Illustration

Illustration

90 Discovered artists
Images that accompany texts are as old as the written word. Even cave paintings were basically picture stories and illustrated a narrative entirely without written texts. In ancient Egypt, texts were usually richly illustrated, as can still be seen today in temples or tombs and on papyri. Otherwise, illustrations in antiquity were rather the exception.
A real wedding experienced the book illustration only in the Middle Ages. Before the invention of printing, books were copied by hand, that is, copied, and also illustrated by hand in the form of miniature paintings. With the invention of letterpress printing, woodcuts were used in analogy to printing plates and later movable type. These printed illustrations were sometimes colored by hand. Just like the printing press, the illustration gained tremendous importance, especially in the time of the Reformation, and played a key role in the struggle between Protestants and the Roman Catholic Church for the mostly illiterate believers. Later options for printing illustrations are in chronological order: copperplate engraving, xylography and lithography.

With the rise of photography, the painted or drawn illustration, like all forms of art that serve pure representation, lost in importance. However, especially in scientific works illustrations are still strongly represented because they can reproduce people, animals, plants, constructions or geological structures much more exemplarily and vividly than photographs. An anatomical cross-section, for example, would never be possible in the form of a photograph as a drawn illustration. Also in the fictional literature - especially in children's and youth books - are printed, previously painted by hand illustrations until today.

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