Book illustration
(1,162 words)

1. Definition

The term book illustration covers all forms of pictorial enrichment of texts: initials, borders, frames, vignettes, ornamental typographic elements, and figurative illustrations using any graphic technology (Printed graphics). A distinction should be drawn between book illustration as artistic decoration and documentary book illustration as a necessary element of a scholarly text. The genre of the book a…

Cite this page
Telesko, Werner, “Book illustration”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 22 April 2018 <>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20160907

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