The Art of the Illustrated Book: History and Design (V&A Museum) (Hardcover)

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The Art of the Illustrated Book: History and Design (V&A Museum) By Julius Bryant (Editor) Cover Image

The Art of the Illustrated Book: History and Design (V&A Museum) (Hardcover)

By Julius Bryant (Editor)


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A remarkable study of the illustrated book, tracing its development across centuries and presenting some of the most important and beautiful examples ever created. 

This is the story of the illustrated book, from the earliest printed examples to the present day, told through the outstanding collections of the National Art Library (NAL) at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

Throughout history, images have been used to reflect the meaning of words and to enhance our understanding of texts. This volume demonstrates the development of illustrated books through a unique selection made by specialists at the NAL. Gathered here are some of the most influential, compelling, and striking examples of the illustrated book, arranged thematically in chapters discussing, among other subjects, art history, architecture, and fashion.

Each chapter starts with an introductory overview of the subject, followed by key examples accompanied by insightful narrative captions. Beyond the illustrations themselves, the narratives also consider the whole book, from its design, typeface, binding, inks, and papers.

From beautiful Psalters and Books of Hours, to striking natural history books such as Audubon’s Birds of America, La Fontaine’s Fables illustrated by Marc Chagall, Serlio’s treatise on architecture, and Owen Jones’s Grammar of Ornament, this collection offers a fascinating overview of some of the finest illustrated books ever created—demonstrating the enduring appeal of the illustrated book. 

Julius Bryant is Keeper Emeritus of Word and Image at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
Product Details ISBN: 9780500480694
ISBN-10: 0500480699
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Publication Date: December 6th, 2022
Pages: 288
Language: English
Series: V&A Museum
A tour d’horizon of book illustrations using 153 examples from the collections of the Victoria & Albert Museum’s National Art Library. Capsule entries on these objects are paired with stunning photographic reproductions, assuring this title a place on many Christmas lists.
— The New Criterion