 1498)                                  58
  Stephanus Caesenas: "Expositio Beati Hieronymi in
     Psalterium." (Venice, 1498)                                     59
  "Poliphili Hypnerotomachia." (Venice, 1499)                    63, 65
  Ketham's "Fasciculus Medicinæ." (Venice, 1493)                    295
  Pomponius Mela. (Venice, 1478)                                    297


  Artist Unknown. Bernadino Corio. (Milan, Minuziano,
     1503)                                                           67
  School of Bellini: "Supplementum Supplementi
     Chronicarum, etc." (Venice, 1506)                               69
  "The Descent of Minerva": from the Quatriregio.
     (Florence, 1508)                                                71
  Aulus Gellius. (Venice, 1509)                                      73
  Quintilian. (Venice, 1512)                                         75
  Ottaviano dei Petrucci. (Fossombrone, 1513)                        77
  Ambrosius Calepinus. (Tosculano, 1520)                            121
  Artist unknown: Portrait title: Ludovico Dolci,
     1561.  (Venice, Giolito, 1562)                                 133


  Albrecht Dürer: "Kleine Passion." (Nuremberg,
     1512)                                                   81, 83, 85
  Albrecht Dürer: "Plutarchus Chaeroneus."
     (Nuremberg, 1513)                                               87
  Albrecht Dürer: "Plutarchus Chaeroneus."
     (Nuremberg, 1523)                                               89
  Hans Holbein: "Dance of Death." (Lyons, 1538)                  91, 92
  Hans Holbein: Title-page: Gallia. (Basel, _cir._
     1524)                                                           93
  Hans Holbein: Bible Cuts. (Lyons, 1538)                        95, 96
  Ambrose Holbein: "Neues Testament." (Basel, 1523)                  97
  Hans Burgmair: "Der Weiss König." (1512-14)                        99
  Hans Burgmair: "Iornandes de Rebus Gothorum."
     (Augsburg, 1516)                                               101
  Hans Burgmair: "Pliny's Natural History."
     (Frankfort, 1582)                                              103
  Hans Burgmair: "Meerfahrt zu viln onerkannten
     Inseln," etc. (Augsburg, 1509)                                 105
  Hans Baldung Grün: "Hortulus Animæ." (Strassburg,
     1511)                                           107, 108, 109, 110
  Hans Wächtlin: Title Page. (Strassburg, 1513)                     111
  Hans Sebald Beham: "Das Papstthum mit seinen
     Gliedern." (Nuremberg, 1526)                                   113
  Reformation der bayrischen Landrecht. (Munich,
     1518)                                                          117
  Fuchsius: "De Historia Stirpium." (Basel, 1542)                   123
  Virgil Solis: Bible. (Frankfort, 1563)                            131
  Johann Otmar: "Pomerium de Tempore." (Augsburg,
     1502)                                                          147


  Oronce Finé: "Quadrans Astrolabicus." (Paris, 1534)               127


  William Blake: "Songs of Innocence," 1789                         137
  William Blake: "Phillip's Pastoral"                               139
  Edward Calvert: Original Woodcuts: "The Lady and
     the Rooks," "The Return Home," "Chamber Idyll,"
     "The Flood," "Ideal Pastoral Life," "The Brook,"
     1827-29                                                   141, 143
  Dante Gabriel Rossetti: "Tennyson's Poems," 1857                  151
  Dante Gabriel Rossetti: "Early Italian Poets," 1861               153
  Albert Moore: "Milton's Ode on the Nativity," 1867                155
  Henry Holiday: Cover for "Aglaia," 1893                           157
  Randolph Caldecott: Headpiece to "Bracebridge
     Hall," 1877                                                    158
  Kate Greenaway: Title Page of "Mother Goose"                      159
  Arthur Hughes: "At the Back of the North Wind,"
     1871                                                      160, 161
  Arthur Hughes: "Mercy" ("Good Words for the
     Young," 1871)                                                  304
  Robert Bateman: "Art in the House," 1876           162, 163, 164, 165
  Heywood Sumner: Peard's "Stories for Children,"
     1896                                                      167, 170
  Charles Keene: "A Good Fight." ("Once a
     Week," 1859)                                                   169
  Louis Davis: "Sleep, Baby, Sleep" ("English
     Illustrated Magazine," 1892)                                   171
  Henry Ryland: "Forget not yet" ("English
     Illustrated Magazine," 1894)                                   173
  Frederick Sandys: "The Old Chartist" ("Once a
     Week," 1861)                                                   175
  M. J. Lawless: "Dead Love" ("Once a Week," 1862)                  177
  Walter Crane: Grimm's "Household Stories," 1882                   179
  Walter Crane: "Princess Fiorimonde," 1880                         181
  Walter Crane: "The Sirens Three," 1886                            183
  Selwyn Image: "Scottish Art Review," 1889                         187
  William Morris and Walter Crane: "The Glittering
     Plain," 1894                                         191, 290, 291
  C. M. Gere: "Midsummer" ("English Illustrated
     Magazine," 1893)                                               195
  C. M. Gere: "The Birth of St. George"                             197
  Arthur Gaskin: "Hans Andersen," 1893                              199
  E. H. New: "Bridge Street, Evesham"                               201
  Inigo Thomas: "The Formal Garden," 1892                      204, 205
  Henry Payne: "A Book of Carols," 1893                             209
  F. Mason: "Huon of Bordeaux," 1895                                211
  Gertrude, M. Bradley: "The Cherry Festival,"                      213
  Mary Newill: Porlock                                              215
  Celia Levetus: A Bookplate                                        217
  C. S. Ricketts: "Hero and Leander," 1894                          219
  C. S. Ricketts: "Daphnis and Chloe," 1893                         223
  C. H. Shannon: "Daphnis and Chloe," 1893                          224
  Aubrey Beardsley: "Morte d'Arthur," 1893                225, 226, 227
  Edmund J. Sullivan: "Sartor Resartus," 1898                       228
  Patten Wilson: A Pen Drawing                                      229
  Laurence Housman: "The House of Joy," 1895                        231
  L. Fairfax Muckley: "Frangilla"                                   233
  Charles Robinson: "A Child's Garden of Verse,"
     1895                                                 235, 237, 239
  J. D. Batten: "The Arabian Nights," 1893                     241, 242
  R. Anning Bell: "A Midsummer Night's Dream," 1895                 243
  R. Anning Bell: "Beauty and the Beast," 1894                      245
  R. Spence: A Pen Drawing                                          247
  A. Garth Jones: "A Tournament of Love," 1894                      249
  William Strang: "Baron Munchausen," 1895                     251, 253
  H. Granville Fell: "Cinderella," 1894                             254
  John Duncan: "Apollo's Schooldays" ("The Evergreen,"
     1895)                                                          255
  John Duncan: "Pipes of Arcady" ("The Evergreen,"
     1895)                                                          257
  Robert Burns: "The Passer-By" ("The Evergreen,"
     1895)                                                          259
  Mary Sargant Florence: "The Crystal Ball," 1894                   261
  Paul Woodroffe: "Ye Second Book of Nursery
     Rhymes," 1896                                                  263
  Paul Woodroffe: "Ye Book of Nursery Rhymes," 1895                 265
  M. Rijsselberghe: "Dietrich's Almanack," 1894                     266
  Walter Crane: "Spenser's Faerie Queen," 1896       269, 281, 283, 285
  Howard Pyle: "Otto of the Silver Hand"                       271, 273
  Will. H. Bradley: Covers for "The Inland Printer,"
     1894                                                           274
  Will. H. Bradley: Prospectus for "Bradley His
     Book," 1896                                                    275
  Will. H. Bradley: Design for "The Chap Book,"
     1895                                                           277
  Alan Wright: Headpieces from "The Story of My
     House," 1892                                              309, 341

  The untitled tailpieces throughout this volume are from Grimm's
  "Household Stories," illustrated by Walter Crane. (Macmillan, 1882.)


  I. Book of Kells. Irish, VIth century.

  II., III., IV. Arundel Psalter.  English, XIVth century.
     (Arundel MSS. 83 B. M.)

  V. Epistle of Phillipe de Comines to Richard II. French,

  XIVth century. (Royal MSS. 20 B. vi. B. M.)

  VI., VII. Bedford Hours. (MSS. 18, 850 B. M.)

  VIII. Romance of the Rose. English, late XVth century.
     (Hast. MSS. 4, 425.)

  IX. Choir Book. Siena. Italian, XVth century.

  X., XI. Hokusai. Japanese, XIXth century.



My subject is a large one, and touches more intimately, perhaps, than
other forms of art, both human thought and history, so that it would be
extremely difficult to treat it exhaustively upon all its sides. I shall
not attempt to deal with it from the historical or antiquarian points of
view more than may be necessary to elucidate the artistic side, on which
I propose chiefly to approach the question of design as applied to
books--or, more strictly, the book page--which I shall hope to illustrate
by reproductions of characteristic examples from different ages and

I may, at least, claim to have been occupied, in a practical sense, with
the subject more or less, as part of my work, both as a decorator and
illustrator of books, for the greater part of my life, and such
conclusions as I have arrived at are based upon the results of personal
thought and experience, if they are also naturally coloured and
influenced from the same sources.

All forms of art are so closely connected with life and thought, so bound
up with human conditions, habits, and customs; so intimately and vividly
do they reflect every phase and change of that unceasing movement--the
ebb and flow of human progress amid the forces of nature we call
history--that it is hardly possible even for the most careless stroller,
taking any of the by-paths, not to be led insensibly to speculate on
their hidden sources, and an origin perhaps common to them all.

The story of man is fossilized for us, as it were, or rather preserved,
with all its semblance of life and colour, in art and books. The
procession of history reaching far back into the obscurity of the
forgotten or inarticulate past, is reflected, with all its movement, gold
and colour, in the limpid stream of design, that mirror-like, paints each
passing phase for us, and illustrates each act in the drama. In the
language of line and of letters, of symbol and picture, each age writes
its own story and character, as page after page is turned in the book of
time. Here and there the continuity of the chapters is broken, a page is
missing, a passage is obscure; there are breaks and fragments--heroic
torsos and limbs instead of whole figures. But more and more, by patient
research, labour, and comparison, the voids are being filled up, until
some day perhaps there will be no chasm of conjecture in which to plunge,
but the volume of art and human history will be as clear as pen and
pencil can make it, and only left for a present to continue, and a future
to carry to a completion which is yet never complete.


If painting is the looking-glass of nations and periods, pictured-books
may be called the hand-glass which still more intimately reflects the
life of different centuries and peoples, in all their minute and
homely detail and quaint domesticity, as well as their playful fancies,
their dreams, and aspirations. While the temples and the tombs of ancient
times tell us of the pomp and splendour and ambition of kings, and the
stories of their conquests and tyrannies, the illuminated MSS. of the
Middle Ages show us, as well as these, the more intimate life of the
people, their sports and their jests, their whim and fancy, their work
and their play, no less than the mystic and religious and ceremonial side
of that life, which was, indeed, an inseparable part of it; the whole
worked in as with a kind of embroidery of the pen and brush, with the
most exquisite sense of decorative beauty.



Mr. Herbert Spencer, in the course of his enunciation of the philosophy
of evolution, speaks of the book and the newspaper lying on the table of
the modern citizen as connected through a long descent with the
hieroglyphic inscriptions of the ancient Egyptians, and the
picture-writing of still earlier times. We might go (who knows how much
further?) back into prehistoric obscurity to find the first illustrator,
pure and simple, in the hunter of the cave, who recorded the incidents of
his sporting life on the bones of his victims.

We know that the letters of our alphabet were once pictures, symbols, or
abstract signs of entities and actions, and grew more and more abstract
until they became arbitrary marks--the familiar characters that we know.
Letters formed into words; words increased and multiplied with ideas and
their interchange; ideas and words growing more and more abstract until
the point is reached when the jaded intellect would fain return again to
picture-writing, and welcomes the decorator and the illustrator to
relieve the desert wastes of words marshalled in interminable columns on
the printed page.

In a journey through a book it is pleasant to reach the oasis of a
picture or an ornament, to sit awhile under the palms, to let our
thoughts unburdened stray, to drink of other intellectual waters, and to
see the ideas we have been pursuing, perchance, reflected in them. Thus
we end as we begin, with images.

Temples and tombs have been man's biggest books, but with the development
of individual life (as well as religious ritual, and the necessity of
records,) he felt the need of something more familiar, companionable, and
portable, and having, in the course of time, invented the stylus, and the
pen, and tried his hand upon papyrus, palm leaf, and parchment, he wrote
his records or his thoughts, and pictured or symbolized them, at first
upon scrolls and rolls and tablets, or, later, enshrined them in bound
books, with all the beauty that the art of writing could command,
enriched and emphasized with the pictorial and ornamental commentary in
colours and gold.

As already indicated, it is my purpose to deal with the artistic aspects
of the book page, and therefore we are not now concerned with the various
forms of the book itself, as such, or with the treatment of its exterior
case, cover, or binding. It is the open book I wish to dwell on--the page
itself as a field for the designer and illustrator--a space to be made
beautiful in design.




Both decorated and illustrated books may be divided broadly into two
great periods:

I. The MS., or period before printing.

II. The period of printed books.

Both illustrate, however, a long course of evolution, and contain in
themselves, it might be said, a compendium--or condensation--of the
history of contemporary art in its various forms of development. The
first impulse in art seems to answer to the primitive imitative impulse
in children--the desire to embody the familiar forms about them--to
characterize them in line and colour. The salient points of an animal,
for instance, being first emphasized--as in the bone scratchings of the
cave men--so that children's drawings and drawings of primitive peoples
present a certain family likeness, allowing for difference of
environment. They are abstract, and often almost symbolic in their
characterization of form, and it is not difficult to imagine how letters
and written language became naturally evolved through a system of
hieroglyphics, starting from the unsystemized but irrepressible tendency
of the human to record his linear ideas of rhythm on the one hand, or his
impressions of nature on the other. It would seem that the illustrator or
picture writer came first in the order of things, and the book
afterwards--like the system we have heard of under modern editors of
magazines, of the picture being done first and then written up to, or
down to, by the author.

Side by side with the evolution of letters and calligraphic art went on
the evolution of the graphic power and the artistic sense, developing on
the one hand towards close imitation of nature and dramatic incident, and
on the other towards imaginative beauty, and systematic, organic
ornament, more or less built upon a geometric basis, but ultimately
bursting into a free foliation and flamboyant blossom, akin in inventive
richness and variety to a growth of nature herself. The development of
these two main directions of artistic energy may be followed throughout
the whole world of art, constantly struggling, as it were, for the
ascendancy, now one and now the other being paramount; but the history of
their course, and the effect of their varying influences is particularly
marked in the decoration and illustration of books.

Although as a rule the decorative sense was dominant throughout the
illuminated books of the Middle Ages, the illustrator, in the form of the
miniaturist, is in evidence, and in some, especially in the later MSS.,
finally conquers, or rather absorbs, the decorator.

There is a MS. in the Egerton collection in the British Museum (No. 943),
"The Divina Commedia" of Dante, with miniatures by Italian artists of the
fourteenth century, which may be taken as an early instance of the
ascendancy of the illustrator, the miniatures being placed somewhat
abruptly on the page, and with unusually little framework or associated
ornament; and although more or less decorative in the effect of their
simple design, and frank and full colour, the main object of their
artists was to illustrate rather than to decorate the text.



[Sidenote: THE BOOK OF KELLS.]

The Celtic genius, under the influence of Christianity,
and as representing the art of the early Christian Western
civilization--exemplified in the remarkable designs in the Book
of Kells--was, on the other hand, strictly ornamental in its
manifestations, suggesting in its richness, and in the intricacy and
ingenuity of its involved patterns, as well as the geometric forms of
many of its units, a relation to certain characteristics of Eastern as
well as primitive Greek art.

The Book of Kells derives its name from the Columban Monastery of Kells
or Kenlis, originally Cennanas, a place of ancient importance in the
county of Meath, Ireland, and it is supposed to have been the Great
Gospel brought to the Christian settlement by its founder, St. Columba,
and perhaps written by that saint, who died in the year 597. The original
volume is in the library of Trinity College, Dublin.

In one of the pages of this book is represented the Greek monogram of
Christ, and the whole page is devoted to three words, Christi Autem
Generatio. It is a remarkable instance of an ornamental initial spreading
over an entire page. The effect of the whole as a decoration is perhaps
what might be called heavy, but it is full of marvellous detail and
richness, and highly characteristic of Celtic forms of ornamental design
(_see_ No. 1, Appendix).

The work of the scribe, as shown in the form of the ordinary letters of
the text, is very fine. They are very firm and strong in character, to
balance the closely knit and firmly built ornamentation of the initial
letters and other ornaments of the pages. We feel that they have a
dignity, a distinction, and a character all their own.

There is a page in the same book where the symbols of the evangelists are
inclosed in circles, and panelled in a solid framing occupying the whole
page, which suggests Byzantine feeling in design.

The full pages in the earlier illuminated MSS. were often panelled out in
four or more compartments to hold figures of saints, or emblems, and in
the twelfth and thirteenth centuries such panels generally had small
patterned diapered backgrounds, on dark blue, red, green, or burnished

The Anglo-Saxon MSS. show traces of the influence of the traditions of
Classic art drawn through the Byzantine, or from the Roman sources, which
naturally affected the earliest forms of Christian art as we see its
relics in the catacombs. These classical traditions are especially
noticeable in the treatment of the draperies clinging in linear and
elliptical folds to express the limbs. In fact, it might be said that,
spread westward and northward by the Christian colonies, this classical
tradition in figure design lingered on, until its renewal at the dawn of
the Renaissance itself, and the resurrection of classical art in Italy,
which, uniting with a new naturalism, grew to that wonderful development
which has affected the art of Europe ever since.

The Charter of Foundation of Newminster, at Winchester, by King Edgar,
A.D. 966, written in gold, is another very splendid early example of book
decoration. It has a full-page miniature of the panelled type above
mentioned, and elaborate border in gold and colours by an English artist.
It is in the British Museum, and may be seen open in Case 2 in the King's

[Sidenote: ANGLO-SAXON MS.]

"The Gospels," in Latin. A MS. of the eleventh century, with initials and
borders in gold and colours, by English artists, is another fine specimen
of the early kind. Here the titles of each gospel, boldly inscribed, are
inclosed in a massively designed border, making a series of full title
pages of a dignified type.


BÄMLER, 1474.)]

As examples of illustrated books, according to the earlier Mediæval
ideas, we may look at twelfth and thirteenth century "Herbals," wherein
different plants, very full and frank in colour and formal in design, are
figured strictly with a view to the ornamentation of the page. There is a
very fine one, described as written in England in the thirteenth century,
in the British Museum. Decoration and illustration are here one and the

A magnificent specimen of book decoration of the most splendid kind is
the "Arundel Psalter" (Arundel MS. 83, Brit. Mus.), given by Robert de
Lyle to his daughter Audry, as an inscription in the volume tells us, in
1339. Here scribe, illuminator, and miniaturist are all at their best,
whether one and the same or different persons. It is, moreover, English
work. There is no doubt about the beauty of the designs, and the variety
and richness of the decorative effect. Like all the Psalters, the book
commences with a calendar, and full pages follow, panelled out and filled
in with subjects from the life of Christ. A particularly splendid
full-page is that of the Virgin and Child under a Gothic canopy, with
gold diapered background. There are also very interestingly designed
genealogical trees, and fine arrangements of double columned text-pages
with illuminated ornament (_see_ Nos. 2, 3, and 4, Appendix).



(_Size of original, 6-5/8 in. × 10-5/16 in._)]


The Tenison Psalter (Addit. MS. 24686) is a specimen of English
thirteenth century work. "Probably executed for Alphonso, son of Edmund
I., on his contemplated marriage with Margaret daughter of Florentius,
Count of Holland, which was frustrated by the prince's death on 1st
August, 1224."

The full-page miniatures arranged in panels--in some instances four on a
page, with alternate burnished gold and dark blue diapered backgrounds
behind the figures, and in others six on a page, the miniature much
smaller, and set in a larger margin of colour, alternate red and
blue--are very full, solid, and rich in colour with burnished gold. The
book is further interesting, as giving excellent and characteristic
instances of another and very different treatment of the page (and one
which appears to have been rather peculiarly English in style), in the
spiny scrolls which, often springing from a large illuminated initial
letter upon the field of the text, spreads upon and down the margin, or
above and below, often holding in its branching curves figures and
animals, which in this MS. are beautifully and finely drawn. Note the one
showing a lady of the time in pursuit of some deer.

In the thirteenth century books the text is a solid tower or column, from
which excursions can be made by the fancy and invention of the designer,
up and down and above and beneath, upon the ample vellum margins; in some
cases, indeed, additional devices appear to have been added by other and
later hands than those of the original scribe or illuminator.

There is a very remarkable Apocalypse (Brit. Mus. MSS. 17353; formerly
belonging to the Carthusian house of Vau Dieu between Liège and Aix) by
French artists of the early fourteenth century, which has a series of
very fine imaginative and weird designs (suggestive of Orcagna), highly
decorative in treatment, very full and frank in colour, and firm in
outline. The designs are in oblong panels, inclosed in linear coloured
borders at the head of each page, and occupying about two-thirds of it,
the text being written in double columns beneath each miniature, with
small illuminated initials. The backgrounds of the designs are diapered
on grounds of dark green and red alternately.

The imaginative force and expression conveyed by these designs--strictly
formal and figurative, and controlled by the ornamental traditions of the
time--is very remarkable. The illustrator and decorator are here still

Queen Mary's Psalter (Brit. Mus. MS. Royal 2, B. VII.), again, is
interesting as giving instances of a very different and lighter treatment
of figure designs. We find in this MS., together with illuminations in
full colours and burnished gold, a series of pale tinted illustrations in
Bible history drawn with a delicate pen line.

The method of the illuminators and miniaturists seems always to have been
to draw their figures and ornaments clearly out first with a pen before



In the full-coloured miniatures the pen lines are not visible, but in
this MS. they are preserved with the delicate tinted treatment. The
designs I speak of are placed two on a page, occupying it entirely. They
are inclosed in vermilion borders, terminated at each corner with a leaf.
There is a very distinct and graceful feeling about the designs. The same
hand appears to have added on the lower margins of the succeeding text
pages a series of quaint figures--combats of grotesque animals, hunting,
hawking, and fishing scenes, and games and sports, and, finally,
Biblical subjects. Here, again, I think we may detect in the early
illustrators a tendency to escape from the limitations of the book page,
though only a tendency.

A fine ornamental page combining illumination with miniature is given in
the "Epistle of Philippe de Comines to Richard II." at the end of the
fourteenth century. The figures, interesting historically and as examples
of costume, are relieved upon a diapered ground. The text is in double
columns, with square initials, and the page is lightened by open
foliation branching out upon the margin from the straight spiney border
strips, which on the inner side terminate in a dragon.


As a specimen of early fifteenth century work, both for illuminator,
scribe, and miniaturist, it would be difficult to find a more exquisite
book than the Bedford Hours (Brit. Mus. MS. Add. 18850), dated 1422, said
to be the work of French artists, though produced in England. The
kalendar, which occupies the earlier pages, is remarkable for its small
and very brilliant and purely coloured miniatures set like gems in a very
fine, delicate, light, open, leafy border, bright with burnished gold
trefoil leaves, which are characteristic of French illuminated books of
this period (_see_ Nos. 5 and 6, Appendix).

There is an elaborate full-page miniature containing the Creation and
Fall, which breaks over the margin here and there. The thirteenth and
fourteenth century miniaturists frequently allowed their designs to break
over the framework of their diapered grounds or panels in an effective
way, which pleasantly varied the formality of framed-in subjects upon
the page, especially where a flat margin of colour between lines inclosed
them; and some parts of the groups broke over the inner line while
keeping within the limits of the outer one. Very frequently, as in this
MS., a general plan is followed throughout in the spacing of the pages,
though the borders and miniatures in detail show almost endless
variation. In such splendid works as this we get the complete and
harmonious co-operation and union between the illustrator and the
decorator. The object of each is primarily to beautify his page. The
illuminator makes his borders and initial letters branch and bud, and put
forth leaves and flowers spreading luxuriantly up and down the margin of
his vellum pages (beautiful even as the scribe left them) like a living
growth; while the miniaturist makes the letter itself the shrine of some
delicate saint, or a vision of some act of mercy or martyrdom; while the
careless world plays hide and seek through the labyrinthine borders, as
the seasons follow each other through the kalendar, and the peasant
ploughs, and sows, and reaps, and threshes out the corn, while gay
knights tourney in the lists, or, with ladies in their quaint attire,
follow the spotted deer through the greenwood.

[Sidenote: MERRY ENGLAND.]

In these beautiful liturgical books of the Middle Ages, as we see, the
ornamental feeling developed with and combined the illustrative function,
so that almost any illuminated Psalter or Book of Hours will furnish not
only lovely examples of floral decoration in borders and initials of
endless fertility of invention, but also give us pictures of the life and
manners of the times. In those of our own country we can realize how
full of colour, quaint costume, and variety was life when England was
indeed merry, in spite of family feuds and tyrannous lords and kings;
before her industrial transformation and the dispossession of her people;
ere Boards of Works and Poor-law Guardians took the place of her
monasteries and abbeys; before her streams were fouled with sewage, and
her cities blackened with coal smoke--the smoke of the burning sacrificed
to commercial competition and wholesale production for profit by means of
machine power and machine labour; before she became the workshop and
engine-room of the world.



These books glowing with gold and colour tell of days when time was no
object, and the pious artist and scribe could work quietly and lovingly
to make a thing of beauty with no fear of a publisher or a printer before
his eyes, or the demands of world market.

In the midst of our self-congratulation on the enormous increase of our
resources for the rapid and cheap production of books, and the power of
the printing press, we should do well not to forget that if books of
those benighted centuries of which I have been speaking were few,
comparatively, they were fit, though few--they were things of beauty and
joys for ever to their possessors. A prayer-book was not only a
prayer-book, but a picture-book, a shrine, a little mirror of the world,
a sanctuary in a garden of flowers. One can well understand their
preciousness apart from their religious use, and many have seen strange
eventful histories no doubt. The Earl of Shrewsbury lost his prayer-book
(the Talbot prayer-book) and his life together on the battle-field at
Castillon (about thirty miles from Bordeaux) in 1453. This book, as Mr.
Quaritch states, was carried away by a Breton soldier, and was only
re-discovered in Brittany a few years ago.



[Sidenote: MISSALS.]

It has been suggested that the large coloured and illuminated initial
letters in liturgical books had their origin as guides in taking up the
different parts of the service; and, as I learn from Mr. Micklethwaite,
in some of the Missals, where the crucifixion is painted in an
illuminated letter, a simple cross is placed below for the votary to kiss
instead of the picture, as it was found in practice, when only the
picture was there, the tendency was to obliterate it by the recurrence of
this form of devotion.

As an example of the influence of naturalism which had begun to make
itself felt in art towards the end of the fifteenth century, we may cite
The Romance of the Rose (Harl. MSS. 4425), in the British Museum, which
has two fine full-page miniatures with elaborate borderings, full of
detail and colour, and which are also illustrative of costume (_see_ No.
8, Appendix). The text pages show the effect of double columns with small
highly-finished miniatures (occupying the width of one column)
interspersed. The style of work is akin to that of the celebrated Grimani
Breviary, now in the library of St. Mark's, Venice, the miniatures of
which are said to have been painted by Memling. They are wonderfully rich
in detail, and fine in workmanship, and are quite in the manner of the
Flemish pictures of that period. We feel that the pictorial and
illustrative power is gaining the ascendancy, and in its borders of
highly wrought leaves, flowers, fruit, and insects, given in full relief
with their cast shadows--wonderful as they are in themselves as pieces of
work--it is evident to me, at least, that whatever graphic strength and
richness of chiaroscuro is gained it is at the distinct cost of the
beauty of pure decorative effect upon the page. After the delicate
arabesques of the earlier time, these borders look a little heavy, and
however great their pictorial or imitative merits, they fail to satisfy
the conditions of a page decoration so satisfactorily.

Perhaps the most sumptuous examples of book decoration of this period are
to be found in Italy, in the celebrated Choir Books in the cathedral of
Siena. They show a rare union of imaginative form, pictorial skill, and
decorative sense in the miniaturist, united with all the Italian richness
and grace in the treatment of early Renaissance ornament, and in its
adaptation to the decoration of the book page (_see_ No. 9, Appendix).

These miniatures are the work of Girolamo da Cremona, and Liberale da
Verona. At least, these two are described as "the most copious and
indefatigable of the artists employed on the Corali." Payments were made
to them for the work in 1468, and again in 1472-3, which fixes the date.



(_Original, 7-3/8 in. × 5-1/8 in._)]


I am not ignoring the possibility of a certain division of labour in the
illuminated MS. The work of the scribe, the illuminator, and the
miniaturist are distinct enough, while equally important to the result.
Mr. J. W. Bradley, who has compiled a Dictionary of Miniaturists,
speaking of calligrapher, illuminator, and miniaturist, says:--"Each of
these occupations is at times conjoined with either or both of the
others," and when that is so, in giving the craftsman his title, he
decides by the period of his work. For instance, from the seventh to the
tenth centuries he would call him calligrapher; eleventh to fifteenth
centuries, illuminator; fifteenth to sixteenth centuries, miniaturist.
Transcription he puts in another category as the work of the copyist
scribe. But whatever division of labour there may or may not have been,
there was no division in the harmony and unity of the effect. If in some
cases the more purely ornamental parts, such as the floral borders and
initials, were the work of one artist, the text of another, and the
miniatures of another, all I can say is, that each worked together as
brethren in unity, contributing to the beauty of a harmonious and organic
whole; and if such division of labour can be ascertained to have been a
fact, it goes to prove the importance of some co-operation in a work of
art, and its magnificent possibilities.

The illuminated MS. books have this great distinction and advantage in
respect of harmony of text and decoration, the text of the calligrapher
always harmonizing with the designs of the illuminator, it being in like
manner all through the Middle Ages a thing of growth and development,
acquiring new characteristics and undergoing processes of transformation
less obvious perhaps, but not less actual, than the changes in the style
and characters of the devices and inventions which accompanied it. The
mere fact that every part of the work was due to the hand, that manual
skill and dexterity alone has produced the whole, gives a distinction and
a character to these MS. books which no press could possibly rival.

The difficulty which besets the modern book decorator, illustrator, or
designer of printers' ornaments, of getting type which will harmonize
properly with his designs, did not exist with the mediæval illuminator,
who must always have been sure of balancing his designs by a body of text
not only beautiful in the form of its individual letters, but beautiful
and rich in the effect of its mass on the page, which was only enhanced
when the initials were relieved with colour on gold, or beautiful pen
work which grew out of them like the mistletoe from the solid oak stem.

The very pitch of perfection which penmanship, or the art of the
calligrapher had reached in the fifteenth century, the calculated
regularity and "purgation of superfluities" in the form of the letters,
the squareness of their mass in the words, and approximation in length
and height, seem to suggest and naturally lead up to the idea of the
movable type and the printed page.

Before, however, turning the next page of our subject, let us take one
more general and rapid glance at the MS. books from the point of view of



While examples of the two fields into which art may be said to be always
more or less divided--the imitative and the inventive, or the
illustrative and the decorative--are not altogether absent in the books
of the Middle Ages, the main tendency and prevailing spirit is decidedly
on the inventive and decorative side, more especially in the work of the
illuminators from the thirteenth to the fifteenth centuries, and yet this
inventive and decorative spirit is often allied with a dramatic and
poetic feeling, as well as a sense of humour. We see how full of life is
the ornament of the illuminator, how figures, birds, animals, and insects
fill his arabesques, how he is often decorator, illustrator, and
pictorial commentator in one.




Even apart from his enrichments, it is evident that the page was regarded
by the calligrapher as a space to be decorated--that it should at least,
regarded solely as a page of text, be a page of beautiful writing, the
mass carefully placed upon the vellum, so as to afford convenient and
ample margin, especially beneath. The page of a book, in fact, may be
regarded as a flat panel which may be variously spaced out. The
calligrapher, the illuminator, and the miniaturist are the architects who
planned out their vellum grounds and built beautiful structures of line
and colour upon them for thought and fancy to dwell in. Sometimes the
text is arranged in a single column, as generally in the earlier MSS.;
sometimes in double, as generally in the Gothic and later MSS., and these
square and oblong panels of close text are relieved by large and small
initial letters sparkling in gold and colour, inclosed in their own
framework, or escaping from it in free and varied branch work and
foliation upon the margin, and set with miniatures like gems, as in the
Bedford Hours, the larger initials increasing to such proportions as to
inclose a more important miniature--a subject-picture in short--a book
illustration in the fullest sense, yet strictly a part of a general
scheme of the ornamentation of the page.




Floral borders, which in some instances spread freely around the text and
fill the margins, unconfined though not uninfluenced by rectangular lines
or limits from a light and open, yet rich and delicate tracery of leaves
and fanciful blossoms (as in the Bedford Hours); are in others framed in
with firm lines (Tenison Psalter, p. 11); and in later fifteenth century
MSS. with gold lines and mouldings, as the treatment of the page becomes
more pictorial and solid in colour and relief. Sometimes the borders form
a distinct framework, inclosing the text and dividing its columns, as in
"The Book of Hours of René of Anjou" (Egerton MS. 1070), and the
same design is sometimes repeated differently coloured. Gradually the
miniaturist--the picture painter--although at first almost as formally
decorative as the illuminator--asserts his independence, and influences
the treatment of the border, which becomes a miniature also, as in the
Grimani Breviary, the Romance of the Rose, and the Choir Books of Siena,
until at last the miniature or the picture is in danger of being more
thought of than the book, and we get books of framed pictures instead of
pictured or decorated books. In the Grimani Breviary the miniature
frequently occupies the whole page with a single subject-picture; or the
miniature is superimposed upon a pictured border, which, strengthened by
rigid architectural lines and tabernacle work, form a rich frame.



All these varieties we have been examining are, however, interesting and
beautiful in their own way in their results. In considering any form of
art of a period which shows active traditions, real life and movement,
natural growth and development, we are fascinated by its organic quality,
and though we may detect the absorption or adaptation of new elements and
new influences from time to time leading to changes of style and
structure of design, as well as changed temper and feeling, as long as
this natural evolution continues, each variety has its own charm and its
own compensations; while we may have our preferences as to which
approaches most nearly to the ideal of perfect adaptability, and,
therefore, of decorative beauty.

In the progressive unfolding which characterizes a living style, all its
stages must be interesting and possess their own significance, since all
fall into their places in the great and golden record of the history of
art itself.



We have seen to what a pitch of perfection and magnificence the
decoration and illustration of books attained during the Middle Ages, and
the splendid results to which art in the three distinct
forms--calligraphy, illumination, and miniature--contributed. We have
traced a gradual progression and evolution of style through the period of
MS. books, both in the development of writing and ornament. We have noted
how the former became more and more regular and compact in its mass on
the page, and how in the latter the illustrative or pictorial size grew
more and more important, until at the close of the fifteenth century we
had large and elaborately drawn and naturalistic pictures framed in the
initial letters, as in the Choir Books of Siena, or occupying the whole
page with a single subject, as in the Grimani Breviary. The tree of
design, springing from small and obscure germs, sends up a strong stem,
branches and buds in the favourable sun, and finally breaks into a
beautiful free efflorescence and fruitage. Then we mark a fresh change.
The autumn comes after the summertide, winter follows autumn, till the
new life, ever ready to spring from the husk of the old, puts forth its
leaves, until by almost imperceptible degrees and changes, and the
silent growth of new forces, the face of the world is changed for us.

So it was with the change that came upon European art towards the end of
the fifteenth century, the result of many causes working together; but as
regards art as applied to books, the greatest of these was of course the
invention and application of printing. Like most great movements in art
or life, it had an obscure beginning. Its parentage might be sought in
the woodcuts of the earlier part of the fifteenth century applied to the
printing of cards. The immediate forerunners of printed books were the
block books. Characteristic specimens of the quaint works may be seen
displayed in the King's Library, British Museum. The art of these block
books is quite rude and primitive, and, contrasted with the
highly-finished work of the illuminated MS. of the same time, might
almost belong to another period. These are the first tottering steps of
the infant craft; the first faint utterances, soon to grow into strong,
clear, and perfect speech, to rule the world of books and men.




Germany had not taken any especial or distinguished part in the
production of MSS. remarkable for artistic beauty or original treatment;
but her time was to come, and now, in the use of an artistic application
of the invention of printing, and the new era of book decoration and
illustration, she at once took the lead. Seeing that the invention itself
is ascribed to one of her own sons, it seems appropriate enough, and
natural that printing should grow to quick perfection in the land of
its birth; so that we find some of the earliest and greatest triumphs of
the Press coming from German printers, such as Gutenberg, Fust, and
Schoeffer, not to speak yet of the wonderful fertility of decorative
invention, graphic force, and dramatic power of German designers,
culminating in the supreme genius of Albrecht Dürer and Hans Holbein.

The prosperous German towns, Cologne, Mainz, Frankfort, Strassburg,
Augsburg, Bamberg, Halberstadt, Nuremberg, and Ulm, all became famous in
the history of printing, and each had its school of designers in black
and white, its distinctive style in book-decoration and printing.

Italy, France, Switzerland, and England, however, all had their share,
and a glorious share, in the triumph of printing in its early days. The
presses of Venice, of Florence, and of Rome and Naples, of Paris, and of
Basel, and of our own William Caxton, at Westminster, must always be
looked upon as in the van of the early progress of the art, and the
richness of the decorative invention and beauty, in the case of the
woodcut adornments used by the printers of Venice and Florence
especially, gives them in the last years of the fifteenth century and the
early years of the sixteenth a particular distinction.

1454 appears to be the earliest definite date that can be fixed on to
mark the earliest use of printing. In that year, the Mainz "Indulgences"
were in circulation, but the following year is more important, as to it
is assigned the issue, from the press of Gutenberg and Fust at Mainz, of
the famous Mazarin Bible, a copy of which is in the British Museum. Mr.
Bullen says, "The copy which first attracted notice in modern times was
discovered in the library of Cardinal Mazarin"--hence the name.

It is noticeable as showing how transitional was the change in the
treatment of the page. The scribe has been supplanted--the marshalled
legions of printed letters have invaded his territory and driven him from
his occupation; but the margin is still left for the illuminator to
spread his coloured borders upon, and the initial letters wait for the
touch of colour from his hand. The early printers evidently regarded
their art as providing a substitute for the MS. book. They aimed at doing
the work of the scribe and doing it better and more expeditiously. No
idea of a new departure in effect seems to have been entertained at
first, to judge from such specimens as these.




Another early printed book is the Mainz Psalter. It is printed on vellum,
and comes from the press of Fust and Schoeffer in 1457. It is
remarkable not only as the first printed psalter and as the first book
printed with a date, but also as being the first example of printing in
colours. The initial letter B is the result of this method, and it
affords a wonderful instance of true register. The blue of the letter
fitted cleanly into the red of the surrounding ornament with a precision
which puzzles our modern printers, and it is difficult to understand how
such perfection could have been attained. Mr. Emery Walker has suggested
to me that the blue letter itself might have been cut out, inked, and
dropped in from the back of the red block when that was in the press, and
so the two colours printed together. If this could be done with
sufficient precision, it would certainly account for the exactitude of
the register. Apart from this interesting technical question, however,
the page is a very beautiful one, and the initial, with its solid shape
of figured blue, inclosed in the delicate red pen-like tracery climbing
up and down the margin, is a charming piece of page decoration. The
original may be seen in one of the cases in the King's Library, British
Museum. We have here an instance of the printer aiming at directly
imitating and supplanting by his craft the art of the calligrapher and
illuminator, and with such a beauty and perfection of workmanship as must
have astonished them and given them far more reason to regard the printer
as a dangerous rival than had (as it is said) the early wood engravers,
who were unwilling to help the printer by their art for fear his craft
would injure their own, which seems somewhat extraordinary considering
how closely allied both wood engraver and printer have been ever since.
The example of the Mainz Psalter does not seem to have been much
followed, and as regards the application of colour, it was as a rule left
as a matter of course to be added by the miniaturist, who evidently
declined as an artist after he had got into the way of having his designs
in outline provided for him ready-made by the printer; or, rather,
perhaps the accomplished miniature printer, having carried his art as
applied to books about as far as it would go, became absorbed as a
painter of independent pictures, and the printing of books fell into
inferior hands. There can be no doubt that the devices and decorations of
the early printers were intended to be coloured in emulation of
illuminated and miniatured MSS., and were regarded, in fact, as the pen
outlines of the illuminator, only complete when filled in with colours
and gold. It appears to have been only by degrees that the rich and
vigorous lines of the woodcut, as well as the black and white effect,
became admired for their own sake--so slowly moves the world!


A good idea of the general character of the development of the wood (and
metal) cut in book and illustration and decoration in Germany, from 1470
(Leiden Christi, Pfister, Bamberg, 1470) to (Virgil Solis' Bible) 1563,
may be gained from a study of the series of reproductions given in this
and the preceding chapter, in chronological order, with the names, dates,
and places, as well as the particular characteristics of the style of the
different designers and printers.



    [1] This is the date of the copy from which the illustration is
    reproduced. The first edition of the book was, however, probably
    issued about 1480.


The same may be said in regard to the Italian series which follows, and
those from Basel and Paris.



Perhaps the most interesting examples of the use of early printing as a
substitute for illumination and miniature are to be found in the Books of
Hours which were produced at Paris in the later years of the fifteenth
and the early years of the sixteenth centuries (1487-1519 about) by
Vérard, Du Pré, Philip Pigouchet, Kerver, and Hardouyn.

Specimens of these books may be seen in the British Museum, and at the
Art Library at South Kensington Museum. The originals are mostly printed
on vellum.




The effect of the richly designed borders on black dotted grounds is
very pleasant, but these books seem to have been intended to be
illuminated and coloured. We find in some copies that the full-page
printed pictures are coloured, being worked up as miniatures, and the
semi-architectural borderings with Renaissance mouldings and details are
gilded flat, and treated as the frame of the picture. There is one which
has the mark of the printer Gillet Hardouyn (G. H. on the shield), on the
front page. In another copy (1515) this is painted and the framework
gilded; the subject is Nessus the Centaur carrying off Deianira, the
wife of Hercules; a sign of the tendency to revive classical mythology
which had set in, in this case, in curious association with a Christian
service-book. It is noticeable how soon the facility for repetition by
the press was taken advantage of, and a design, especially if on
ornamental borderings of a page, often repeated several times throughout
a book. These borderings and ornaments being generally in separate
blocks as to headings, side panels, and tail-pieces, could easily be
shifted and a certain variety obtained by being differently made up. Here
we may see commercialism creeping in. Considerations of profit and
economy no doubt have their effect, and mechanical invention comes in to
cheapen not only labour, but artistic invention also.






FIOR DI VIRTÙ. 1498 (FLORENCE, 1493?)]


It took some time, however, to turn the printer into the manufacturer or
tradesman pure and simple. Nothing is more striking than the high
artistic character of the early printed books. The invention of printing,
coming as it did when the illuminated MSS. had reached the period of its
greatest glory and perfection, with the artistic traditions of fifteen
centuries poured, as it were, into its lap, filling its founts with
beautiful lettering, and guiding the pencil of its designers with a still
unbroken sense of fitness and perfect adaptability; while as yet the
influence of the revival of classic learning and mythology was only felt
as the stirring and stimulating breath of new awakening spring--the aroma
of spice-laden winds from unknown shores of romance--or as the mystery
and wonder of discovery, standing on the brink of a half-disclosed new
world, and fired with the thought of its possibilities--

    "Or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes
        He stared at the Pacific."

Had the discovery of printing occurred two or three centuries earlier, it
would have been curious to see the results. But after all, an invention
never lives until the world is ready to adopt it. It is impossible to say
how many inventions are new inventions. "Ask and ye shall have," or the
practical application of it, is the history of civilization. Necessity,
the stern mother, compels her children to provide for their own physical
and intellectual necessities, and in due time the hour and the man (with
his invention) arrives.


GREGORIIS, 1498.)]

Classical mythology and Gothic mysticism and romance met together in the
art and books of the early Renaissance. Ascetic aspiration strives with
frank paganism and nature worship. The gods of ancient Greece and Rome
seemed to awake after an enchanted sleep of ages, and reappear again unto

Italy, having hardly herself ever broken with the ancient traditions of
Classical art and religion, became the focus of the new light, and her
independent republics, such as Florence and Venice, the centres of
wealth, culture, refinement, and artistic invention. Turkish conquest,
too, had its effect on the development of the new movement by driving
Greek scholars and the knowledge of the classical writers of antiquity
Westward. These were all materials for an exceptional development of art,
and, above all, of the art of the printer, and the decoration and
illustration of books.

The name of Aldus, of Venice, is famous among those of the early
Renaissance printers. Perhaps the most remarkable book, from this or any
press, for the beauty of its decorative illustration, is the _Poliphili
Hypnerotomachia_--"The Dream of Poliphilus"--printed in 1499, an
allegorical romance of love in the manner of those days. The authorship
of the design has been the subject of much speculation. I believe they
were attributed at one time to Mantegna, and they have also been ascribed
to one of the Bellini. The style of the designer, the quality of the
outline, the simplicity yet richness of the designs, their poetic
feeling, the mysticism of some, and frank paganism of others, places the
series quite by themselves. The first edition is now very difficult to
obtain, and might cost something like 100 guineas.

My illustrations are taken from the copy in the Art Library at South
Kensington Museum, and are from negatives taken by Mr. Griggs, for the
Science and Art Department, who have issued a set of reproductions in
photo-lithography, by him, of the whole of the woodcuts in the volume,
of the original size, at the price, I believe, of 5_s._ 6_d._ Here
is an instance of what photographic reproduction can do for us--when
originals of great works are costly or unattainable we can get
reproductions for a few shillings, for all practical purposes as good
for study as the originals themselves. If we cannot, in this age,
produce great originals, we can at least reproduce them--perhaps the
next best thing.


















There is a French edition of Poliphilus printed at Paris, by Kerver, in
1561,[2] which has a frontispiece designed by Jean Cousin. The
illustrations, too, have all been redrawn, and are treated in quite a
different manner from the Venetian originals--but they have a character
of their own, though of a later, florid, and more self-conscious type, as
might be expected from Paris in the latter half of the sixteenth century.
The initial letters of a series of chapters in the book spell, if read
consecutively, Francisco Columna (F.R.A.N.C.I.S.C.O. C.O.L.V.M.N.A.)--the
name of the writer of the romance.

    [2] The first French edition is dated 1546.

Whether such designs as these were intended to be coloured is doubtful.
They are very satisfactory as they are in outline, and want nothing else.
The book may be considered as an illustrated one, drawings of monuments,
fountains, standards, emblems, and devices are placed here and there in
the text, but they are so charmingly designed and drawn that the effect
is decorative, and being in open line the mechanical conditions are
perfectly fulfilled of surface printing with the type.

[Sidenote: CAXTON.]

After the beautiful productions of the German, Italian (of which some
reproductions are given here), and French printers, our own William
Caxton's first books seem rather rough, though not without character,
and, at any rate, picturesqueness, if they cannot be quoted as very
accomplished examples of the printer's art. The first book printed in
England is said to be Caxton's "Dictes and Sayings of the Philosophers,"
printed by him at Westminster in 1477.

A noticeable characteristic of the early printed books is the development
of the title page. Whereas the MSS. generally did without one, with the
advent of printing the title page became more and more important, and
even if there were no other illustrations or ornaments in a book, there
was often a woodcut title. Such examples as some here given convey a good
idea of what charming decorative feeling these title page designs
sometimes displayed, and those greatest of designers and book decorators
and illustrators, Albrecht Dürer and Hans Holbein, showed their power and
decorative skill, and sense of the resources of the woodcut, in the
designs made by them for various title pages.

The noble designs of the master craftsman of Nuremberg, Albrecht Dürer,
are well known. His extraordinary vigour of drawing, and sense of its
resources as applied to the woodcut, made him a great force in the
decoration and illustration of books, and many are the splendid designs
from his hand. Three designs from the fine series of the Little Passion
and two of his title pages are given, which show him on the strictly
decorative side. The title dated 1523 may be compared with
that of Oronce Finé (Paris, 1534). There appears to have been a return to
this convoluted knotted kind of ornament at this period. It appears in
Italian MSS. earlier, and may have been derived from Byzantine sources.










[Sidenote: HANS HOLBEIN.]

There is a fine title page designed by Holbein, printed by Petri, at
Basle, in 1524. It was originally designed and used for an edition of the
New Testament, printed by the same Adam Petri in 1523. At the four
corners are the symbols of the Evangelists; the arms of the city of Basle
are in the centre of the upper border, and the printer's device occupies
a corresponding space below. Figures of SS. Peter and Paul are in the
niches at each side. But the work always most associated with the name of
Holbein is the remarkable little book containing the series of designs
known as the "Dance of Death," the first edition of which was printed at
Lyons in 1538. The two designs here given are printed from the blocks cut
by Bonner and Byfield (1833). These cuts are only about 2-1/2 by 2
inches, and yet an extraordinary amount of invention, graphic power,
dramatic and tragic force, and grim and satiric humour, is compressed
into them. They stand quite alone in the history of art, and give a
wonderfully interesting and complete series of illustrations of the life
of the sixteenth century. Holbein is supposed to have painted this "Dance
of Death" in the palace of Henry VIII., erected by Cardinal Wolsey at
Whitehall, life size; but this was destroyed in the fire which consumed
nearly the whole of that palace in 1697.

[Illustration: GER. SCHOOL. XVITH CENT.


THE NUN. (LYONS, 1538.)]

The Bible cuts of Hans Holbein are also a very fine series, and
remarkable for their breadth and simplicity of line, as well as
decorative effect on the page.

[Illustration: GER. SCHOOL. XVITH CENT.



It is interesting to note that Holbein's father and grandfather both
practised engraving and painting at Augsburg, while his brother Ambrose
was also a fertile book illustrator. Hans Holbein the elder married a
daughter of the elder Burgmair, father of the famous Hans Burgmair,
examples of whose fine and vigorous style of drawing are given.







Albrecht Dürer and Holbein, indeed, seem to express and to sum up all the
vigour and power of design of that very vigorous and fruitful time of the
German Renaissance. They had able contemporaries, of course, among whom
are distinguished, Lucas Cranach (the elder) born 1470, and Hans
Burgmair, already named, who was associated with Dürer in the work of the
celebrated series of woodcuts, "The Triumphs of Maximilian;" one of the
fine series of "Der Weiss König," a noble title page, and a vigorous
drawing of peasants at work in a field, here represent him. Other notable
designers were Hans Sebald Beham, Hans Baldung Grün, Hans Wächtlin, Jost
Amman, and others, who carried on the German style or tradition in design
to the end of the sixteenth century. This tradition of convention was
technically really the mode of expression best fitted to the conditions
of the woodcut and the press, under which were evolved the vigorous pen
line characteristic of the German masters. It was a living condition in
which each could work freely, bringing in his own fresh observation and
individual feeling, while remaining in collective harmony.





(BASEL, 1523.)]









(AUGSBURG, 1509.)]


[Sidenote: EMBLEM BOOKS.]

The various marks adopted by the printers themselves are often decorative
devices of great interest and beauty. The French printers,
Gillett Hardouyn and Thielman Kerver, for instance, had
charming devices with which they generally occupied the front page of
their Books of Hours. Others were pictorial puns and embodied the name of
the printer under some figure, such as that of Petri of Basle, who
adopted a device of a stone, which the flames and the hammer stroke
failed to destroy; or the mark of Philip le Noir--a black shield with a
negro crest and supporter; or the palm tree of Palma Isingrin. Others
were purely emblematic and heraldic, such as the dolphin twined round the
anchor, of Aldus, with the motto "_Propera tarde_"--"hasten slowly."
This, and another device of a crab holding a butterfly by its wings, with
the same signification, are both borrowed from the favourite devices of
two of the early emperors of Rome--Augustus and Titus. This symbolic,
emblematic, allegorizing tendency which had been more or less
characteristic of both art and literature, in various degrees, from the
most ancient times, became more systematically cultivated, and
collections of emblems began to appear in book form in the sixteenth
century. The earliest being that of Alciati, the first edition of whose
book appeared in 1522, edition after edition following each other from
various printers and places from that date to 1621, with ever-increasing
additions, and being translated into French, German, and Italian. Mr.
Henry Green, the author of "Shakespeare and the Emblem Writers" (written
to prove Shakespeare's acquaintance with the emblem books, and constant
allusions to emblems), said of Alciati's book that "it established, if
it did not introduce, a new style for emblem literature--the classical,
in the place of the simply grotesque and humorous, or of the heraldic and







[Illustration: HANS BALDUNG GRÜN.



There is an edition of Alciati printed at Lyons (Bonhomme), 1551, a
reprint of which was published by the Holbein Society in 1881. The figure
designs and the square woodcut subjects are supposed to be the work of
Solomon Bernard--called the little Bernard--born at Lyons in 1522. These
are surrounded by elaborate and rather heavy decorative borders, in the
style of the later Renaissance, by another hand, some of them bearing the
monogram P.V., which has been explained to mean either Pierino del Vaga,
the painter (a pupil of Raphael's), or Petro de Vingles, a printer of






These borders, as we learn from a preface to one of the editions ("Ad
Lectorem"--Roville's Latin text of the emblems), were intended as
patterns for various craftsmen. "For I say this is their use, that as
often as any one may wish to assign fulness to empty things, ornament to
base things, speech to dumb things, and reason to senseless things,
he may, from a little book of emblems, as from an excellently
well-prepared hand-book, have what he may be able to impress on the walls
of houses, on windows of glass, on tapestry, on hangings, on tablets,
vases, ensigns, seals, garments, the table, the couch, the arms, the
sword, and lastly, furniture of every kind."

[Sidenote: EMBLEMS.]

An emblem has been defined ("Cotgrave's Dictionary," Art. "Emblema") as
"a picture and short posie, expressing some particular conceit;" and by
Francis Quarles as "but a silent parable;" and Bacon, in his "Advancement
of Learning," says:--"Embleme deduceth conceptions intellectuall to
images sensible, and that which is sensible more fully strikes the
memory, and is more easily imprinted than that which is intellectual."


All was fish that fell into the net of the emblem writer or deviser;
hieroglyphic, heraldry, fable, mythology, the ancient Egyptians, Homer,
ancient Greece and Rome, Christianity, or pagan philosophy, all in their
turn served

    "To point a moral and adorn a tale."

As to the artistic quality of the designs which are found in these books,
they are of very various quality, those of the earlier sixteenth century
with woodcuts being naturally the best and most vigorous, corresponding
in character to the qualities of the contemporary design. Holbein's
"Dance of Death," or rather "Images and Storied Aspects of Death," its
true title, might be called an emblem book, but very few can approach it
in artistic quality. Some of the devices in early editions of the emblem
books of Giovio, Witney, and even the much later Quarles have a certain
quaintness; but though such books necessarily depended on their
illustrations, the moral and philosophic, or epigrammatic burden proved
in the end more than the design could carry, when the impulse which
characterized the early Renaissance had declined, and design, as applied
to books, became smothered with classical affectation and pomposity, and
the clear and vigorous woodcut was supplanted by the doubtful advantage
of the copper-plate. The introduction of the use of the copper-plate
marks a new era in book illustration, but as regards their decoration,
one of distinct decline. While the surface-printed block, whether woodcut
or metal engraving (by which method many of the early book illustrations
were rendered) accorded well with the conditions of the letter-press
printing, as they were set up with the type and printed by the same
pressure in the same press. With copper-plate quite other conditions came
in, as the paper has to be pressed into the etched or engraved lines of
the plate, instead of being impressed by the lines in relief of the wood
or the metal. Thus, with the use of copper-plate illustrations in printed
books, that mechanical relation which exists between a surface-printed
block and the letter-press was at once broken, as a different method of
printing had to be used. The apparent, but often specious, refinement of
the copper-plate did not necessarily mean extra power or refinement of
draughtsmanship or design, but merely thinner lines, and these were
often attained at the cost of richness and vigour, as well as
decorative effect.



The first book illustrated with copper-plate engravings, however, bears
an early date--1477. ["El Monte Sancto di Dio." Niccolo di Lorenzo,
Florence]. In this case it was reserved for the full page pictures. The
method does not seem to have commended itself much to the book designers,
and did not come into general use until the end of the sixteenth century,
with the decline of design.

The encyclopædic books of this period--the curious compendiums of the
knowledge of those days--were full of entertaining woodcuts, diagrams,
and devices, and the various treatises on grammar, arithmetic, geometry,
physiology, anatomy, astronomy, geography, were made attractive by them,
each section preceded perhaps by an allegorical figure of the art or
science discoursed of in the costume of a grand dame of the period. The
herbals and treatises on animals were often filled with fine floral
designs and vigorous, if sometimes half-mythical, representations of

[Sidenote: FUCHSIUS.]

[Sidenote: HERBALS.]

There are fine examples of plant drawing in a beautiful herbal
("Fuchsius: De Historia Stirpium"; Basle, Isingrin, 1542). They are not
only faithful and characteristic as drawings of the plants themselves,
but are beautiful as decorative designs, being drawn in a fine free
style, and with a delicate sense of line, and well thrown upon the page.
At the beginning of the book is a woodcut portrait of the author, Leonard
Fuchs--possibly the fuchsia may have been named after him--and at the end
is another woodcut giving the portrait of the artist, the designer of
the flowers, and the draughtsman on wood and the formschneider, or
engraver on wood, beneath, who appears to be fully conscious of his own
importance. The first two are busy at work, and it will be noticed the
artist is drawing from the flower itself with the point of a brush, the
brush being fixed in a quill in the manner of our water-colour brushes.
The draughtsman holds the design or paper while he copies it upon the
block. The portraits are vigorously drawn in a style suggestive of Hans
Burgmair. Good examples of plant drawing which is united with design are
also to be found in Matthiolus (Venice, 1583), and in a Kreuterbuch
(Strasburg, 1551), and in Gerard's Herbal, of which there are several

As examples of design in animals, there are some vigorous woodcuts in a
"History of Quadrupeds," by Conrad Gesner, printed by Froschover, of
Zurich, in 1554. The porcupine is as like a porcupine as need be, and
there can be no mistake about his quills. The drawings of birds are
excellent, and one of a crane (as I ought, perhaps, more particularly to
know) is very characteristic.



(_Comp. Dürer's title page, Nuremberg, 1523._)]



[Sidenote: THE NEW SPIRIT.]

But we have passed the Rubicon--the middle of the sixteenth century.
Ripening so rapidly, and blossoming into such excellence and perfection
as did the art of the printer, and design as applied to the printed page,
through the woodcut and the press, their artistic character and beauty
was somewhat short-lived. Up to about this date (1554 was the date of our
last example), as we have seen, to judge only from the comparatively few
specimens given here, what beautiful books were printed, remarkable
both for their decorative and illustrative value, and often uniting these
two functions in perfect harmony; but after the middle of the sixteenth
century both vigour and beauty in design generally may be said to have
declined. Whether the world had begun to be interested in other
things--and we know the great discovery of Columbus had made it
practically larger--whether discovery, conquest, and commerce more and
more filled the view of foremost spirits, and art was only valued as it
illustrated or contributed to the knowledge of or furtherance of these;
whether the Reformation or the spirit of Protestantism, turning men's
minds from outward to inward things, and in its revolt against the half
paganized Catholic Church--involving a certain ascetic scorn and contempt
for any form of art which did not serve a direct moral purpose, and which
appealed to the senses rather than to the emotions or the
intellect--practically discouraged it altogether. Whether that new
impulse given to the imagination by the influence of the revival of
Classical learning, poetry, and antique art, had become jaded, and, while
breaking with the traditions and spirit of Gothic or Mediæval art, began
to put on the fetters of authority and pedantry, and so, gradually
overlaid by the forms and cerements of a dead style, lost its vigour and
vitality--whether due to one or all of these causes, certain it is that
the lamp of design began to fail, and, compared with its earlier
radiance, shed but a doubtful flicker upon the page through the
succeeding centuries.


As I indicated at the outset of the first chapter, my purpose is not to
give a complete historical account of the decoration and illustration of
books, but rather to dwell on the artistic treatment of the page from my
own point of view as a designer. So far, however, the illustrations I
have given, while serving their purpose, also furnished a fair idea of
the development of style and variation of treatment of both the MS. and
printed book under different influences, from the sixth to the close of
the sixteenth century, but now I shall have to put on a pair of
seven-league boots, and make some tremendous skips.

We have seen how, at the period of the early Renaissance, two streams
met, as it were, and mingled, with very beautiful results. The freedom,
the romance, the naturalism of the later Gothic, with the newly awakened
Classical feeling, with its grace of line and mythological lore. The rich
and delicate arabesques in which Italian designers delighted, and which
so frequently decorated, as we have seen, the borders of the early
printer, owe also something to Oriental influence, as indeed their name
indicates. The decorative beauty of these early Renaissance books were
really, therefore, the outcome of a very remarkable fusion of ideas and
styles. Printing, as an art, and book decoration attained a perfection
it has not since reached. The genius of the greatest designers of the
time was associated with the new invention, and expressed itself with
unparalleled vigour in the woodcut; while the type-founder, being still
under the influence of a fine traditional style in handwriting, was in
perfect harmony with the book decorator or illustrator. Even geometric
diagrams were given without destroying the unity of the page, as may be
seen in early editions of Euclid, and we have seen what faithful and
characteristic work was done in illustrations of plants and animals,
without loss of designing power and ornamental sense.


This happy equilibrium of artistic quality and practical adaptation after
the middle of the sixteenth century began to decline. There were
designers, like Oronce Finé and Geoffroy Tory, at Paris, who did much to
preserve the traditions in book ornament of the early Italian printers,
while adding a touch of grace and fancy of their own, but for the most
part the taste of book designers ran to seed after this period. The
classical influence, which had been only felt as one among other
influences, became more and more paramount over the designer, triumphing
over the naturalistic feeling, and over the Gothic and Eastern ornamental
feeling; so that it might be said that, whereas Mediæval designers sought
after colour and decorative beauty, Renaissance designers were influenced
by considerations of line, form, and relief. This may have been due in a
great measure to the fact that the influence of the antique and Classical
art was a sculpturesque influence, mainly gathered from statues and
relievos, gems and medals, and architectural carved ornaments, and more
through Roman than Greek sources. While suggestions from such sources
were but sparingly introduced at first, they gradually seemed to outweigh
all other motives with the later designers, whose works often suggest
that it is impossible to have too much Roman costume or too many Roman
remains, which crowd their Bible subjects, and fill their borders with
overfed pediments, corpulent scrolls, and volutes, and their interstices
with scattered fragments and attitudinizing personifications of Classical
mythology. The lavish use of such materials were enough to overweight
even vigorous designers like Virgil Solis, who though able, facile, and
versatile as he was, seems but a poor substitute for Holbein.



(_Comp. Dürer's title to Plutarch, 1513, and St. Ambrosius, 1520._)]


What was at first an inspiriting, imaginative, and refining influence in
art became finally a destructive force. The youthful spirit of the early
Renaissance became clouded and oppressed, and finally crushed with a
weight of pompous pedantry and affectation. The natural development of a
living style in art became arrested, and authority, and an endeavour to
imitate the antique, took its place.

The introduction of the copper-plate marked a new epoch in book
illustration, and wood-engraving declined with its increased adoption,
which, in the form it took, as applied to books, in the seventeenth and
eighteenth centuries, was certainly to the detriment and final extinction
of the decorative side.

[Sidenote: COPPER-PLATE.]

It has already been pointed out how a copper-plate, requiring a
different process of printing, and exhibiting as a necessary consequence
such different qualities of line and effect, cannot harmonize with type
and the conditions of the surface-printed page, since it is not in any
mechanical relation with them. This mechanical relation is really the key
to all good and therefore organic design; and therefore it is that design
was in sounder condition when mechanical conditions and relations were
simpler. A new invention often has a dislocating effect upon design. A
new element is introduced, valued for some particular facility or effect,
and it is often adopted without considering how--like a new element in a
chemical combination--it alters the relations all round.

Copper-plate engraving was presumably adopted as a method for
book-illustration for its greater fineness and precision of line, and its
greater command of complexity in detail and chiaroscuro, for its purely
pictorial qualities, in short, and its adoption corresponded to the
period of the ascendancy of the painter above other kind of artists.





As regards the books of the seventeenth century, while "of making many
books there was no end," and however interesting for other than artistic
reasons, but few would concern our immediate purpose. Woodcuts, headings,
initials, tail-pieces, and printers' ornaments continued to be used, but
greatly inferior in design and beauty of effect to those of the sixteenth
century. The copper-plates introduced are quite apart from the page
ornaments, and can hardly be considered decorative, although in the
pompous title-pages of books of this period they are frequently formal
and architectural enough, and, as a rule, founded more or less upon
the ancient arches of triumph of Imperial Rome.

Histories and philosophical works, especially towards the end of the
seventeenth and beginning of the eighteenth centuries, were embellished
with pompous portraits in frames of more or less classical joinery, with
shields of arms, the worse for the decorative decline of heraldry,
underneath. The specimen given is a good one of its type from a Venetian
book of 1562, and gives the earlier form of this kind of treatment.
Travels and topographical works increased, until by the middle of the
eighteenth century we have them on the scale of Piranesi's scenic views
of the architecture of ancient Rome.

The love of picturesqueness and natural scenery, or, perhaps, landscape
gardening, gradually developing, concentrated interest on qualities the
antithesis of constructive and inventive design, and drew the attention
more and more away from them, until the painter, pure and simple, took
all the artistic honours, and the days of the foundation of academies
only confirmed and fixed the idea of art in this restricted sense in the
public mind.

[Sidenote: HOGARTH.]

Hogarth, who availed himself of the copper-plate and publication in book
form of his pictures, was yet wholly pictorial in his sympathies, and his
instincts were dramatic and satiric rather than decorative. Able painter
and designer as he was in his own way, the interest of his work is
entirely on that side, and is rather valuable as illustrating the life
and manners of his time than as furnishing examples of book illustration,
and his work certainly has no decorative aim, although no doubt quite
harmonious in an eighteenth century room.

[Sidenote: STOTHARD.]

Chodowiecki, who did a vast quantity of steel frontispieces and
illustrations for books on a small scale, with plenty of character, must
also be regarded rather as a maker of pictures for books than as a book
decorator. He is sometimes mentioned as kindred in style to Stothard, but
Stothard was much more of an idealist, and had, too, a very graceful
decorative sense from the classical point of view. His book designs are
very numerous, chiefly engraved on steel, and always showing a very
graceful sense of line and composition. His designs to Rogers' "Poems,"
and "Italy," are well-known, and, in their earlier woodcut form, his
groups of Amorini are very charming.

Flaxman had a high sense of sculpturesque style and simplicity, and great
feeling and grace as a designer, but he can hardly be reckoned as a book
decorator. His well-known series to Homer, Hesiod, Æschylus, and Dante
are strictly distinct series of illustrative designs, to be taken by
themselves without reference to their incorporation in, or relation to, a
printed book. Their own lettering and explanatory text is engraved on the
same plate beneath them, and so far they are consistent, but are not in
any sense examples of page treatment or spacing.



[Sidenote: WILLIAM BLAKE.]

We now come to a designer of a very different type, a type, too, of a new
epoch, whatever resemblance in style and method there may be in his work
to that of his contemporaries. William Blake is distinct, and stands
alone. A poet and a seer, as well as a designer, in him seemed to awake
something of the spirit of the old illuminator. He was not content to
illustrate a book by isolated copper or steel plates apart from the text,
although in his craft as engraver he constantly carried out the work of
others. When he came to embody his own thoughts and dreams, he recurred
quite spontaneously to the methods of the maker of the MS. books. He
became his own calligrapher, illuminator and miniaturist, while availing
himself of the copper-plate (which he turned into a surface printing
block) and the printing press for the reproduction of his designs, and in
some cases for producing them in tints. His hand-coloured drawings, the
borderings and devices to his own poems, will always be things by

His treatment of the resources of black and white, and sense of page
decoration, may be best judged perhaps by a reference to his "Book of
Job," which contains a fine series of suggestive and imaginative designs.
We seem to read in Blake something of the spirit of the Mediæval
designers, through the sometimes mannered and semi-classic forms and
treatment, according to the taste of his time; while he embodies its more
daring aspiring thoughts, and the desire for simpler and more humane
conditions of life. A revolutionary fire and fervour constantly breaks
out both in his verse and in his designs, which show very various moods
and impulses, and comprehend a wide range of power and sympathy.
Sometimes mystic and prophetic, sometimes tragic, sometimes simple and

Blake, in these mixed elements, and the extraordinary suggestiveness of
his work and the freedom of his thought, seems nearer to us than others
of his contemporaries. In his sense of the decorative treatment of the
page, too, his work bears upon our purpose. In writing with his own hand
and in his own character the text of his poems, he gained the great
advantage which has been spoken of--of harmony between text and
illustration. They become a harmonious whole, in complete relation. His
woodcuts to Phillip's "Pastoral," though perhaps rough in themselves,
show what a sense of colour he could convey, and of the effective use of
white line.





Among the later friends and disciples of Blake, a kindred spirit must
have been Edward Calvert, whose book illustrations are also decorations;
the masses of black and white being effectively distributed, and they are
full of poetic feeling, imagination, and sense of colour. I am indebted
for the first knowledge of them to Mr. William Blake Richmond, whose
father, Mr. George Richmond, was a friend of William Blake and Calvert,
as well as of John Linnell and of Samuel Palmer, who carried on the
traditions of this English poetic school to our own times; especially the
latter, whose imaginative drawings--glowing sunsets over remote
hill-tops, romantic landscapes, and pastoral sentiment--were marked
features in the room of the Old Water Colour Society, up to his death in
1881. His etched illustrations to his edition of "The Eclogues of
Virgil," are a fine series of beautifully designed and poetically
conceived landscapes; but they are strictly a series of pictures printed
separately from the text. Palmer himself, in the account of the work
given by his son, when he was planning the work, wished that William
Blake had been alive to have designed his woodcut headings to the

    [3] A memoir of Edward Calvert has since been published by his
    son, fully illustrated, and giving the little engravings just
    spoken of. They were engraved by Calvert himself, it appears, and
    I am indebted to his son, Mr. John Calvert, for permission to
    print them here.

[Sidenote: THOMAS BEWICK.]

To Thomas Bewick and his school is due the revival of wood-engraving as
an art, and its adaptation to book illustration, quite distinct, of
course, from the old knife-work on the plank. Bewick had none of the
imaginative poetry of the designers just named, although plenty of humour
and satire, which he compressed into his little tail-pieces. He shows his
skill as a craftsman in the treatment of the wood block, in such works as
his "British Birds;" but here, although the wood-engraving and type may
be said to be in mechanical relation, there is no sense of decorative
beauty or ornamental spacing whatever, and, as drawings, the engravings
have none of the designer's power such as we found in the
illustrations of Gesner and Matthiolus at Basle, in the middle of the
sixteenth century. There is a very literal and plain presentment of facts
as regards the bird and its plumage, but with scarcely more than the
taste of the average stuffer and mounter in the composition of the
picture, and no regard whatever to the design of the page as a whole.





BRIXTON, 1827-8-9.]






It was, however, a great point to have asserted the claims of
wood-engraving, and demonstrated its capabilities as a method of book


Bewick founded a school of very excellent craftsmen, who carried the art
to a wonderful degree of finish. In both his and their hands it became
quite distinct from literal translation of the drawing, which, unless in
line, was treated by the engraver with a line, touch, and quality all his
own, the use of white line,[4] and the rendering of tone and tint
necessitating a certain power of design on his part, and giving him as
important a position as the engraver on steel held in regard to the
translation of a painted picture.

    [4] A striking instance of the use of white line is seen in the
    title page "Pomerium de Tempore," printed by Johann Otmar,
    Augsburg, as early as 1502. It is possible, however, that this is
    a metal engraving. It is given overleaf.

Such a book as Northcote's "Fables," published 1828-29, each fable having
a head-piece drawn on wood from Northcote's design by William Harvey--a
well-known graceful designer and copious illustrator of books up to
comparatively recent times--and with initial letters and tail-pieces of
his own, shows the outcome of the Bewick school. Finally "fineness of
line, tone, and finish--a misused word," as Mr. W. J. Linton says, "was
preferred to the simple charm of truth." The wood engravers appeared to
be anxious to vie with the steel engravers in the adornment of books, and
so far as adaptation was concerned, they had certainly all the advantage
on their side. The ornamental sense, however, had everywhere declined;
pictorial qualities, fineness of line, and delicacy of tone, were sought
after almost exclusively.


Such books as Rogers's "Poems" and "Italy," with vignettes on steel from
Thomas Stothard and J. M. W. Turner, are characteristic of the taste of
the period, and show about the high-water mark of the skill of the book
engravers on steel. Stothard's designs are the only ones which have
claims to be decorative, and he is always a graceful designer. Turner's
landscapes, exquisite in themselves, and engraved with marvellous
delicacy, do not in any sense decorate the page, and from that point of
view are merely shapeless blots of printers' ink of different tones upon
it, while the letterpress bears no relation whatever to the picture in
method of printing or design, and has no independent beauty of its own.
Book illustrations of this type--and it was a type which largely
prevailed during the second quarter of the century--are simply pictures
without frames.



[Sidenote: W. J. LINTON.]

No survey of book illustration would be complete which contained no
mention of William James Linton--whom I have already quoted. I may be
allowed to speak of him with a peculiar regard and respect, as I may
claim him as a very kind early friend and master. As a boy I was, in
fact, apprenticed to him for the space of three years, not indeed with
the object of wielding the graver, but rather with that of learning the
craft of a draughtsman on wood. This, of course, was before the days of
the use of photography, which has since practically revolutionized the
system not only of drawing for books but of engraving also. It was then
necessary to draw on the block itself, and to thoroughly understand what
kind of work could be treated by the engraver.

I shall always regard those early years in Mr. Linton's office as of
great value to me, as, despite changes of method and new inventions, it
gave me a thorough knowledge of the mechanical conditions of
wood-engraving at any rate, and has implanted a sense of necessary
relationship between design, material, and method of production--of art
and craft, in fact--which cannot be lost, and has had its effect in many

Mr. Linton, too, is himself a notable historic link, carrying on the lamp
of the older traditions of wood-engraving to these degenerate days, when
whatever wonders of literal translation, and imitation of chalk,
charcoal, or palette and brushes, it has exhibited under spell of
American enterprise--and I am far from denying its achievements as
such--it cannot be said to have preserved the distinction and
independence of the engraver as an artist or original designer in any
sense. When not extinguished altogether by some form of automatic
reproductive process, he is reduced to the office of "process-server"--he
becomes the slave of the pictorial artist. The picturesque sketcher loves
his "bits" and "effects," which, moreover, however sensational and
sparkling they may be in themselves, have no reference as a rule to the
decoration of the page, being in this sense no more than more or less
adroit splashes of ink upon it, which the text, torn into an irregularly
ragged edge, seems instinctively to shrink from touching, squeezing
itself together like the passengers in a crowded omnibus might do,
reluctantly to admit a chimney-sweep.

While, by his early training and practice, he is united with the Bewick
school, Mr. Linton--himself a poet, a social and political thinker, a
scholar, as well as designer and engraver--having been associated with
the best-known engravers and designers for books during the middle of the
century, and having had art of such a different temper and tendency as
that of Rossetti pass through his hands, and seen the effect of many new
impulses, is finally face to face with what he himself has called the
"American New Departure." He is therefore peculiarly and eminently
qualified for the work to which he has addressed himself--his great work
on "The Masters of Wood Engraving," which appeared in 1889, and is in
every way complete as a history, learned in technique, and sumptuous as a

I have not mentioned Gustave Doré, who fills so large a space as an
illustrator of books, because though possessed of a weird imagination,
and a poetic feeling for dramatic landscapes and grotesque characters, as
well as extraordinary pictorial invention, the mass of his work is purely
scenic, and he never shows the decorative sense, or considers the design
in relation to the page. His best and most spirited and sincere work is
represented by his designs in the "Contes Drolatiques."


The new movement in painting in England, known as the pre-Raphaelite
movement, which dates from about the middle years of our century, was in
every way so remarkable and far-reaching, that it is not surprising that
it should leave its mark upon the illustrations of books; particularly
upon that form of luxury known as the modern gift-book, which, in the
course of the twenty years following 1850, often took the shape of
selections from or editions of the poets plentifully sprinkled with
little pictorial vignettes engraved on wood. Birket Foster, John Gilbert,
and John Tenniel were leading contributors to these collections.

In 1857 appeared an edition of "Tennyson's Poems" from the house of
Moxon. This work, while having the general characteristics of the
prevailing taste--an accidental collection of designs, the work of
designers of varying degrees of substance, temper, and feeling, casually
arranged, and without the slightest feeling for page decoration or
harmony of text and illustration--yet possessed one remarkable feature
which gives it a distinction among other collections, in that it contains
certain designs of the chief leaders of the pre-Raphaelite movement, D.
G. Rossetti, Millais and Holman Hunt.



I give one of the Rossetti designs, "Sir Galahad"; the "S. Cecilia" and
the "Morte d'Arthur" were engraved by the Brothers Dalziel, the "Sir
Galahad" by Mr. W. J. Linton. It seems to me that the last gives the
spirit and feeling of Rossetti, as well as his peculiar touch, far more
successfully. These designs, in their poetic imagination, their richness
of detail, sense of colour, passionate, mystic, and romantic feeling, and
earnestness of expression mark a new epoch. They are decorative in
themselves, and, though quite distinct in feeling, and original, they are
more akin to the work of the Mediæval miniaturist than anything that had
been seen since his days. Even here, however, there is no attempt to
consider the page or to make the type harmonize with the picture, or to
connect it by any bordering or device with the book as a whole, and being
sandwiched with drawings of a very different tendency, their effect is
much spoiled. In one or two other instances where Rossetti lent his hand
to book illustration, however, he is fully mindful of the decorative
effect of the page. I remember a title page to a book of poems by Miss
Christina Rossetti, "Goblin Market," which emphatically showed this. The
title-page designed for his "Early Italian Poets" (given here), and his
sonnet on the sonnet too, in which the design encloses the text of the
poem, written out by himself, are other instances.




Some of the designs made for a later work (Dalziel's Bible Gallery, about
1865-70) also show the effect of the pre-Raphaelite influence, as well
as, in the case of the designs of Sir Frederic Leighton and Mr. Poynter,
the influence of Continental ideas and training. I saw some of these
drawings on the wood at the time, I remember. For study and research, and
richness of resource in archæological detail, as well as firmness of
drawing, I thought Mr. Poynter's designs were perhaps the most
remarkable. A strikingly realized picture, and a bright and successful
wood-engraving, is Ford Madox Brown's design of "Elijah and the Widow's
Son." There is a dramatic intensity of expression about his other one
also, "The Death of Eglon." Still, at best, we find that these are but
carefully studied pictures rendered on the wood. The pre-Raphaelite
designs show the most decorative sense, but they are now issued quite
distinct from the page, whatever was the original intention, and while
they may, as to scale and treatment, be justly considered as book
illustrations, and as examples of our more important efforts in that
direction at that time, they are not page decorations.

One may speak here of an admirable artist we have lost, Mr. Albert Moore,
who so distinguished himself for his refined decorative sense in
painting, and the outline group of figures given here shows that he felt
the conditions of the book page and the press also.

[Illustration: ALBERT MOORE.


[Sidenote: HENRY HOLIDAY.]

Mr. Henry Holiday is also a decorative artist of great refinement and
facility. He has not done very much in book illustration, but his
illustrations to Lewis Carroll's "Hunting of the Snark" were admirable.
His decorative feeling in black and white, however, is marked, as may be
seen in the title to "Aglaia."

[Illustration: HENRY HOLIDAY.


[Sidenote: TOY BOOKS.]

As, until recently, I suppose I was scarcely known out of the nursery, it
is meet that I should offer some remarks upon children's books. Here,
undoubtedly, there has been a remarkable development and great activity
of late years. We all remember the little cuts that adorned the books of
our childhood. The ineffaceable quality of these early pictorial and
literary impressions afford the strongest plea for good art in the
nursery and the schoolroom. Every child, one might say every human being,
takes in more through his eyes than his ears, and I think much more
advantage might be taken of this fact.

If I may be personal, let me say that my first efforts in children's
books were made in association with Mr. Edmund Evans. Here, again, I was
fortunate to be in association with the craft of colour-printing, and I
got to understand its possibilities. The books for babies, current at
that time--about 1865 to 1870--of the cheaper sort called toy books were
not very inspiriting. These were generally careless and unimaginative
woodcuts, very casually coloured by hand, dabs of pink and emerald green
being laid on across faces and frocks with a somewhat reckless aim. There
was practically no choice between such as these and cheap German
highly-coloured lithographs. The only attempt at decoration I remember
was a set of coloured designs to nursery rhymes by Mr. H. S. Marks, which
had been originally intended for cabinet panels. Bold outlines and flat
tints were used. Mr. Marks has often shown his decorative sense in book
illustration and printed designs in colour, but I have not been able to
obtain any for this book.

It was, however, the influence of some Japanese printed pictures given to
me by a lieutenant in the navy, who had brought them home from there as
curiosities, which I believe, though I drew inspiration from many
sources, gave the real impulse to that treatment in strong outlines, and
flat tints and solid blacks, which I adopted with variations in books
of this kind from that time (about 1870) onwards. Since then I have had
many rivals for the favour of the nursery constituency, notably my late
friend Randolph Caldecott, and Miss Kate Greenaway, though in both cases
their aim lies more in the direction of character study, and their work
is more of a pictorial character than strictly decorative. The little
preface heading from his "Bracebridge Hall" gives a good idea of
Caldecott's style when his aim was chiefly decorative. Miss Greenaway is
the most distinctly so perhaps in the treatment of some of her calendars.



[Illustration: KATE GREENAWAY.




Children's books and so-called children's books hold a peculiar position.
They are attractive to designers of an imaginative tendency, for in a
sober and matter-of-fact age they afford perhaps the only outlet for
unrestricted flights of fancy open to the modern illustrator, who likes
to revolt against "the despotism of facts." While on children's books,
the poetic feeling in the designs of E. V. B. may be mentioned, and I
mind me of some charming illustrations to a book of Mr. George
Macdonald's, "At the Back of the North Wind," designed by Mr. Arthur
Hughes, who in these and other wood engraved designs shows, no less than
in his paintings, how refined and sympathetic an artist he is. Mr. Robert
Bateman, too, designed some charming little woodcuts, full of poetic
feeling and controlled by unusual taste. They were used in Macmillan's
"Art at Home" series, though not, I believe, originally intended for it.

[Illustration: ARTHUR HUGHES.




There is no doubt that the opening of Japanese ports to Western commerce,
whatever its after effects--including its effect upon the arts of Japan
itself--has had an enormous influence on European and American art. Japan
is, or was, a country very much, as regards its arts and handicrafts with
the exception of architecture, in the condition of a European country in
the Middle Ages, with wonderfully skilled artists and craftsmen in all
manner of work of the decorative kind, who were under the influence of a
free and informal naturalism. Here at least was a living art, an art of
the people, in which traditions and craftsmanship were unbroken, and the
results full of attractive variety, quickness, and naturalistic force.
What wonder that it took Western artists by storm, and that its effects
have become so patent, though not always happy, ever since. We see
unmistakable traces of Japanese influences, however, almost
everywhere--from the Parisian impressionist painter to the Japanese fan
in the corner of trade circulars, which shows it has been adopted as a
stock printers' ornament. We see it in the sketchy blots and lines, and
vignetted naturalistic flowers which are sometimes offered as page
decorations, notably in American magazines and fashionable etchings. We
have caught the vices of Japanese art certainly, even if we have
assimilated some of the virtues.

[Illustration: ARTHUR HUGHES.


In the absence of any really noble architecture or substantial
constructive sense, the Japanese artists are not safe guides as
designers. They may be able to throw a spray of leaves or a bird or fish
across a blank panel or sheet of paper, drawing them with such consummate
skill and certainty that it may delude us into the belief that it is
decorative design; but if an artist of less skill essays to do the like
the mistake becomes obvious. Granted they have a decorative sense--the
_finesse_ which goes to the placing of a flower in a pot, of hanging a
garland on a wall, or of placing a mat or a fan--taste, in short, that is
a different thing from real constructive power of design, and
satisfactory filling of spaces.

[Illustration: ROBERT BATEMAN.


(MACMILLAN, 1876.)]

When we come to their books, therefore, marvellous as they are, and full
of beauty and suggestion--apart from their naturalism, _grotesquerie_,
and humour--they do not furnish fine examples of page decoration as a
rule. The fact that their text is written vertically, however, must be
allowed for. This, indeed, converts their page into a panel, and their
printed books become rather what we should consider sets of designs for
decorating light panels, and extremely charming as such.

[Illustration: ROBERT BATEMAN.


(MACMILLAN, 1877.)]

These drawings of Hokusai's (_see_ Nos. 10 and 11, Appendix), the most
vigorous and prolific of the more modern and popular school, are striking
enough and fine enough, in their own way, and the decorative sense is
never absent; controlled, too, by the dark border-line, they do fill the
page, which is not the case always with the flowers and birds. However, I
believe these holes, blanks, and spaces to let are only tolerable in a
book because the drawing where it does occur is so skilful (except where
the effect is intentionally open and light); and from tolerating we grow
to like them, I suppose, and take them for signs of mastery and
decorative skill. In their smaller applied ornamental designs, however,
the Japanese often show themselves fully aware of a systematic plan or
geometric base: and there is usually some hidden geometric relation of
line in some of their apparently accidental compositions. Their books of
crests and pattern plans show indeed a careful study of geometric shapes,
and their controlling influence in designing.


As regards the history and use of printing, the Japanese had it from the
Chinese, who invented the art of printing from wooden blocks in the
sixth century. "We have no record," says Professor Douglas,[5] "as to the
date when metal type was first used in China, but we find Korean books
printed as early as 1317 with movable clay or wooden type, and just a
century later we have a record of a fount of metal type being cast to
print an 'Epitome of the Eighteen Historical Records of China.'" Printing
is supposed to have been adopted in Japan "after the first invasion of
the Korea by the armies of Hideyoshi, in the end of the sixteenth
century, when large quantities of movable type books were brought back by
one of his generals, which formed the model upon which the Japanese

    [5] Guide to the Chinese and Japanese Illustrated Books in the
    British Museum.

    [6] Satow. "History of Printing in Japan."

[Illustration: ROBERT BATEMAN.


(MACMILLAN, 1876.)]

I have mentioned the American development of wood-engraving. Its
application to magazine illustration seems certainly to have developed or
to have occurred with the appearance of very clever draughtsmen from the
picturesque and literal point of view.

[Illustration: ROBERT BATEMAN.


(MACMILLAN, 1876.)]


The admirable and delicate architectural and landscape drawings of Mr.
Joseph Pennell, for instance, are well known, and, as purely illustrative
work, fresh, crisp in drawing, and original in treatment, giving
essential points of topography and local characteristics (with a happy if
often quaint and unexpected selection of point of view, and pictorial
limits), it would be difficult to find their match, but very small
consideration or consciousness is shown for the page. If he will pardon
my saying so, in some instances the illustrations are, or used to be,
often daringly driven through the text, scattering it right and left,
like the effect of a coach and four upon a flock of sheep. In some of his
more recent work, notably in his bolder drawings such as those in the
"Daily Chronicle," he appears to have considered the type relation much
more, and shows, especially in some of his skies, a feeling for a
radiating arrangement of line.


Our American cousins have taught us another mode of treatment in magazine
pages. It is what I have elsewhere described as the "card-basket style."
A number of naturalistic sketches are thrown accidentally together, the
upper ones hiding the under ones partly, and to give variety the corner
is occasionally turned down. There has been a great run on this idea of
late years, but I fancy it is a card trick about "played out."

However opinions may vary, I think there cannot be a doubt that in Elihu
Vedder we have an instance of an American artist of great imaginative
powers, and undoubtedly a designer of originality and force. This is
sufficiently proved from his large work--the illustrations to the
"Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam." Although the designs have no Persian
character about them which one would have thought the poem and its
imagery would naturally have suggested, yet they are a fine series, and
show much decorative sense and dramatic power, and are quite modern in
feeling. His designs for the cover of "The Century Magazine" show taste
and decorative feeling in the combination of figures with lettering.

Mr. Edwin Abbey is another able artist, who has shown considerable care
for his illustrated page, in some cases supplying his own lettering;
though he has been growing more pictorial of late: Mr. Alfred Parsons
also, though he too often seems more drawn to the picture than the
decoration. Mr. Heywood Sumner shows a charming decorative sense and
imaginative feeling, as well as humour. On the purely ornamental side,
the accomplished decorations of Mr. Lewis Day exhibit both ornamental
range and resource, which, though in general devoted to other objects,
are conspicuous enough in certain admirable book and magazine covers he
has designed.

[Illustration: HEYWOOD SUMNER.


[Illustration: CHARLES KEENE.


(_By permission of Messrs. Bradbury, Agnew and Co._)]

[Illustration: HEYWOOD SUMNER.



"The English Illustrated Magazine," under Mr. Comyns Carr's editorship,
by its use of both old and modern headings, initials and ornaments, did
something towards encouraging the taste for decorative design in books.
Among the artists who designed pages therein should be named Henry Ryland
and Louis Davis, both showing graceful ornamental feeling, the children
of the latter artist being very charming.

[Illustration: LOUIS DAVIS.


[Illustration: HENRY RYLAND.


But it would need much more space to attempt to do justice to the ability
of my contemporaries, especially in the purely illustrative division,
than I am able to give.

[Sidenote: "ONCE A WEEK."]

The able artists of "Punch," however, from John Leech to Linley
Sambourne, have done much to keep alive a vigorous style of drawing in
line, which, in the case of Mr. Sambourne, is united with great
invention, graphic force, and designing power. In speaking of "Punch,"
one ought not to forget either the important part played by "Once a Week"
in introducing many first-rate artists in line. In its early days we had
Charles Keene illustrating Charles Reade's "Good Fight," with much
feeling for the decorative effect of the old German woodcut. Such
admirable artists as M. J. Lawless and Frederick Sandys--the latter
especially distinguished for his splendid line drawings in "Once a Week"
and "The Cornhill;" one of his finest is here given, "The Old Chartist,"
which accompanied a poem by Mr. George Meredith. Indeed, it is impossible
to speak too highly of Mr. Sandys' draughtsmanship and power of
expression by means of line; he is one of our modern English masters who
has never, I think, had justice done to him.

[Illustration: F. SANDYS.


[Illustration: M. J. LAWLESS.

"DEAD LOVE." ("ONCE A WEEK," 1862.)]

I can only just briefly allude to certain powerful and original modern
designers of Germany, where indeed, the old vigorous traditions of
woodcut and illustrative drawing seem to have been kept more unbroken
than elsewhere.

On the purely character-drawing, pictorial and illustrative side, there
is of course Menzel, thoroughly modern, realistic, and dramatic. I am
thinking more perhaps of such men as Alfred Rethel, whose designs of
"Death the Friend" and "Death the Enemy," two large woodcuts, are well
known. I remember also a very striking series of designs of his, a kind
of modern "Dance of Death," which appeared about 1848, I think. Schwind
is another whose designs to folk tales are thoroughly German in spirit
and imagination, and style of drawing. Oscar Pletsch, too, is
remarkable for his feeling for village life and children, and many of his
illustrations have been reproduced in this country. More recent evidence,
and more directly in the decorative direction, of the vigour and
ornamental skill of German designers, is to be found in those picturesque
calendars, designed by Otto Hupp, which come from Munich, and show
something very like the old feeling of Burgmair, especially in the
treatment of the heraldry.

I have ventured to give a page or two here from my own books, "Grimm,"
"The Sirens Three," and others, which serve at least to show two very
different kinds of page treatment. In the "Grimm" the picture is inclosed
in formal and rectangular lines, with medallions of flowers at the four
corners, the title and text being written on scrolls above and below. In
"The Sirens Three" a much freer and more purely ornamental treatment is
adopted, and a bolder and more open line. A third, the frontispiece of
"The Necklace of Princess Fiorimonde," by Miss de Morgan, is more of a
simple pictorial treatment, though strictly decorative in its scheme of
line and mass.


The facile methods of photographic-automatic reproduction certainly give
an opportunity to the designer to write out his own text in the character
that pleases him, and that accords with his design, and so make his page
a consistent whole from a decorative point of view, and I venture to
think when this is done a unity of effect is gained for the page not
possible in any other way.

Indeed, the photograph, with all its allied discoveries and its
application to the service of the printing press, may be said to be as
important a discovery in its effects on art and books as was the
discovery of printing itself. It has already largely transformed the
system of the production of illustrations and designs for books,
magazines, and newspapers, and has certainly been the means of securing
to the artist the advantage of possession of his original, while its
fidelity, in the best processes, is, of course, very valuable.

Its influence, however, on artistic style and treatment has been, to my
mind, of more doubtful advantage. The effect on painting is palpable
enough, but so far as painting becomes photographic, the advantage is on
the side of the photograph. It has led in illustrative work to the method
of painting in black and white, which has taken the place very much of
the use of line, and through this, and by reason of its having fostered
and encouraged a different way of regarding nature--from the point of
view of accidental aspect, light and shade, and tone--it has confused and
deteriorated, I think, the faculty of inventive design, and the sense of
ornament and line; having concentrated artistic interest on the literal
realization of certain aspects of superficial facts, and instantaneous
impressions instead of ideas, and the abstract treatment of form and

[Illustration: WALTER CRANE.


[Illustration: WALTER CRANE.


[Illustration: WALTER CRANE.



This, however, may be as much the tendency of an age as the result of
photographic invention, although the influence of the photograph must
count as one of the most powerful factors of that tendency. Thought and
vision divide the world of art between them--our thoughts follow
our vision, our vision is influenced by our thoughts. A book may be
the home of both thought and vision. Speaking figuratively, in regard to
book decoration, some are content with a rough shanty in the woods, and
care only to get as close to nature in her more superficial aspects as
they can. Others would surround their house with a garden indeed, but
they demand something like an architectural plan. They would look at a
frontispiece like a façade; they would take hospitable encouragement from
the title-page as from a friendly inscription over the porch; they would
hang a votive wreath at the dedication, and so pass on into the hall of
welcome, take the author by the hand and be led by him and his artist
from room to room, as page after page is turned, fairly decked and
adorned with picture, and ornament, and device; and, perhaps, finding it
a dwelling after his desire, the guest is content to rest in the ingle
nook in the firelight of the spirit of the author or the play of fancy of
the artist; and, weaving dreams in the changing lights and shadows, to
forget life's rough way and the tempestuous world outside.



Since the three Cantor Lectures, which form the substance of the
foregoing chapters, were delivered by me at the rooms of the Society of
Arts, some six or seven years have elapsed, and they have been remarkable
for a pronounced revival of activity and interest in the art of the
printer and the decorative illustrator, the paper-maker, the binder, and
all the crafts connected with the production of tasteful and ornate

Publishers and printers have shown a desire to return to simpler and
earlier standards of taste, and in the choice and arrangement of the type
to take a leaf out of the book of some of the early professors of the
craft. There has been a passion for tall copies and handmade paper; for
delicate bindings, and first editions.

There has grown up, too, quite a literature about the making of the book
beautiful--whereof the Ex-Libris Series alone is witness. We have,
besides, the history of Early Printed Books by Mr. Gordon Duff, of Early
Illustrated Books by Mr. Pollard. The Book-plate has been looked after by
Mr. Egerton Castle, and by a host of eager collectors ever since. Mr.
Pennell is well known as the tutelary genius who takes charge of
illustrators, and discourses upon them at large, and Mr. Strange bids us,
none too soon, to become acquainted with our alphabets. I have not yet
heard of any specialist taking up his parable upon "end papers," but,
altogether, the book has never perhaps had so much writing outside of it,
as it were, before.


A brilliant band of illustrators and ornamentists have appeared, too, and
nearly every month or so we hear of a new genius in black and white, who
is to eclipse all others. For all that, even in the dark ages, between
the mid-nineteenth century and the early eighties, one or two printers or
publishers of taste have from time to time attempted to restrain the wild
excesses of the trade-printer, with his terribly monotonous novelties in
founts of type, alternately shouting or whispering, anon in the crushing
and aggressive heaviness of block capitals, and now in the attenuated
droop of italics. Sad havoc has been played with the decorative dignity
of the page, indeed, as well as with the form and breed of roman and
gothic letters: one might have imagined that some mischievous printer's
devil had thrown the apple of discord among the letters of the alphabet,
so ingeniously ugly were so many modern so-called "fancy" types.

We have had good work from the Edinburgh houses, from Messrs. R. and R.
Clark, and Messrs. Constable, and in London from the Chiswick Press, for
instance, ever since the old days of its connection with the tasteful and
well printed volumes from the house of Pickering. Various artists, too,
in association with their book designs, from D. G. Rossetti onwards, have
designed their own lettering to be in decorative harmony with their
designs. The Century Guild, with its "Hobby Horse" and its artists, like
Mr. Horne and Mr. Selwyn Image, did much to keep alive true taste in
printing and book decoration, when they were but little understood.[7]
There have been printers, too, such as Mr. Daniel at Oxford, and De Vinne
at New York, who have from different points of view brought care and
selection to the choice of type and the printing of books, and have
adapted or designed type.

    [7] And they elicited a response from across the water in the
    shape of "The Knight Errant," the work of a band of young
    enthusiasts at Boston, Mass., of which Mr. Lee and Mr. Goodhue may
    be named as leading spirits--the latter being the designer of the
    cover of "The Knight Errant," and the former the printer.

[Illustration: SELWYN IMAGE.



But the field for extensive artistic experiment in these directions was
tolerably clear when Mr. William Morris turned his attention to printing,
and, in 1891, founded the Kelmscott Press.

So far as I am aware, he has been the first to approach the craft of
practical printing from the point of view of the artist, and although, no
doubt, the fact of being a man of letters as well was an extra advantage,
his particular success in the art of printing is due to the former
qualification. A long and distinguished practice as a designer in other
matters of decorative art brought him to the nice questions of type
design, its place upon the page, and its relation to printed ornament and
illustration, peculiarly well equipped; while his historic knowledge and
discrimination, and the possession of an extraordinarily rich and choice
collection of both mediæval MSS. and early printed books afforded him an
abundant choice of the best models.

In the results which have been produced at the Kelmscott press we trace
the effect of all these influences, acting under the strongest personal
predilection, and a mediæval bias (in an artistic sense) which may be
said to be almost exclusive.

The Kelmscott roman type ("golden") perhaps rather suggests that it was
designed to anticipate and to provide against the demand of readers or
book fanciers who could stand nothing else than roman, while the heart of
the printer really hankered after black letter. But compare this "golden"
type with most modern lower case founts, up to the date of its use, and
its advantages both in form and substance are remarkable. Modern type,
obeying, I suppose, a resistless law of evolution, had reached,
especially with American printers, the last stage of attenuation. The
type of the Kelmscott press is an emphatic and practical protest against
this attenuation; just as its bold black and white ornaments and
decorative woodcuts in open line are protests against the undue thinness,
atmospheric effect, and diaphanous vignetting by photographic process and
tone-block of much modern illustration, which may indeed _illustrate_,
but does not _ornament_ a book. The paper, too, hand-made,
rough-surfaced, and tough, is in equally strong contrast to the shiny
hot-pressed machine-made paper, hitherto so much in vogue for the finer
kinds of printing, and by which it alone became possible. The two
kinds--the two ideals of printing--are as far apart as the poles. Those
who like the smooth and thin, will not like the bold and rough; but it
looks as if the Kelmscott standard had marked the turn of the tide, and
that, judging from the signs of its influence upon printers and
publishers generally, the feeling is running strongly in that direction.
(One would think the human eyesight would benefit also.) This is the more
remarkable since the Kelmscott books are by no means issued at "popular
prices," are limited in number, and for the most part are hardly for the
general reader--unless that ubiquitous person is more erudite and
omnivorous than is commonly credited.



Books, however, which may be called monumental in the national and
general sense, have been printed at the Kelmscott press, such as
Shakespeare's "Poems," More's "Utopia"; and Mr. Morris's _magnum opus_,
the folio Chaucer, enriched by the designs of Burne-Jones, has recently
been completed.[8]

    [8] Completed, indeed, it might almost be said, with the life of
    the craftsman. It is sad to have to record, while these pages were
    passing through the press, our master printer--one of the greatest
    Englishmen of our time--is no more.

In Mr. Morris's ornaments and initials, nearly always admirably
harmonious in their quantities with the character and mass of the type,
we may perhaps trace mixed influences in design. In the rich black and
white scroll and floral borders surrounding the title and first pages, we
seem to see the love of close-filling and interlacement characteristic of
Celtic and Byzantine work, with a touch of the feeling of the practical
textile designer, which comes out again in the up-and-down, detached bold
page ornaments, though here combined with suggestions from early English
illuminated MS.

These influences, however, only add to the distinctive character and
richness of the effect, and no attempt is made to get beyond the simple
conditions of bold black and white designs for the woodcut and the press.

Mr. Morris adopts the useful canon in printing that the true page is what
the open book displays--what is generally termed a double page. He
considers them practically as two columns of type, necessarily separate
owing to the construction of the book, but together as it lies open,
forming a page of type, only divided by the narrow margin where the
leaves are inserted in the back of the covers. We thus get the _recto_
and the _verso_ pages or columns, each with their distinctive proportions
of margin, as they turn to the right or the left from the centre of the
book--the narrowest margins being naturally inwards and at the top, the
broadest those outwards and at the foot, which latter should be deepest
of all. It may be called _the handle_ of the book, and there is reason in
the broad margin, though also gracious to the eye, since the hand may
hold the book without covering any of the type.

It is really the due consideration of the necessity of these little
utilities in the construction and use of a thing which enables the modern
designer--separated as he is from the actual maker--to preserve that
distinctive and organic character in any work so valuable, and always so
fruitful in artistic suggestion, and this I think holds true of all
design in association with handicraft.

The more immediate and intimate--one might occasionally say
imitative--influence of the Kelmscott press may be seen in the
extremely interesting work of a group of young artists who own
their training to the Birmingham School of Art, as developed under the
taste and ability of Mr. Taylor. Three of these, Mr. C. M. Gere, Mr. E.
H. New, and Mr. Gaskin, have designed illustrations for some of Mr.
Morris's Kelmscott books, so that the connection of ideas is perfectly
sequent and natural, and it is only as might be expected that the school
should have the courage of their artistic opinions, and boldly carry into
practice the results of their Kelmscott inspirations, by printing a
journal themselves, "The Quest."

[Illustration: C. M. GERE.


[Illustration: (_By permission of the Corporation of Liverpool._) C. M.


[Illustration: ARTHUR GASKIN.


[Illustration: EDMUND H. NEW.



Mr. Gere, Mr. Gaskin, and Mr. New may be said to be the leaders of the
Birmingham School. Mr. Gere has engraved on wood some of his own designs,
and he thoroughly realizes the ornamental value of bold and open line
drawing in association with lettering, and is a careful and conscientious
draughtsman and painter besides. A typical instance of his work is the
"Finding of St. George."

Mr. Gaskin's Christmas book, "King Wenceslas," is, perhaps, his best work
so far as we have seen. The designs are simple and bold, and in harmony
with the subject, and good in decorative character. His illustrations to
Hans Christian Andersen's "Fairy Tales" are full of a naïve romantic
feeling, and have much sense of the decorative possibilities of black and
white drawing. Mrs. Gaskin's designs for children's books show a quaint
fancy and ornamental feeling characteristic of the school.

Mr. New's feeling is for quaint streets and old buildings, which he draws
with conscientious thoroughness, and attention to characteristic details
of construction and local variety, without any reliance on accidental
atmospheric effects, but using a firm open line and broad, simple
arrangements of light and shade, which give them a decorative look as
book illustrations. It is owing to these qualities that they are
ornamental, and not to any actual ornament. Indeed, in those cases where
he has introduced borders to frame his pictures, he does not seem to me
to be so successful as an ornamentist pure and simple, though in his
latest work, the illustrations to Mr. Lane's edition of Isaac Walton's
"Compleat Angler," there are pretty headings and tasteful title scrolls,
as well as good drawings of places.

[Illustration: INIGO THOMAS.


The question of border is, however, always a most difficult one. One
might compare the illustrative drawings of architecture and gardens of
Mr. Inigo Thomas in Mr. Reginald Blomfield's work on gardens, with Mr.
New, as showing, with considerable decorative feeling, and feeling for
the subject, a very different method of drawing, one might say more
pictorial in a sense, the line being much thinner and closer, and in
effect greyer and darker. The introduction of the titles helps the
ornamental effect.

[Illustration: INIGO THOMAS.


Among the leading artists of the Birmingham School must be mentioned Mr.
H. Payne, Mr. Bernard Sleigh and Mr. Mason for their romantic feeling in
story illustrations; Miss Bradley for her inventive treatment of crowds
and groups of children; Miss Winifred Smith for her groups of children
and quaint feeling; Mrs. Arthur Gaskin also for her pretty quaint fancies
in child-life; Miss Mary Newill for her ornamental rendering of natural
landscape, as in the charming drawing of Porlock; and Miss Celia Levetus
for her decorative feeling. It may, at any rate, I think be claimed for
it, that both in method, sentiment, and subject, it is peculiarly
English, and represents a sincere attempt to apply what may be called
traditional principles in decoration to book illustration.

Among the recent influences tending to foster the feeling for the
treatment of black and white design and book illustrations, _primarily
from the decorative point of view_, the Arts and Crafts Exhibition
Society may claim to have had some share, and they have endeavoured, by
the tendency of the work selected for exhibition as well as by papers and
lectures by various members on this point, to emphasize its importance
and to spread clear principles, even at the risk of appearing partial
and biased in one direction, and leaving many clever artists in black and
white unrepresented.


Now for graphic ability, originality, and variety, there can be no doubt
of the vigour of our modern black and white artists. It is the most vital
and really popular form of art at the present day, and it, far more than
painting, deals with the actual life of the people; it is, too,
thoroughly democratic in its appeal, and, associated with the newspaper
and magazine, goes everywhere--at least, as far as there are shillings
and pence--and where often no other form of art is accessible.

But graphic power and original point of view is not always associated
with the decorous ornamental sense. It is, in fact, often its very
antithesis, although, on the other hand, good graphic drawing, governed
by a sense of style to which economy or simplicity of line often leads,
has ornamental quality.

I should say at once that sincere graphic or naturalistic drawing, with
individual character and style, is always preferable to merely lifeless,
purely imitative, and tame repetition in so-called decorative work.

[Illustration: HENRY PAYNE.


[Illustration: F. MASON.


[Illustration: GERTRUDE M. BRADLEY.


[Illustration: MARY NEWILL.



While I claim that certain decorative considerations such as plan, scale
balance, proportion, quantity, relation to type, are essential to really
beautiful book illustration, I do not in the least wish to ignore the
clever work of many contemporary illustrators because they only care to
be illustrators pure and simple, and prefer to consider a page of paper,
or any part of it unoccupied by type, as a fair field for a
graphic sketch, with no more consideration for its relation to the page
itself or the rest of the book, than an artist usually feels when he jots
down something from life in his sketch-book.

[Illustration: CELIA LEVETUS.


I think that book illustration should be something more than a collection
of accidental sketches. Since one cannot ignore the constructive organic
element in the formation--the idea of the book itself--it is so far
inartistic to leave it out of account in designing work intended to form
an essential or integral part of that book.

I do not, however, venture to assert that decorative illustration can
only be done in _one_ way--if so, there would be an end in that direction
to originality or individual feeling. There is nothing absolute in art,
and one cannot dogmatize, but it seems to me that in all designs certain
conditions must be acknowledged, and not only acknowledged but accepted
freely, just as one would accept the rules of a game before attempting to
play it.

The rules, the conditions of a sport or game, give it its own peculiar
character and charm, and by means of them the greatest amount of pleasure
and keenest excitement is obtained in the long run, just as by observing
the conditions, the limitations of an art or handicraft, we shall extract
the greatest amount of pleasure for the worker and beauty for the

[Sidenote: THE DIAL.]

Many remarkable designers in black and white of individuality and
distinction, and with more or less strong feeling for decorative
treatment, have arisen during the last few years. Among these ought to be
named Messrs. Ricketts and Shannon, whose joint work upon "The Dial" is
sufficiently well known. They, too, have taken up printing as an art, Mr.
Ricketts having designed his own type and engraved his own drawings on
wood. They are excellent craftsmen as well as inventive and original
artists of remarkable cultivation, imaginative feeling and taste. There
is a certain suggestion of inspiration from William Blake in Mr. Shannon
sometimes, and of German or Italian fifteenth century woodcuts in the
work of Mr. Ricketts. The weird designs of Mr. Reginald Savage should
also be noted, as well as the charming woodcuts of Mr. Sturge Moore.

[Illustration: C S. RICKETTS.


Another very remarkable designer in black and white is Mr. Aubrey
Beardsley. His work shows a delicate sense of line, and a bold decorative
use of solid blacks, as well as an extraordinarily weird fancy and
grotesque imagination, which seems occasionally inclined to run in a
morbid direction. Although, as in the case of most artists, one can trace
certain influences which have helped in the formation of their style,
there can be no doubt of his individuality and power. The designs for the
work by which Mr. Beardsley became first known, I believe, the "Morte
d'Arthur," alone are sufficient to show this. There appears to be a
strong mediæval decorative feeling, mixed with a curious weird
Japanese-like spirit of _diablerie_ and grotesque, as of the opium-dream,
about his work; but considered as book-decoration, though it is
effective, the general abstract treatment of line, and the use of large
masses of black and white, rather suggest designs intended to be carried
out in some other material, such as inlay or enamel, for instance, in
which they would gain the charm of beautiful surface and material, and
doubtless look very well. Mr. Beardsley shows different influences in his
later work in the "Savoy," some of which suggests a study of eighteenth
century designers, such as Callot or Hogarth, and old English mezzotints.

[Sidenote: THE STUDIO.]


"The Studio," which, while under the able and sympathetic editorship of
Mr. Gleeson White, first called attention (by the medium of Mr. Pennell's
pen) to Mr. Beardsley's work, has done good service in illustrating the
progress of decorative art, both at home and abroad, and has from time to
time introduced several young artists whose designs have thus become
known to the public for the first time, such as Mr. Patten Wilson, Mr.
Laurence Housman, Mr. Fairfax Muckley, and Mr. Charles Robinson, who all
have their own distinctive feeling: the first for bold line drawings
after the old German method with an abundance of detail; the second for
remarkable taste in ornament, and a humorous and poetic fancy; the third
for a very graceful feeling for line and the decorative use of black and
white--especially in the treatment of trees and branch work, leaves and
flowers associated with figures.

Mr. J. D. Batten has distinguished himself for some years past as an
inventive illustrator of Fairy Tales. In his designs, perhaps, he shows
more of the feeling of the story-teller than the decorator in line, on
the whole; his feeling as a painter, perhaps, not making him quite
content with simple black and white; and, certainly, his charming tempera
picture of the sleeping maid and the dwarfs, and his excellent printed
picture of Eve and the serpent, printed by Mr. Fletcher in the Japanese
method, might well excuse him if that is the case.

Mr. Henry Ford is another artist who has devoted himself with much
success to Fairy Tale pictures in black and white, being associated with
the fairy books of many different colours issued under the fairy
godfather's wand (or pen) of Mr. Andrew Lang. He, too, I think perhaps,
cares more for the "epic" than the "ornamental" side of illustration; he
generally shows a pretty poetical fancy.

At the head, perhaps, of the newer school of decorative illustrators
ought to be named Mr. Robert Anning Bell, whose taste and feeling for
style alone gives him a distinctive place. He has evidently studied the
early printers and book-decorators in outline of Venice and Florence to
some purpose; by no means merely imitatively, but with his own type of
figure and face, and fresh natural impressions, observes with much taste
and feeling for beauty the limitations and decorative suggestions in the
relations of line-drawing and typography. Many of his designs to "The
Midsummer Night's Dream" are delightful both as drawings and as
decorative illustrations.

[Illustration: CHARLES RICKETTS.


The newest book illustrator is perhaps Mr. Charles Robinson, whose work
appears to be full of invention, though I have not yet had sufficient
opportunities of doing it justice. He shows quaint and sometimes weird
fancy, a love of fantastic architecture, and is not afraid of outline and
large white spaces.

[Illustration: C. H. SHANNON.


Mr. R. Spence shows considerable vigour and originality. He distinguished
himself first by some pen drawings which won the gold medal at the
National Competitions at South Kensington, in which a romantic feeling
and dramatic force was shown in designs of mediæval battles, expressed in
forcible way, consistent with good line and effect in black and white.
His design of the Legend of St. Cuthbert in "The Quarto" is perhaps the
most striking thing he has done. I am enabled to print one of his
characteristic designs of battles.

[Illustration: AUBREY BEARDSLEY.


Mr. A. Jones also distinguished himself about the same time as Mr. Spence
in the National Competition, and showed some dramatic and romantic
feeling. The design given shows a more ornamental side.

[Illustration: AUBREY BEARDSLEY.


Mr. William Strang, who has made his mark in etching as a medium for
designs full of strong character and weird imagination, also shows in his
processed pen drawings vigorous line and perception of decorative value,
as in the designs to "Munchausen," two of which are here reproduced.

[Sidenote: THE EVERGREEN.]

The publication of "The Evergreen" by Patrick Geddes and his colleagues
at Edinburgh has introduced several black and white designers of force
and character--Mr. Robert Burns and Mr. John Duncan, for instance, more
particularly distinguishing themselves for decorative treatment in which
one may see the influences of much fresh inspiration from Nature.

[Illustration: AUBREY BEARDSLEY.



Miss Mary Sargant Florence shows power and decorative feeling in her
outline designs to "The Crystal Ball." Mr. Granville Fell must be named
among the newer school of decorative illustrators; and Mr. Paul
Woodroffe, who also shows much facility of design and feeling for old
English life in his books of Nursery Rhymes; his recent work shows much
refinement of drawing and feeling.

Miss Alice B. Woodward ought also to be named for her clever treatment of
mediæval life in black and white.

More recently, perhaps the most remarkable work in book illustration has
been that of Mr. E. J. Sullivan, whose powerful designs to Carlyle's
"Sartor Resartus" are full of vigour and character.

Force and character, again, seem the leading qualities in the striking
work of another of our recent designers in black and white, Mr.
Nicholson, who also engraves his own work.

[Illustration: EDMUND J. SULLIVAN.


Mr. Gordon Craig adds printing to the crafts of black and white design
and engraving, and has a distinctive feeling of his own.

The revival in England of decorative art of all kinds during the
last five and twenty years, culminating as it appears to be doing in
book-design, has not escaped the eyes of observant and sympathetic
artists and writers upon the Continent. The work of English artists
of this kind has been exhibited in Germany, in Holland, in Belgium
and France, and has met with remarkable appreciation and sympathy.

[Illustration: PATTEN WILSON.


[Illustration: LAURENCE HOUSMAN.


[Illustration: L. FAIRFAX MUCKLEY.


[Illustration: CHARLES ROBINSON.


[Illustration: CHARLES ROBINSON.


[Illustration: CHARLES ROBINSON.


[Sidenote: BELGIUM.]

In Belgium, particularly, where there appears to be a somewhat similar
movement in art, the work of the newer school of English designers has
awakened the greatest interest. The fact that M. Oliver Georges Destrée
has made sympathetic literary studies of the English pre-Raphaelites and
their successors, is an indication of this. The exhibitions of the "XX^e
Siècle," "La libre Æsthetique," at Brussels and Liège, are also evidence
of the repute in which English designers are held.

[Illustration: J. D. BATTEN.


[Sidenote: THE CONTINENT.]

In Holland, too, a special collection of the designs of English book
illustrators has been exhibited at the Hague and other towns under the
auspices of M. Loffelt.

[Illustration: J. D. BATTEN.


At Paris, also, the critics and writers on art have been busy in the
various journals giving an account of the Arts and Crafts movement, the
Kelmscott Press, and the school of English book-decorators in black and
white, and the recent exhibitions of "L'Art Nouveau" and "Le
Livre Moderne" at Paris are further evidence of the interest
taken there in English art.

[Illustration: R. ANNING BELL.


(J. M. DENT AND CO., 1895.)]

[Illustration: R. ANNING BELL.


(J. M. DENT AND CO., 1894.)]

[Illustration: R. SPENCE.


[Illustration: ALFRED JONES.


[Illustration: WILLIAM STRANG.


[Illustration: WILLIAM STRANG.


Without any vain boasting, it is interesting to note that whereas most
artistic movements affecting England are commonly supposed to have been
imported from the Continent, we are credited at last with a genuine home
growth in artistic development. Although, regarded in the large sense,
country or nationality is nothing to art (being at its best always
cosmopolitan and international) yet in the history of design, national
and local varieties, racial characteristics and local developments must
always have their value and historic interest.

[Illustration: H. GRANVILLE FELL.


[Sidenote: BELGIUM.]

We may, perhaps, take it as a sympathetic response to English feeling,
the appearance of such books as M. Rijsselberghe's Almanack, with its
charming designs in line, from the house of Dietrich at Brussels. M.
Fernand Knopff's work, original as it is, shows sympathy with the later
English school of poetic and decorative design of which D. G. Rossetti
may be said to have been the father, though in book-illustration proper I
am not aware that he has done much. In Holland in black and
white design there is M. G. W. Dijsselhof and M. R. N. Roland Holst.

[Illustration: JOHN DUNCAN.


[Illustration: JOHN DUNCAN.


[Illustration: ROBERT BURNS.




[Illustration: PAUL WOODROFFE.


[Illustration: PAUL WOODROFFE.


[Sidenote: GERMANY.]

In Germany, such original and powerful artists as Josef Sattler and Franz
Stück; the former seemingly inheriting much of the grim and stern humour
of the old German masters, as well as their feeling for character and
treatment of line, while his own personality is quite distinct. While
Sattler is distinctly Gothic in sympathy, Stück seems more to lean to the
pagan or classical side, and his centaurs and graces are drawn with much
feeling and character. We have already mentioned the "Munich Calendar,"
designed by Otto Hupp, which is well known for the vigour and spirit with
which the artist has worked after the old German manner, with bold
treatment of heraldic devices, and has effectively used colour with line
work. The name of Seitz appears upon some effectively designed
allegorical figures, one of Gutenberg at his press.

[Sidenote: "JUGEND."]

"Jugend," a copiously illustrated journal published at Munich by Dr.
Hirth, shows that there are many clever artists with a more or less
decorative aim in illustration, which in others seems rather overgrown
with grotesque feeling and morbid extravagance, but there is an abundance
of exuberant life, humour, whimsical fancy and spirit characteristic of
South Germany.

[Illustration: M. RIJSSELBERGHE.]

"Ver Sacrum," the journal of the group of the "Secession" artists of
Vienna, gives evidence of considerable daring and resource in black and
white drawing, though mainly of an impressionistic or pictorial aim.

M. Larisch, of Vienna, has distinguished himself by his works upon the
artistic treatment and spacing of letters which contain examples of the
work of different artists both continental and English.

French artists in decoration of all kinds have been so largely influenced
or affected by the Japanese, and have so generally approached design from
the impressionistic, dramatic, or accidental-individualist point of view,
that the somewhat severe limits imposed by a careful taste in all art
with an ornamental purpose, does not appear to have greatly attracted
them. At all times it would seem that the dramatic element is the
dominant one in French art, and this, though of course quite reconcilable
with the ornament instinct, is seldom found perfectly united with it,
and, where present, generally gets the upper hand. The older classical or
Renaissance ornamental feeling of designers like Galland and Puvis de
Chavannes seems to be dying out, and the modern _chic_ and daring of a
Cheret seems to be more characteristic of the moment.

[Sidenote: GRASSET.]

Yet, on the other hand, among the newer French School, we find an artist
of such careful methods and of such strong decorative instinct as
Grasset, on what I should call the architectural side in
contradistinction to the impressionistic. His work, though quite
characteristically French in spirit and sentiment, is much more akin in
method to our English decorative school. In fact, many of Grasset's
designs suggest that he has done what our men have done, studied the art
of the middle ages from the remains in his own country, and grafted upon
this stock the equipment and sentiment of a modern.

[Sidenote: LETTERING.]

In his book illustrations he seems, however, so far as I know, to lean
rather towards illustrations pure and simple, rather than decoration, and
exhibits great archæological resource as well as romantic feeling in
such designs as those to "Les Cinq Fils d'Aymon." The absence of book
decoration in the English sense, in France, however, may be due to the
want of beauty or artistic feeling in the typographer's part of the work.
Modern French type has generally assumed elongated and meagre forms which
are not suggestive of rich decorative effect, and do not combine with
design: nor, so far as I have been able to observe, does there seem to be
any feeling amongst the designers for the artistic value of lettering, or
any serious attempt to cultivate better forms. The poster-artist, to whom
one would think, being essential to his work, the value of lettering in
good forms would appeal, generally tears the roman alphabet to tatters,
or uses extremely debased and ugly varieties.

More recently, however, French designers and printers appear to be giving
attention to the subject, and newly designed types are appearing; one
firm at Paris having issued a fount designed by Eugene Grasset.

The charming designs of Boutet de Monvel should be named as among the
most distinctive of modern French book illustrations, for their careful
drawing and decorative effect, although, being in colours, they hardly
belong to the same category as the works we have been considering, and
the relation of type to pictures leaves something to be desired.

A respect for form and style in lettering, is, I take it, one of the most
unmistakable indications of a good decorative sense. A true ornamental
instinct can produce a fine ornamental effect by means of a mass of good
type or MS. lettering alone: and considered as accompaniments or
accessories to design they are invaluable, as presenting opportunities of
contrast or recurrence in mass or line to other elements in the
composition. To the decorative illustrator of books they are the unit or
primal element from which he starts.

[Illustration: WALTER CRANE.


(GEORGE ALLEN, 1896.)]

[Sidenote: ITALY.]

The publication at Venice of "L'Arte della stampa nel Renascimento
Italiano Venezia," by Ferd. Ongania--a series of reproductions of
woodcuts, ornaments, initials, title-pages, etc., from some of the
choicest of the books of the early Venetian and Florentine printers, may
perhaps be taken as a sign of the growth of a similar interest in book
decoration in that country, unless, like other works, it is intended
chiefly for the foreign visitor.

A sumptuously printed quarterly on Art, which has of late made its
appearance at Rome, "Il Convito," seems to show an interest in the
decorative side, and does not confine its note on illustrations to
Italian work, but gives reproductions from the works of D. G. Rossetti,
and from Elihu Vedder's designs to "The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam."

Certainly if the possession of untold treasures of endlessly beautiful
invention in decorative art, and the tradition of ancient schools tend to
foster and to stimulate original effort, one would think that it should
be easier for Italian artists than those of other countries to revive
something of the former decorative beauty of the work of her printers and
designers in the days of Aldus and Ratdolt, of the Bellini and

It does not appear to be enough, however, to possess the seed merely; or
else one might say that where a museum is, there will the creative art
spring also; it is necessary to have the soil also; to plough and sow,
and then to possess our souls in patience a long while ere the new crop
appears, and ere it ripens and falls to our sickle. It is only another
way of saying, that art is the outcome of life, not of death.

Artists may take motives or inspiration from the past, or from the
present, it matters not, so long as their work has life and beauty--so
long as it is organic, in short.

[Illustration: HOWARD PYLE.


[Sidenote: HOWARD PYLE.]

I have already alluded to the movement in Boston among a group of
cultured young men--Mr. Lee the printer and his colleagues--more or less
inspired by "The Hobby Horse" and the Kelmscott Press, which resulted in
the printing of "The Knight Errant."

[Illustration: HOWARD PYLE.


Some years before, however, Mr. Howard Pyle distinguished himself as a
decorative artist in book designs, which showed, among other more modern
influences, a considerable study of the method of Albert Dürer. I give a
reproduction which suggests somewhat the effect of the famous copperplate
of Erasmus. He sometimes uses a lighter method, such as is shown in the
drawings to "The One Horse Shay."

Of late in his drawings in the magazines, Mr. Pyle has adopted the modern
wash method, or painting in black and white, in which, however able in
its own way, it is distinctly at a considerable loss of individuality
and decorative interest.[9]

    [9] I am informed that the adoption of the wash method is not
    recent with Mr. Pyle, but that he adapts his method to his matter.
    This does not, however, affect the opinion expressed as to the
    relative artistic value of wash and line work.

[Illustration: WILL. H. BRADLEY.


[Illustration: WILL. H. BRADLEY.



[Illustration: WILL. H. BRADLEY.




Another artist of considerable invention and decorative ability has
recently appeared in America, Mr. Will. H. Bradley, whose designs for
"The Inland Printer" of Chicago are remarkable for careful and delicate
line-work, and effective treatment of black and white, and showing the
influence of the newer English school with a Japanese blend.



It may not be amiss to add a few words as a kind of summary of general
principles to which we seem to be naturally led by the line of thought I
have been pursuing on this subject of book decoration.

As I have said, there is nothing final or absolute in Design. It is a
matter of continual re-arrangement, re-adjustment, and modification or
even transformation of certain elements. A kind of imaginative chemistry
of forms, masses, lines, and quantities, continually evolving new
combinations. But each artistic problem must be solved on its merits, and
as each one varies and presents fresh questions, it follows that no
absolute rules or principles can be laid down to fit particular cases,
although as the result of, and evolved out of, practice, certain general
guiding principles are valuable, as charts and compasses by which the
designer can to a certain extent direct his course.

To begin with, the enormous variety in style, aim, and size of books,
makes the application of definite principles difficult. One must narrow
the problem down to a particular book, of a given character and size.

Apart from the necessarily entirely personal and individual questions of
selection of subject, motive, feeling or sentiment, consider the
conditions of the book-page. Take an octavo page--such as one of those
of this volume.

Although we may take the open book with the double-columns as the page
proper, in treating a book for illustration, we shall be called upon
sometimes to treat them as single pages. But whether single or double,
each has its limits in the mass of type forming the full page or column
which gives the dimensions of the designer's panel. The whole or any part
of this panel may be occupied by design, and one principle of procedure
in the ornamental treatment of a book is to consider any of the territory
not occupied by the type as a fair field for accompanying or terminating
design--as, for instance, at the ends of chapters, where more or less of
the type page is left blank.

Unless we are designing our own type, or drawing our lettering as a part
of the design, the character and form of the type will give us a sort of
gauge of degree, or key, to start with, as to the force of the black and
white effect of our accompanying designs and ornaments. For instance, one
would generally avoid using heavy blacks and thick lines with a light
open kind of type, or light open work with very heavy type. (Even here
one must qualify, however, since light open pen-work has a fine and rich
effect with black letters sometimes.)

[Illustration: WALTER CRANE.


[Illustration: WALTER CRANE.


[Illustration: WALTER CRANE.


My own feeling--and designing must always finally be a question of
individual feeling--is rather to acknowledge the rectangular character of
the type page in the shape of the design; even in a vignette, by making
certain lines extend to the limits, so as to convey a feeling of
rectangular control and compactness, as in the tail-piece given
here from "The Faerie Queene."

[Sidenote: OF END PAPERS.]

But first, if one may, paradoxically, begin with "end paper" as it is
curiously called, there is the lining of the book. Here the problem is to
cover two leaves entirely in a suggestive and agreeable, but not
obtrusive way. One way is to design a repeating pattern much on the
principle of a small printed textile, or miniature wall-paper, in one or
more colours. Something delicately suggestive of the character and
contents of the book is in place here, but nothing that competes with the
illustrations proper. It may be considered as a kind of quadrangle,
forecourt, or even a garden or grass plot before the door.

We are not intended to linger long here, but ought to get some hint or
encouragement to go on into the book. The arms of the owner (if he is
fond of heraldry, and wants to remind the potential book borrower to
piously return) may appear hereon--the book-plate.

If we are to be playful and lavish, if the book is for Christmastide or
for children, we may catch a sort of fleeting butterfly idea on the
fly-leaves before we are brought with becoming, though dignified
curiosity, to a short pause at the half-title. Having read this, we are
supposed to pass on with somewhat bated breath until we come to the
double doors, and the front and full title are disclosed in all their


Even here, though, the whole secret of the book should not be let out,
but rather played with or suggested in a symbolic way, especially in any
ornament on the title-page, in which the lettering should be the chief
ornamental feature. A frontispiece may be more pictorial in treatment if
desired, and it is reasonable to occupy the whole of the type page both
for the lettering of title and the picture in the front; then, if
richness of effect is desired, the margin may be covered also almost to
the edge of the paper by inclosing borders, the width of these borders
varying according to the varying width of the paper margin, and in the
same proportions, _recto_ and _verso_ as the case may be, the broad side
turning outwards to the edge of the book each way.

This is a plan adopted in the opening of the Kelmscott books, of which
that of "The Glittering Plain," given here, may be taken as a type.
Though Mr. Morris places his title page on the left to face the opening
of first chapter, and does not use a frontispiece, he obtains a
remarkably rich and varied effect of black and white in his larger title
pages by placing in his centre panel strong black Gothic letters; or, as
in the case of the Kelmscott Chaucer, letters in white relief upon a
floral arabesque adapted to the space, and filling the field with a
lighter floral network in open line, and enclosing this again with the
rich black and white marginal border.




If I may refer again to my own work, in the designs to "The Faerie
Queene" the full-page designs are all treated as panels of figure design,
or pictures, and are enclosed in fanciful borders, in which subsidiary
incidents of characters of the poem are introduced or suggested, somewhat
on the plan of mediæval tapestries. A reduction of one of these is given


A full-page design may, thus inclosed and separated from the type pages,
bear carrying considerably further, and be more realized and stronger in
effect than the ornaments of the type page, just as in the illuminated
MSS. highly wrought miniatures were worked into inclosing borders on the
centres of large initial letters, which formed a broad framework,
branching into light floral scroll or leaves upon the margin and uniting
with the lettering.

Much depends upon the decorative scheme. With appropriate type, a
charming, simple, and broad effect can be obtained by using outline
alone, both for the figure designs or pictures, and the ornament proper.

The famous designs of the "Hypnerotomachia Poliphili," 1499, may be taken
as an instance of this treatment; also the "Fasciculus Medicinæ," 1495,
"Æsop's Fables," 1493, and other books of the Venetian printers of about
this date or earlier, which are generally remarkable for fine quality of
their outline and the refinement and grace of their ornaments.

One of the most effective black and white page borders of a purely
ornamental kind is one dated 1478, inclosing a page of Roman type, (_see_
illustration, Venice, 1478, Pomponius Mela). A meandering arabesque of a
rose-stem leaf and flower, white on a black ground, springing from a
circle in the broad margin at the bottom, in which are two shields of
arms. A tolerably well known but most valuable example.


The opening chapter of a book affords an opportunity to the designer of
producing a decorative effect by uniting ornament with type. He can
place figure design in a frieze-shaped panel (say of about a fourth of
the page) for the heading, and weight it by a bold initial letter
designed in a square, from which may spring the stem and leaves of an
arabesque throwing the letter into relief, and perhaps climbing up and
down the margin, and connecting the heading with the initial. The
initialed page from "The Faerie Queene" is given as an example of such
treatment. The title, or any chapter inscription, if embodied in the
design of the heading, has a good effect.

Harmony between type and illustration and ornament can never, of course,
be quite so complete as when the lettering is designed and drawn as a
part of the whole, unless the type is designed by the artist. It entails
an amount of careful and patient labour (unless the inscriptions are very
brief) few would be prepared to face, and would mean, practically, a
return to the principle of the block book.





Even in these days, however, books have been entirely produced by hand,
and, for that matter, if beauty were the sole object, we could not do
better than follow the methods of the scribe, illuminator, and
miniaturist of the Middle Ages. But the world clamours for many copies
(at least in some cases), and the artist must make terms with the
printing press if he desires to live. It would be a delightful thing if
every book were different--a millennium for collectors! Perhaps, too, it
might be a wholesome regulation at this stage if authors were to qualify
as scribes (in the old sense) and write out their own works in
beautiful letters! How it would purify literary style!

There is no doubt that great attention has been given to the formation of
letters by designers in the past.


Albrecht Dürer, in his "Geometrica," for instance, gives an elaborate
system for drawing the Roman capitals, and certainly produces by its
means a fine alphabet in that type of letter, apparently copied from
ancient Roman inscriptions. He does the same for the black letters

    [10] Reproduced in "Alphabets," by E. F. Strange (pp. 244-250),
    Ex-Libris Series. Bell.

For the Roman capitals he takes a square, and divides it into four equal
parts for the A. The horizontal line across the centre gives the
crossbar. The sides of the square are divided into eighths, and one
eighth is measured at the top of vertical dividing line, one eighth again
from each bottom corner of the square to these points, the limbs of the
A, are drawn; the up stroke and cross-bar being one-sixteenth, the down
stroke being one-eighth of the square in thickness. Circles of one-fourth
of the square in diameter are struck at the top of the A where the limbs
meet, and at lower corners, to form the outside serifs of the feet, the
inside serifs being formed by circles of one-sixteenth diameter; and so
the A is complete. Various sub-divisions of the square are given as
guides in the formation of the other letters less symmetrical, and two or
three forms are given of some, such as the O, and the R, Q, and S; but
the same proportions of thick and thin strokes are adhered to, and the
same method of forming the serifs.

For the black letter (lower case German) text the proportions are five
squares for the short letters i, n, m, u, the space between the strokes
of a letter like u being one-third the thickness of the stroke, the top
and bottom one being covered with one square, set diamond-wise. Eight
squares for the long letters l, h, b; the tops cut off diagonally, the
feet turned diamond-wise.

This is interesting as showing the care and sense of proportion which may
be expended upon the formation of lettering. It also gives a definite
standard. The division of eighths and fourths in the Roman capital is
noteworthy, too, in connection with the eight-heads standard of
proportion for the human body; and the square basis reminds one of
Vitruvius, and demonstration of the inclosure of the human figure with
limbs in extension by the square and the circle.

Those interested in the history of the form of lettering cannot do better
than consult Mr. Strange's book on "Alphabets" in this series.

It might be possible to construct an actual theory of the geometric
relation of figure design, ornamental forms, and the forms of lettering,
text, or type upon them, but we are more concerned with the free artistic
invention for the absence of which no geometric rules can compensate. The
invention, the design, comes first in order, the rules and principles are
discovered afterwards, to confirm and establish their truth--would that
they did not also sometimes crystallize their vitality!

I have spoken of the treatment of headings and initials at the opening of
a chapter. In deciding upon such an arrangement the designer is more or
less committed to carrying it out throughout the book, and would do well
to make his ornamental spaces, and the character, treatment, and size of
his initials agree in the corresponding places. This would still leave
plenty of room for variety of invention in the details.

The next variety of shape in which he might indulge would be the
half-page, generally an attractive proportion for a figure design, and if
repeated on the opposite page or column, the effect of a continuous
frieze can be given, which is very useful where a procession of figures
is concerned, and the slight break made by the centre margin is not

The same plan may be adopted when it is desired to carry a full-page
design across, or meet it by a corresponding design opposite.


Then we come to the space at the end of the chapter. For my part, I can
never resist the opportunity for a tailpiece if it is to be a fully
illustrated work, though some would let it severely alone, or be glad of
the blank space to rest a bit. I think this lets one down at the end of
the chapter too suddenly. The blank, the silence, seems too dead; one
would be glad of some lingering echo, some recurring thought suggested by
the text; and here is the designer's opportunity. It is a tight place,
like the person who is expected to say the exactly fit thing at the right
moment. Neither too much, or too little. A quick wit and a light hand
will serve the artist in good stead here.

[Sidenote: OF TAIL-PIECES.]

Page-terminations or tailpieces may of course be very various in plan,
and their style correspond with or be a variant of the style of the rest
of the decorations of the book. Certain types are apt to recur, but while
the bases may be similar, the superstructure of fancy may vary as much as
we like. There is what I should call the mouse-tail termination, formed
on a gradually diminishing line, starting the width of the type, and
ending in a point. Printers have done it with dwindling lines of type,
finishing with a single word or an aldine leaf.

Then there is the plan of boldly shutting the gate, so to speak, by
carrying a panel of design right across, or filling the whole of the
remaining page. This is more in the nature of additional illustration to
carry on the story, and might either be a narrow frieze-like strip, or a
half, or three-quarter page design as the space would suggest.

There is the inverted triangular plan, and the shield or hatchment form.
The garland or the spray, sprig, leaf, or spot, or the pen flourish
glorified into an arabesque.

The medallion form, or seal shape, too, often lends itself appropriately
to end a chapter with, where an inclosed figure or symbol is wanted. One
principle in designing isolated ornaments is useful: to arrange the
subject so that its edges shall touch a graceful boundary, or inclosing
shape, whether the boundary is actually defined by inclosing lines or
frame-work or not. Floral, leaf, and escutcheon shapes are generally the
best, but free, not rigidly geometrical. The value of a certain economy
of line can hardly be too much appreciated, and the perception of the
necessity of recurrence of line, and a re-echoing in the details of
leading motives in line and mass. It is largely upon such small threads
that decorative success and harmonious effect depend, and they are
particularly closely connected with the harmonious disposition of type
and ornamental illustration which we have been considering.

[Sidenote: THE END.]

It would be easy to fill volumes with elaborate analysis of existing
designs from this point of view, but designs, to those who feel them,
ought to speak in their own tongue for themselves more forcibly than any
written explanation or commentary; and, though of making of many books
there is no end, every book must have its end, even though that end to
the writer, at least, may seem to leave one but at the beginning.


[Illustration: ARTHUR HUGHES.



Chap. IV. Of the Recent Development, etc., p. 189. In addition to the
names of the modern printers and presses mentioned in this chapter must
now be added those of several workers in the field of artistic printing
who have distinguished themselves since the Kelmscott Press.

Mr. Cobden Sanderson has turned from the outside adornment of the book to
the inside, and, in association with Mr. Emery Walker, whose technical
knowledge and taste was so valuable on the Kelmscott Press, has founded
"The Doves Press" at Hammersmith, and has issued books remarkable for the
pure severity of their typography, founded mainly upon Jenson.

Mr. St. John Hornby also must be named, more particularly for his revival
of a very beautiful Italian type founded upon the type of Sweynheim and
Pannartz, the first printers in Italy. The Greek type designed by the
late Robert Proctor, based on the Alcala fount used in the New Testament
of the Complutensian Polyglot Bible of 1514, should be mentioned as the
only modern attempt to improve the printing of Greek, with the exception
of Mr. Selwyn Image's, which perhaps suffered by being cut very small to
suit commercial exigences.

Mr. C. R. Ashbee, too, has established a very extensive printery, "The
Essex House Press," which he has since transplanted to Chipping Camden.
He had the assistance of several of the workers from the Kelmscott Press,
and has produced many excellently printed books of late years, such as
the Benvenuto Cellini, and including such elaborate productions as Edward
VI.'s Prayer Book, with wood-engravings and initials and ornaments as
well as the type of his own design.

An interesting series of the English poets, also, with frontispieces by
various artists, has been issued from this press.

P. 218. The death of Aubrey Beardsley since the notice of his work was
written must be recorded, and it would seem as if the loss of this
extraordinary artist marked the decadence of our modern decadents.

A perhaps equally remarkable designer, however, whose work has a certain
kinship in some features with Beardsley's, is Mr. James Syme, whose work
has not before been noticed in this book. He has a powerful and weird
imagination associated with grotesque and satirical design, and
considerable skill in the use of line and black and white effect.

P. 267. In writing of book illustrators in France, a leading place should
be given to M. Boutet de Monvel, whose delicate drawing, tasteful
colouring, and sense of decorative effect, combined with abundant
resource in variety of costume, and skilful treatment of crowds, mediæval
battle scenes, and ceremonial groups are seen to full advantage in his
recent "Ste. Jean d'Arc," although no particular relationship between
illustration and type is attempted.

P. 268. A recent proof of the revival of taste in book-decoration and
artistic printing in Italy may be referred to here as showing the
influence of the English movement. I mean the edition of Gabriele
d'Annunzio's "Francesca da Rimini" with illustrations or rather
decorations by Adolphus de Karolis, printed by the Fratelli Treves in
1902. This book shows unmistakable signs of study of recent English
work, as well as of the early printers of Venice, and it is strange to
think how sometimes artists of one country may come back to an
appreciation of a particular period of their own historic art by the aid
of foreign spectacles. Among the original designers of modern Italy may
be mentioned G. M. Mataloni, who shows remarkable powers of
draughtsmanship and invention, largely spent upon posters and ex-libris.

Italy, too, has an able critic and chronicler of the work of
book-designers of all countries in Sig. Vittorio Pica of Naples, whose
"Attraverso gli Albi e le Cartelle" (Istituto Italiano d'arti grafiche
editore Bergamo) is very comprehensive.

In Vienna Prof. Larisch recently published a book of Alphabets designed
by various artists of Europe; Germany, France, Italy, and England being
represented. The group of Viennese artists known as the "Secession" have
issued "Ver Sacrum," a monthly journal, or magazine, giving original
designs of various artists more or less in the direction of
book-decoration. Latterly the designs offered seemed to lose themselves
either in an affectation of primitiveness and almost infantine
simplicity, or the wildest grotesqueness and eccentricity.



[Illustration: I. IRISH. VITH Century.

BOOK OF KELLS. [_See page 13._]


ARUNDEL PSALTER, 1339. [_See page 16._]


ARUNDEL PSALTER, 1339. [_See page 16._]


ARUNDEL PSALTER, 1339. [_See page 16._]

[Illustration: V. FRENCH. XIVTH CENTURY.


[Illustration: VI. FRENCH. XVTH CENTURY.


[_See page 23._]


BEDFORD HOURS, A.D. 1422. [_See page 23._]


ROMANCE OF THE ROSE. [_See page 29._]


INITIAL LETTER, CHOIR BOOK, SIENA (1468----1472-3). [_See page 30._]


HOKUSAI. [_See page 163._]


HOKUSAI. [_See page 163._]


  ABBEY, Edwin, 166.

  _Æsop's Fables_ (Venice, 1493), 293.

  ---- (Ulm, 1498), 53.

  ---- (Naples, 1485), 55.

  "Aglaia," cover for, 154, 157.

  Alciati's Emblems, 109.

  Aldus, 62, 63, 65, 108.

  Alphabet (Dürer's), 299.

  _Alphabets_ (Bell, 1894), 299, 300.

  Amman, Jost, 96.

  American Wood-engraving, 148, 164.

  _Andersen's Fairy Tales_ (Allen, 1893), 199.

  Anglo-Saxon MSS., 14, _et seq._

  Apocalypse, MS., 14th Cent., 19.

  _Arabian Nights_ (Dent, 1893), 241, 242.

  Arndes, Steffen, 47.

  _Art in the House_ (Macmillan, 1876), 160, 162-165.

  Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society, 207.

  Arundel Psalter, MS., 16.

  Aulus, Gellius (Venice, 1509), 73.

  Bämler, 15.

  Bateman, Robert, 160, 162-165.

  Batten, J. D., 222, 241, 242.

  Beardsley, Aubrey, 218, 221, 225, 226, 227.

  _Beauty and the Beast_ (Dent, 1894), 245.

  _Bedford Hours_, MS., 23, 24, 38.

  Beham, Hans Sebald, 96, 113.

  Bell, R. A., 222, 243, 245.

  Bellini, Giovanni, 62, 69.

  Bernard, Solomon, 110.

  Bewick, Thomas, 140, 145.

  Bible (Cologne, 1480), 21.

  ---- (Lübeck, 1494), 47.

  ---- (Mainz, 1455), 49.

  ---- (Frankfort, 1563), 53, 131.

  Bible Cuts (Holbein), 92, 95, 96.

  Birmingham School, 203, 204, 207.

  Blake, William, 136-139.

  Block Books, 46.

  Blomfield, Reginald, 207.

  Boccaccio's _De Claris Mulieribus_ (Ulm, 1473), 7, 11;
     (Ferrara, 1497), 54.

  Bonhomme, 110.

  _Book of Carols_ (Allen, 1893), 209.

  Books of Hours, 23, 24, 38, 54, 107.

  Borders, 204, 293.

  _Bracebridge Hall_ (Macmillan, 1877), 158.

  Bradley, Gertrude M., 207, 213.

  ---- Will. H., 274, 275, 277, 278.

  Brown, Ford Madox, 154.

  _Buch von den Sieben Todsünden_ (Augsburg, 1474), 15.

  Burgmair, Hans, 92, 95, 99, 101, 103, 105.

  Burne-Jones, Sir Edward, 193.

  Burns, Robert, 226, 259.

  Caesenas, Stephanus, 59.

  Caldecott, Randolph, 158.

  Calepinus, Ambrosius, 121.

  Calvert, Edward, 139-143.

  "Card-Basket Style," The, 165.

  Carroll, Lewis, 154.

  Castle, Egerton, _English Book-plates_, 185.

  Caxton, William, 49, 80.

  _Chaucer_ (Kelmscott Press, 1896), 193, 288.

  Cheret, M., 267.

  _Child's Garden of Verse_ (Lane, 1895), 235, 237, 239.

  Children's Books, 154, 156.

  China, Early Printing in, 164.

  Chiswick Press, The, 186.

  Chodowiecki, D., 136.

  _Christ, Life of_ (Antwerp, 1487), 31.

  _Chroneken der Sassen_ (Mainz, 1492), 41.

  _Chronica Hungariæ_ (Augsburg, 1488), 35.

  _Cinderella_ (Dent, 1894), 254.

  _Cinq Fils d'Aymon, Les_, 268.

  Clark, R. and R., 186.

  Columna, Francisco, 79.

  Constable, T. and A., 186.

  _Contes Drolatiques_, 150.

  "Convito," Il, 270.

  Copper-plate Engraving, 116, 129, 130.

  "Cornhill," The, 172.

  Cousin, Jean, 79.

  Craig, Gordon, 228.

  Cranach, Lucas, 95.

  Crane, Walter, 174, 179, 181, 183, 191, 269, 281, 283, 285, 288, 290,

  Cremonese, P., 56.

  _Crystal Ball, The_ (Bell, 1894), 227, 261.

  "Daily Chronicle," Illustrations in the, 165.

  Dalziel Brothers, The, 150.

  Dalziel's _Bible Gallery_, 152.

  _Dance of Death_ (Holbein's, 1538), 91, 92, 115.

  Daniel, Rev. H., of Oxford, 189.

  Dante, _Divina Commedia_ MS., 10.

  Dante (Venice, 1491), 56.

  _Daphnis and Chloe_ (Vale Press, 1893), 223, 224.

  Davis, Louis, 170, 171.

  Day, Lewis, 166.

  _De Claris Mulieribus_ (Ulm, 1473), 7, 11;
     (Ferrara, 1497), 54.

  De Colines, Simon, 127.

  De Gregoriis, 59, 295.

  _De Historia Stirpium_ (Basel, 1542), 119, 123.

  _Descent of Minerva, The_ (1508), 71.

  Destrée, Oliver Georges, 241.

  De Vinne Press, The, 189.

  "Dial," The, 218.

  _Dictes and Sayings of the Philosophers_ (1477), 80.

  Dijsselhof, G. W., 265.

  Dinckmut, Conrad, 27.

  _Discovery of the Indies, The_ (Florence, 1493), 57.

  Doré, Gustave, 149.

  Duff, Gordon, _Early Printed Books_, 185.

  Duncan, John, 226, 255, 257.

  Du Pré, 54.

  Dürer, Albrecht, 49, 80, 81, 83, 85, 87, 89, 95;
     his _Geometrica_, 294.

  _Early Italian Poets_ (Smith, Elder, 1861), 152.

  Edgar, King, Newminster Charter, 14.

  Emblem Books, 109, 110, 115, 116.

  End-Papers, 285.

  "English Illustrated Magazine," The, 170, 171, 173, 195.

  Evans, Edmund, 156.

  "Evergreen," The, 226, 255, 257, 259.

  "Ex-Libris Series," The, 185.

  Finé, Oronce, 91, 126, 127.

  _Fasciculus Medicinæ_ (Venice, 1495), 293.

  Fell, H. Granville, 227, 254.

  Feyrabend, Sigm., 131.

  _Fior di Virtù_ (Florence, 1493?), 58.

  Flach, Martin, 108.

  Flaxman, 136.

  Flemish School, XVth Cent., 31.

  Florence, Mary Sargant, 227, 261.

  Ford, Henry, 222.

  _Formal Garden, The_ (Macmillan, 1892), 204, 205.

  Foster, Birket, 150.

  France, Modern Illustration in, 267.

  _Frangilla_ (Elkin Mathews, 1895), 233.

  French MSS., 19, 37.

  French School, XVth Cent., 37, 51, 126, 127.

  Frontispieces, 286.

  Froschover, 120.

  Fuchsius, _De Historia Stirpium_ (Basel, 1542), 119, 123.

  Gaskin, Arthur, 199, 203.

  ---- Mrs., 203, 207.

  Georgius de Rusconibus, 69, 75.

  Gerard's Herbal, 120.

  Gere, C. M., 195, 197, 203.

  German School, XVth Cent., 3, 7, 11, 15, 17, 21, 25, 27, 35, 39, 41,
     47, 53.

  ---- XVIth Cent., 81-117, 119, 131, 147.

  Germany, Early Printing in, 46, 49.

  ---- Modern Illustration in, 172, 265.

  Gesner, Conrad, 120.

  Gilbert, John, 150.

  Giolito, G., 133.

  Giovio's Emblems, 116.

  Girolamo da Cremona, 30.

  _Glittering Plain, The_ (Kelmscott Press, 1894), 191, 288, 289.

  _Goblin Market_ (Macmillan, 1862), 152.

  "Good Words for the Young," 304.

  Gospels, The, in Latin, MS., 14.

  Grasset, M., 267, 268.

  Greenaway, Kate, 158, 159.

  Grimani Breviary, The, 29, 43, 45.

  _Grimm's Household Stories_ (Macmillan, 1882), 174, 179.

  Grün, Hans Baldung, 96, 107, 108, 109, 110.

  Halberstadt Bible, The, 49, 117.

  Hardouyn, Gillet, 54, 107.

  Harvey, William, 145.

  Herbals, 16, 119, 120.

  _Hero and Leander_ (Vale Press, 1894), 219.

  "Hobby Horse," The, 186, 270.

  Hogarth, 135.

  Hokusai, 163.

  Holbein, Hans, 49, 80, 91, 92, 93, 95, 96, 115.

  ---- Ambrose, 92, 97.

  Holiday, Henry, 154, 157.

  Holland, Illustration in, 242, 265.

  Holst, R. N. Roland, 265.

  Horne, H. P., 186.

  _Hortulus Animæ_(Strassburg, 1511), 107, 108, 109, 110.

  _Hortus Sanitatis_ (Mainz, 1491), 39.

  _House of Joy, The_ (Kegan Paul, 1895), 231.

  Housman, Laurence, 222, 231.

  Hughes, Arthur, 159-161, 304.

  Hunt, Holman, 150.

  _Hunting of the Snark, The_, (Macmillan, 1876), 154.

  _Huon of Bordeaux_ (Allen, 1895), 211.

  Hupp, Otto, 174, 263.

  Illuminated MSS., 5-10 _et seq._

  Image, Selwyn, 187, 189.

  _Indulgences_ (Mainz, 1454), 49.

  "Inland Printer," The, 278.

  Isingrin, Palma, 108, 119, 123.

  Italian MSS., 10, 30.

  Italian School, XVth Cent., 54-65.

  ---- ---- XVIth Cent., 67-78, 121, 133.

  Italy, Modern Illustration in, 268, 269.

  Japan, Early Printing in, 163, 164.

  Japanese Illustration, 156-164.

  Jones, A. Garth, 226, 249.

  "Jugend," 266.

  Keene, Charles, 169, 172.

  _Kells, The Book of_, 10, 13.

  Kelmscott Press, The, 189, 190, 193, 194, 288, 290, 291.

  Kerver, Thielman, 54, 79, 107.

  _King Wenceslas_, 203.

  _Kleine Passion, Die_ (1512), 80, 81, 83, 85.

  "Knight Errant," The (Boston), 189, 273.

  Knopff, Fernand, 254.

  Kreuterbuch (Strasburg, 1551), 120.

  Larisch, M., 266.

  Lawless, M. J., 172, 177.

  Leeu, Gheraert, 31.

  _Leiden Christi_ (Bamberg, 1470), 3, 53.

  Leighton, Sir Frederic, 152.

  Lettering, 268.

  Levetus, Celia, 207, 217.

  Liberale da Verona, 30.

  Linnell, John, 140.

  Linton, W. J., 146-149, 151.

  Lübeck Bible, The, 47.

  Macdonald's _At the Back of the North Wind_ (Strahan, 1871),  159-161.

  Mainz, Early Printing at, 49.

  ---- Indulgences, The, 49.

  ---- Psalter, The, 50, 51.

  Margins, 194.

  Marks, H. S., 156.

  Mason, F., 207, 211.

  Matthiolus, 120.

  Mazarine Bible, The, 49.

  _Meerfahrt zu Viln Onerkannten Inseln_ (Augsburg, 1509), 105.

  Meidenbach, Jacob, 39.

  Menzel, Adolf, 172.

  _Mer des Histoires, La_, MS., 37.

  _Midsummer Night's Dream, A_ (Dent, 1895), 223, 243.

  Millais, Sir J. E., 150.

  _Milton's Ode on Christ's Nativity_ (Nisbet, 1867), 155.

  Minuziano, Alessandro, 67.

  Missals, 29.

  _Monte Santo di Dio, El_ (Florence, 1477), 119.

  Monvel, Boutet de, 268.

  Moore, Albert, 154, 155.

  Moore, Sturge, 218.

  Morris, William, 189, 191, 193, 194, 288, 290, 291.

  _Morte D'Arthur_ (Dent, 1893), 221, 225, 227, 228.

  _Mother Goose_ (Routledge), 159.

  Muckley, L. Fairfax, 222, 233.

  _Munchausen, Baron_ (Lawrence and Bullen, 1894), 226, 251, 253.

  Neues Testament (Basel, 1523), 97.

  New, Edmund H., 201, 203, 207.

  Newill, Mary, 207, 215.

  _Newminster, Charter of Foundation of_, MS., 14.

  Niccolo di Lorenzo, 119.

  Nicholson, W., 228.

  Northcote's _Fables_, 145.

  _Nursery Rhymes_ (Bell, 1894; Allen, 1896), 227, 263, 265.

  Omar Khayyam, 166.

  "Once a Week," 169, 172, 175, 177.

  Ongania, Ferd., 269.

  Otmar, Johann, 145, 147.

  Ottaviano dei Petrucci, 77.

  Paganini, Alex., 121.

  Palmer, Samuel, 140.

  _Papstthum mit sienen Gliedern_ (Nuremberg, 1526), 113.

  _Paris et Vienne_, 1495, 51.

  Parsons, Alfred, 166.

  Payne, Henry, 207, 209.

  Peard's _Stories for Children_ (Allen, 1896), 167, 170.

  Pennell, Joseph, 165, 185, 221.

  Petri, Adam, 91, 107.

  Pfister, Albrecht, 3, 53.

  Philip le Noir, 108.

  _Philippe de Comines, Epistle of_, MS., 23.

  Photography, influence of, 174, 178.

  Pierre le Rouge, 37.

  Pigouchet, 54.

  Pletsch, Oscar, 174.

  Pliny's _Natural History_ (Frankfort, 1582), 103.

  Plutarchus Chæroneus (1513), 87;
     (1523), 89.

  _Poliphili Hypnerotomachia_ (1499), 62, 63, 65, 293.

  ----, French Edition, 79.

  Pollard, A. W., _Early Illustrated Books_, 185.

  _Pomerium de Tempore_ (Augsburg, 1502), 147.

  Pomponius Mela, 293, 297.

  Poynter, E. J., 152.

  Pre-Raphaelites, The, 150.

  _Princess Fiorimonde, Necklace of_ (Macmillan, 1880), 174, 181.

  Printers' Marks, 96.

  Psalters, MSS., 16, 20, 24.

  Psalter (Mainz, 1457), 50, 51.

  "Punch," 170, 172.

  Pyle, Howard, 271, 273, 274.

  _Quadrupeds, History of_ (Zurich, 1554), 120.

  Quarles' Emblems, 115, 116.

  "Quarto," The, 226.

  Quatriregio, 71.

  Queen Mary's Psalter, MS., 20.

  Quentel, Heinrich, 21.

  "Quest," The, 203.

  Quintilian (Venice, 1512), 75.

  Ratdolt, Erhardt, 35, 297.

  _Reformation der bayrischen Landrecht_ (_Munich_, 1518), 116.

  Renaissance, The, 61.

  René of Anjou, Book of Hours of, 38.

  Rethel, Alfred, 172.

  Ricketts, C. S., 218, 219, 223.

  Rijsselberghe, M., 254, 266.

  Robinson, Charles, 222, 224, 235, 237, 239.

  Rogers' _Poems_, 136, 146.

  ---- _Italy_, 136, 146.

  _Romance of the Rose_, MS., 29, 43.

  Rossetti, Christina, 152.

  Rossetti, D. G., 150, 153.

  Rylands, Henry, 173.

  Sambourne, Linley, 170.

  Sandys, Frederick, 172, 175.

  _Sartor Resartus_ (Bell, 1898), 228.

  Sattler, Josef, 265.

  Savage, Reginald, 218.

  "Savoy," The, 221.

  Schöffer, P., 41, 49, 50.

  Schürer, Mathias, 111.

  Schwind, M., 172.

  "Scottish Art Review," The, 187.

  Seitz, Professor A., 265.

  Shannon, C. H., 218, 224.

  Siena, Choir Books of, 30, 43, 45.

  _Sirens Three, The_ (Macmillan, 1886), 183.

  Sleigh, Bernard, 207.

  Smith, Winifred, 207.

  _Songs of Innocence_ (1789), 137.

  _Speculum Humanæ Vitæ_ (Augsburg, 1475), 17.

  Spence, R., 224, 247.

  _Spenser's Faerie Queene_ (Allen, 1896), 269, 281, 283, 285, 288, 294.

  _Spiegel onser Behoudenisse_ (Kuilenburg, 1483), 25.

  Steyner, Heinrich, 87.

  Stothard, Thomas, 136, 146.

  Strang, William, 226, 251, 253.

  Strange, E. F., _Alphabets_, 185, 300.

  Stück, Franz, 265.

  "Studio," The, 221.

  Sullivan, E. J., 227, 228.

  Sumner, Heywood, 166, 167, 171.

  Tacuino, Giov., 73.

  Tail-pieces, 301.

  Talbot Prayer-book, The, 26.

  Tenison Psalter, The, MS., 16, 38.

  Tenniel, Sir John, 150.

  Tennyson's _Poems_ (Moxon, 1857), 150, 151.

  Terence, _Eunuchus_, German translation (Ulm, 1486), 27.

  Thomas, F. Inigo, 204, 205, 207.

  Title Page, development of the, 80.

  Tory, Geoffroy, 126.

  _Tournament of Love, The_ (Paris, 1894), 249.

  Treperel, Jehan, 51.

  _Triumphs of Maximilian, The_, 95.

  Tuppo's Æsop, 1485, 55.

  Turner, J. M. W., 146.

  Type as affecting design, 267, 280, 294.

  Vedder, Elihu, 166.

  Veldener, Jan, 25.

  Ver Sacrum, 266.

  Vérard, 54.

  Virgil Solis, 131.

  Wächtlin, Hans, 96, 111.

  _Walton's "Angler"_ (Lane, 1896), 204.

  Wandereisen, Hans, 113.

  _Weiss König, Der_ (1512-14), 95, 99.

  White, Gleeson, 221.

  Wilson, Patten, 221, 229.

  Witney's Emblems, 116.

  _Wood-Engraving, Masters of_ (1889), 149.

  Woodroffe, Paul, 227, 263, 265.

  Woodward, Alice B., 227.

  Zainer, Johann, 7, 11.

  ---- Günther, 17.



Transcriber's Note

Illustrations have been moved near the relevant section of the text.

I have used "=" to denote bolded text.

[:Y] is used in the text to represent Y with an umlaut above it.

Page headers varied depending on the subjects under discussion. Where
the headers did not match the chapter title, I have treated the headers
as sidenotes.

Inconsistencies have been retained in formatting, spelling, hyphenation,
punctuation, and grammar, except where indicated in the list below:

  - Right bracket added before "Augsburg" on Page x
  - "Lubeck" changed to "Lübeck" on Page x
  - Single quote changed to double quote before"Morte" on Page xiii
  - Page number changed from "233" to "283" on Page xiii
  - Page number changed from "305" and "335" to "309" and "341" on
    Page xiv
  - "Liege" changed to "Liège" on Page 19
  - "chiaro-oscuro" changed to "chiaroscuro" on Page 30
  - Period added after "SCHOOL" on Page 71
  - Period added after "1508" on Page 71
  - Period added after "CENTURY" on Page 73
  - Period added after "CENTURY" on Page 87
  - "Fusch" changed to "Fuchs" on Page 119
  - "fuschia" changed to "fuchsia" on Page 119
  - "Wood-cuts" changed to "Woodcuts" on Page 130
  - "caligrapher" changed to "calligrapher" on Page 138
  - Period added after "1827-8-9" on Page 143
  - Period added after "HOLIDAY" on Page 157
  - "HEAD-PIECE" changed to "HEADPIECE" to match Table of Contents on
    Page 158
  - "see" italicized on Page 163
  - Double quotes changed to single quotes around "Epitome of the
    Eighteen Historical Records of China." followed by a double quote
    on Page 164
  - "occured" changed to "occurred" on Page 164
  - Period added after "STRANG" on Page 251
  - "opportunites" changed to "opportunities" on Page 269
  - "see" italicized on Page 293
  - "mediaeval" changed to "mediæval" on Page 306
  - "R.A" changed to "R. A." on Page 335
  - Comma added after "MS." on Page 339
  - "Lorenza" changed to "Lorenzo" on Page 339
  - Colon changed to semicolon after "1894" on Page 339
  - "Pomponious" changed to "Pomponius" on Page 340
  - Repeated line deleted on Page 341
  - "Vèrard" changed to "Vérard" on Page 341

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