This essay presents an overview of the story of Bible illustration in print from the first printed illustrated Bibles in the late fifteenth century until the latter part of the twentieth century in Europe and North America. Print had a huge effect in Europe on the production, design, and use of Bibles, particularly the visual Bible. In the late fifteenth century, not long after the first books were printed and starting in Cologne and Nuremberg, woodcut scenes began appearing in printed Bibles. In medieval manuscript Bibles illustrations were mostly confined to an initial letter of the opening word of a biblical book or the initial letters of certain psalms to mark liturgical divisions. The letter would be enlarged and “historiated,” that is, it would also contain a figure or scene usually (but not always) related to the immediate text. Around 1475 Günther Zainer in Augsburg imitated the manuscript tradition by printing a Bible in German that used elaborate woodcuts to reproduce 71 historiated initials. But if a woodcut could be placed in the initial letter position, it could be placed anywhere, and a picture did not need to be a decorated letter.

Beginnings: Quentell and Koberger, Cologne and Nuremberg.

Around 1478–1479 Heinrich Quentell in Cologne published two Bibles (one in a Low Saxon dialect, the other in a West Low German dialect spoken in Cologne), which included freestanding pictures. The woodcuts (ca. 12 × 18.5 cm), spanned the page and were placed adjacent to the relevant text, wherever that was in the book. The preface to the Bible tells the reader that just as paintings had long been a feature of churches and monasteries, so pictures in this Bible would help make the text easier to understand and be an encouragement to the reader. Quentell’s innovation was new to printed Bibles, but the idea was borrowed from other books that were appearing as the printing business rapidly expanded: Albrecht Pfister of Bamberg was perhaps the first to produce a book illustrated with woodcuts, Der Edelstein, soon after 1460.

The first of these Cologne Bibles contained 113 woodcuts (with some repetitions), while the second added another 10. Of the full set of illustrations, Genesis and Exodus between them have 42, nine depicting the Joseph story and seven the plagues in Exodus. Samuel has 11, Numbers and Kings nine each, Daniel (including Susanna) five, Maccabees four, Judges and Tobit three each; Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Chronicles, and Psalms two each; Esdras, Judith, Esther, and Job one each. In the New Testament there are nine for Revelation (the first Bible has only one) but only one each for the Gospels, one for Romans (half size), and one each for the other epistles (half size, using the same woodcut). Plainly the narrative books of the Old Testament were the favorite. Many of the scenes depicted are the most familiar even today: Adam and Eve in the garden, Cain killing Abel, Noah’s ark, the tower of Babel, the sacrifice of Isaac, Jacob’s ladder, Joseph sold, Moses at the burning bush, the plagues in Egypt, Moses striking the rock for water, Moses receiving the Ten Commandments, the golden calf, the brazen serpent, Balaam’s ass, the fall of Jericho, Gideon’s fleece, Samson and the lion, Samuel anoints David, David and Goliath, David brings the Ark to Jerusalem, David and Bathsheba, the death of Absalom, Solomon’s judgment, Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, Elijah’s ascent to heaven, Naaman bathing, the angel smiting the Assyrian camp, Tobias and the angel, Judith with the head of Holofernes, Esther before Ahasuerus, Job and his wife, David playing the harp (Psalms), the three youths in the fiery furnace, and Daniel in the lion’s den.

Illustration, Bible

Quentell’s Bible, Cologne, 1478–1479. Moses at the burning bush (Exod 3). In the background Moses turns Aaron’s rod into a serpent (Exod 7). Illustration from Die Kölner Bibel, Munich, 1923.

Courtesy David M. Gunn

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Many of the designs depict a single scene, whereas others incorporate two episodes of a story. For example, Moses, with Aaron close by, receives instructions from the Lord in the left half of the woodcut, and an Egyptian couple at dinner is beset by frogs in the right half. In other cases the depicted events are not directly related, though one follows the other in the text. Joab stabbing Amasa in the back (2 Sam 20) is paired with David kneeling before the angel with the drawn sword (2 Sam 24). The convention of combining episodes of a story, or phases of an event, into a single illustration, particularly by setting one image prominently in the foreground and reducing the others to the background, continued for close to three centuries.

Quentell’s woodcuts are for the most part simply and elegantly designed, with a minimum of clutter, and using trees and architectural features for framing and the division of scenes. A bird may fly past or a windmill mark the landscape, which may recede into a glimpse of a distant town or castle. The biblical characters are often conveniently labeled. The subjects of this set of illustrations, as well as the composition of the scenes, proved highly influential, perhaps initially because they were taken up by a very successful Nuremberg printer and publisher, Anton Koberger, for a High German Bible that appeared in 1483 and which optionally offered the illustrations hand-colored in three tints (green, ochre, purple) or a deluxe version in a full range of colors. The woodcuts were also soon reproduced in German Bibles published in Strasburg and Augsburg as well as in a Czech Bible from Kuttenberg in Bohemia. In 1494, however, they met with a new look. Steffen Arndes of the Hanseatic League city of Lübeck, a printer who had worked in Mainz and then Foligno and Perugia in Italy, had them redrawn in a more modish Renaissance style and published them in a Low German Bible. He added three pictures to the Cologne set: David in triumph with the head of Goliath, Nathan reproving David, and Jonah and the whale. Again, these are among the most common scenes of illustrated Bibles. In contrast to the Old Testament, the New Testament in the Lübeck Bible is largely devoid of illustration; none of the Cologne woodcuts for Revelation are used.

Beginnings: Giunta in Venice and Sacon in Lyons.

Another early source of influence on the illustrated printed Bible was an innovative edition from the Venetian publisher, Heredi di Lucantonio Giunta, in 1490. By this time Italy was adopting the new technology, aided by printers from Germany and the Low Countries, and Venice was becoming the center of the trade in Italy. Giunta’s Bible was a recent translation of the Vulgate by Niccolò Malermi. It differed from the northern European Bibles in its page format—the standard size of the illustrations was much smaller, about 7 × 4.5 cm, allowing for the insertion of many more woodcuts. Giunta adapted the Cologne designs and added yet more illustrations specially drawn for the purpose, including a large number in the New Testament. The designs are simple but striking with lines kept to a minimum. He also added a version of the diagrams of Nicholas of Lyra (from a Koberger edition of the Postilla litteralis super totam bibliam). The handsomely produced Bible was a commercial success, going through more than 10 editions, and became widely known and copied all over Europe. Giunta later reused some of the blocks for a large quarto Vulgate edition (1511).

Nicholas of Lyra’s Postilla compared Jewish and Christian commentary and designed diagrams to help elucidate the comparisons. They depicted Old Testament structures, such as the tabernacle and Temple, and artifacts associated with ritual, such as the Ark of the Covenant, the vestments of the High Priest, or the furnishings of Solomon’s Temple. The tablets of stone, the plan of the camp of the Israelites, and Ezekiel’s vision in chapter 1 are further subjects. The diagrams, deriving from the fourteenth century, remained popular, in one form or another, for centuries, with colored versions still appearing in nineteenth-century family Bibles.

In France, the populous trading city of Lyons became a major printing center toward the end of the century. Some of the printing businesses had connections with publishers elsewhere in Europe, as was the case with Jacques Sacon, who printed for Koberger in 1512 a folio Vulgate using small woodcuts copied from Giunta’s 1511 quarto Vulgate. Sacon’s Bible sold well, leading to a redesign of the illustrations to better fit the columns. James Strachan (whose account significantly informs this first section of my article) uses this revision to make a point familiar to observers of the art of woodcut illustrations. In the process of copying from a picture onto a block it is easy to produce a mirror image of the picture. “In nine cases out of ten this is immaterial—Elijah might ascend to heaven as readily from one side of the picture as from the other—but in the tenth case, such as Psalm cx [‘Sit at my right hand’], it does matter which side is right and which is left … ” (Strachan, 1957, p. 33). Some other obvious cases where such copying mistakes are wont to appear are Ehud’s (left-handed) slaying of Eglon (Judg 3:15, 21) or Bathsheba being seated at the right hand of Solomon (1 Kgs 2:19).

Sacon’s illustrations, themselves dependent upon Quentell, Koberger, and Giunta, were in turn put to use in other Bibles over the following decades. By midcentury, however, the models available were becoming numerous. One famous suite of 94 woodcuts published in Lyons in 1538 was the Icones Historiarum Veteris Testamenti designed in Basel by Hans Holbein. The small pictures (8.5 × 6 cm), each accompanied by a few lines of text (first in Latin, later in French, Spanish, and English), were set one to a page so that the beautifully and economically drawn images stand out strikingly.

The Sixteenth Century: Salomon in Lyons.

Some particularly fine Bibles coming out of Lyons at the time, from the printer Jean de Tournes, were illustrated by the talented court painter Bernard Salomon. His compositions are balanced, his figures sinewy and expressive, and the backgrounds of buildings and landscape masterfully executed. Salomon’s illustrations in books of scenes from biblical narratives accompanied by short poems proved popular elsewhere in Europe and were used by de Tournes in 1554 for both a French (Geneva) Bible and a Latin Bible, with close to 200 woodcuts (5.7 × 8 cm) in each. Again, certain books predominate. The split between Old and New Testaments is about two-thirds to one-third. Of some 130 Old Testament pictures in a 1556 edition of the Latin Bible, as many as 40 are in Genesis and 27 in Exodus (including five full-page illustrations of the tabernacle and ritual objects), more than 50 percent of the total. Quentell’s subjects for Genesis and Exodus are almost all represented in de Tournes’s Bibles, and in some cases the composition (but not the detailed design and style) is very similar. But in the other major narrative books, the subject choices correspond surprisingly little. The Gospel illustrations are cleverly located, evenly and without repetitions, throughout the four books (42); Acts is well represented (10); and Revelation, 50 years after Albrecht Dürer (see below) set the standard, even more so (16). Salomon’s illustrations found a home in other publications, being copied (mirror-image) by Cornelis Bos in the Netherlands, for example, for his 12-part print series History of Abraham (1555), and after the blocks traveled to Geneva with de Tournes’s son, they continued to be used well into the seventeenth century.

Illustration, Bible

Bernard Salomon illustration in a Latin Bible, Lyons, 1556. Lot and his family flee from Sodom.

Courtesy David M. Gunn

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Salomon’s illustrations also offer a window into the issue of text versus image as well as the place of images in the Reformation. De Tournes was a Catholic who, the evidence suggests, converted to Protestantism, probably as a (Calvinist) Huguenot, before these biblical works were published. The dedication to one of his picture Bibles advises its readers of the powerful effect of images on the viewer—they are able to engrave on the table of the affections the love of sacred stories, the end of which is the cultivation of the love of God’s holy word. The introduction to another such work with Salomon’s illustrations defends the use of images against the iconoclasts by arguing that visual learning could lead to more stable and long-lasting effects than listening (to sermons?). As Sergiusz Michalski (1993) has observed, Calvin’s primary concern was the removal of works of art from display in places of worship—“in profane places an image took on an entirely different meaning.” Although his negative pronouncements against images had the effect of reducing the displaying of images in private homes, his distinction between sacred and profane spaces “left an open field for narrative biblical scenes—especially from the Old Testament—and for secular art” (p. 70).

The Sixteenth Century: Luther’s Bible.

Luther had no real problem with pictures in Bibles. In fact, he played an active part in furthering the production of illustrated editions of his own German translation. His 1522 New Testament in small folio used historiated initials at the beginnings of the Gospels, Acts, and epistles, but Revelation was replete with full-page pictures, 21 in all, based on Dürer’s famous set. The Revelation illustrations were the responsibility of the multitalented Lucas Cranach the Elder, a friend of Luther’s who had become involved in publishing and printing. Cranach adapted Dürer’s designs for this first Bible, and he and his workshop likely saw to the illustrations in at least some of the part-Bibles that followed as Luther completed his translation of the Old Testament. The New Testament, along with its Apocalypse pictures, was revised for an octavo edition in 1524, which went into 10 Wittenberg reprints over the next dozen years. A striking feature of the second of the Old Testament volumes, Joshua to Esther (1524), was a large frontispiece by Cranach of a seated Joshua clad in armor. The picture is one found in numerous later (folio) editions of the whole Luther Bible. The illustrations generally are detailed and convey a sense of energy through the plethora of curved lines. The elaborate whirls and curling lines of trees and foliage, and the blending of figures into the landscape, are even more pronounced in the illustrations redrawn into vertical frames for the octavo edition that appeared the same year, published by Melchior Lotter (Lotther) the Younger. In my view, these are among the most distinctive and engaging engravings of any that appeared in the sixteenth century. It would seem that Luther, given to exhortations in favor of simplicity (Michalski, 1993, p. 39), was less impressed. They were soon to be dropped in favor of a more pedestrian style. The subjects of the woodcuts in these various Old Testament part volumes are those familiar from the Cologne Bible amply supplemented with others. In Exodus and 1 Kings the Lyra diagrams also appear.

In 1534 the whole Bible in Luther’s translation was published (folio) by Hans Lufft, with a new set of woodcuts from an artist (“MS”) working in Cranach’s workshop. Of some 115 illustrations (10.8 × 14.7 cm), 26 are in Revelation (the 1522 pictures plus five new ones), 12 follow the Lyra diagrams, about a third are on subjects treated by the early Bibles (e.g., Quentell, Lübeck), and another third are relatively new, some of them destined to become regular features of illustrated Bibles, for example, Jacob wrestling (Gen 32) or the stoning of the sabbath breaker (Num 15). Unusual, too, is the assignment of a full illustration to each of the Minor Prophets, not just Jonah. Perhaps this was due in part to the fact that some of the Prophets were originally published separately, each with an opening illustration. Apart from Revelation, there are only seven illustrations in the New Testament: one each for the Evangelists and in the epistles two of Paul and one of Peter. The 1534 illustrations soon found a home in other Bibles, in some cases by copying, in others by use of the same blocks that were sold and used in two Bohemian Bibles published in 1549 and 1557.

The Sixteenth Century: Bible Print Series in the Netherlands.

The sixteenth century saw the rapid expansion of another mode of Bible illustration, namely the production of loose prints or print series depicting biblical characters and stories. The Netherlands was notable for fine examples of this kind of artistic output. Lucas van Leyden in the early sixteenth century produced a variety of prints on biblical themes that proved influential. The majority of his biblical prints dealt with the New Testament, but, unlike Dürer, he was also attracted to the Old Testament for his subjects, including a five-part series retelling the story of Joseph.

In Germany during the middle decades of the century, Heinrich Aldegrever, along with other artists, continued the practice of issuing print series, in a small vertical (12 × 8 cm) format. Aldegraver started with Joseph and moved on to other popular topics such as Adam and Eve, Abraham, Tobit, Susanna, and, more unusually, Amnon and the rape of Tamar.

In the Netherlands, Maarten van Heemskerck, working in Haarlem, methodically worked his way through the Bible, paying attention to both Old Testament (38 series) and New Testament (15 series) and producing more than 400 prints on biblical subjects. He drew the designs and engaged others for the engraving. “With Van Heemskerck the age of reproductive printmaking made its appearance in the Netherlands” (Van der Coelen, 1996, p. 13; on the Netherlands, I have drawn extensively upon Van der Coelen’s lucid account and Poortman, 1983, 1986). After 1553 van Heemskerck teamed up with the Antwerp print seller Hieronymus Cock, who acted as publisher in what became the regular professional collaboration of designer, engraver, and publisher, with the publisher responsible for investment and distribution and so likely having a say in the choice of subject. He also began to use the Haarlem engraver Philips Galle, who worked for Cock and whose skill was considerable. Cock operated a copper-engraving workshop in Antwerp and helped make the city a major center for this craft, which offered much finer detail than woodcuts, though it presented the printer with technical problems when matched with set text.

An associated development in the latter half of the century was the picture Bible or “print-Bible” (prent-Bijbel) inspired by the success of Salomon’s books and with roots, too, in Luther’s Passional of 1529 (50 woodcuts accompanied by summaries of the illustrated biblical passage). In 1579 the Antwerp print seller Gerard de Jode assembled and published together a large number of pictures, following up with an expanded edition in 1585. The revised Thesaurus Sacrarum historiarum Veteris et Novi Testamenti included 61 series: 42 from the Old Testament, 19 from the New Testament. As usual, Genesis was well represented (10 series), and there are four episodes from the story of David (David and Saul, Abigail, Bathsheba, and Absalom). De Jode used previously published series but also engaged artists including Pieter van der Borcht, Maarten Heemskerck, and the largest contributor, Maarten de Vos. Engravers of lasting fame include Johannes (Jan) Sadeler I and members of the Wierix and Collaert families. Compared with Heemskerck’s work, the lines in de Vos’s designs flow more smoothly, the figures are less intrusively muscular—more Tintoretto and less Michelangelo, to paraphrase Peter van der Coelen (1996, p. 17)—and his beautifully conceived landscapes play a more important part in the composition. De Vos was responsible for many other series, from both Testaments, and his style was very influential.

De Jode’s Thesaurus is significant for other reasons. It is an early example of the large-scale use of copper engravings for illustrated books. In this respect, de Jode was perhaps influenced by Christophe Plantin’s productions. Moreover, 1585, the year of its expanded edition, was also the year when the Spanish captured Antwerp and the northern and southern regions of the Netherlands took sharply diverging religious and cultural directions. The art of Antwerp in the south shifted to devotional prints—the Passion of Christ was a primary biblical subject—in sympathy with the Catholic Counter-Reformation. Other artists left for Germany or for the north where Haarlem and Amsterdam replaced Antwerp as the site of biblical narrative printmaking. The Thesaurus is also a watershed with respect to the constant adding of new biblical topics to the repertoire; thereafter the trend was toward artistic development of a smaller number of subjects. The work of the designer and engraver Hendrick Goltzius is a prime example, along with that of talented pupils such as Jacob Matham and Jan Saenredam. Finally, the turn to prints and print series published separately from Bibles may be related to an emerging resistance to illustrating the Bible itself. In fact, there was a long hiatus in the publishing of illustrations in Dutch translations of the Bible, both Protestant and Catholic, from about 1560 to 1680 (Rosier, 1997, Vol. 1, p. 3).

The Seventeenth Century: Visscher, Van Sichem, and Recycling.

The Thesaurus is significant also because its subsequent history is representative of a common feature of the reproduction of biblical illustrations in the following centuries. Claes Jansz. Visscher built up a thriving print and map publishing business in Amsterdam in the first half of the seventeenth century. One of his most successful ventures was the publication of the Theatrum Biblicum (1639 and 1643), which was in significant measure a reprint, using the original plates, of de Jode’s expanded Thesaurus, though it may well be that he considered himself to be improving on de Jode by corrections and subtle alterations. Recycling the innovative print suites of the previous century became big business in the seventeenth century, and the practice continued in the eighteenth century. The Theatrum itself was reissued and was still available in the 1680s, a century after de Jode’s original publication.

Old designs were recycled and modified—for example, a traditional anthropomorphic depiction of God the Father might need to be changed, in line with Protestant thinking, to a symbol, usually the Tetragrammaton (the four Hebrew letters, YHWH, for the name of God; see Herrin, 2014). New ones were added from various sources. The physical dimensions of these eclectic print collections also grew with publications on royal size paper (58 × 48 cm) so that the engraving itself might be as big as 39 × 51 cm, as in Nicolaes Visscher’s Bybelsche Figuren, which consisted of 65 scenes in each of the Testaments on sheets folded and inserted on tabs. In a smaller format, the Bibels Tresoor (776 pages) included numerous woodcuts by Christoffel van Sichem II, after designs by “various masters,” usually one scene to a page accompanied by explanatory text. It was published in 1646 by the Amsterdam bookseller Pieter Jacobsz. Paets, who later used these woodcuts and others by van Sichem and his son Christoffel III to fill out some 1,200 illustrations in a Dutch Catholic Bible he brought out in 1657. As usual, the narrative books of both Old and New Testaments are heavily illustrated, often with two or three pictures per two-column page, but in this case the Psalms are notable for their use of scenes from the New Testament to illustrate their traditional Christian meaning as predictive of Christ.

The Seventeenth Century: Merian.

A major source of Bible illustration for more than a century, at least north of the Alps, was the series by Matthaeus Merian, published first in picture Bible format as Icones Biblicae (1625–1627), and then incorporated into a Luther Bible published by Lazarus Zetzner’s Heirs in Strasburg in 1630 and thereafter in Frankfurt, where Merian took over the publishing firm of his father-in-law, Johann Theodor de Bry. According to Philipp Schmidt (1977, p. 304), this Bible became, among wealthier families, probably the most widely used illustrated Bible in southern Germany, Basel, and the Alsace. The pictures were soon copied by competitors, including the Visscher firm in Amsterdam, which expanded the number of images in various editions. The images also found their way into editions of Josephus, whose Jewish Antiquities (in translation) became popular in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Furthermore, from about 1680 many were adapted for use in editions of Nicolas Fontaine’s L’Histoire du Vieux et du Nouveau Testament, a primer of moral commentary drawn from the church fathers, intended for the edification of youth, and published under the pseudonym of “Sieur de Royaumont” in small portable formats (e.g., 9 × 14.5 cm). The net result was that by the eighteenth century in northern Europe, Merian’s Bible illustrations, in copperplate or woodcut versions, were among the most commonly encountered of all such pictures.

The designs themselves were a mixture of originality and borrowing (e.g., from earlier artists such as Jost Amman, Virgil Solis, and Tobias Stimmer), and in some cases just a mixture: Samuel’s anointing of Saul borrows the poses of Samuel anointing David as Raphael painted them in the Vatican Loggia. (Some of Raphel’s Loggia designs, including David’s anointing, remained popular for centuries.) As usual, the Old Testament narrative books, especially Genesis (and, to a lesser extent, Samuel and Kings), receive much attention, while the Gospels are also very well represented, as is Acts and, of course, Revelation. Merian was fond of crowd scenes and battles especially, though he also has a penchant for setting small figures in a larger landscape, Flemish-style. Clothes and armor are indicative of antiquity as seen through a classical lens with touches of the Ottoman Empire adding an aura of authenticity. At the end of the first part of Icones Biblicae, he appends a “Dear Reader” note in which he hopes that the pictures will not only bring pleasure to art lovers but also lead to contemplation of divine wonders and bring the reader back to the scripture itself. The little explanatory verses printed opposite each picture were for readers of Latin, German, or French.

One source of the particular interest in the Old Testament that we see in the Netherlands during this period, especially regarding the history books and texts dealing with Hebrew institutions, was the view that within these accounts might be found a model for the Dutch Republic (Eyffinger, 2006; for a specific connection to Bible illustrations, see Camp, 2011).

The Late Seventeenth Century: Keur, Weigel, the Küsel Sisters, and Portable Bibles.

By the eighteenth century, however, large profusely illustrated Luther Bibles seem to have become less favored in Germany. Pictures might instead be found grouped in small scenes, perhaps in roundels, at the major biblical divisions and, at the beginning, as a set of full-page portraits of Luther and the German Electors. In the Netherlands, on the other hand, handsome editions of the official States Bible published by the Keur family in Dordrecht over three generations contained foldout maps by Daniel Stoopendaal (based on maps published earlier by the Visscher firm): Paradise (the ancient Near East), the wilderness wanderings, Jerusalem, Paul’s journeys, and a world map that is much sought after today. Such maps were a popular addition to publications like these. By the early eighteenth century the Keur volumes might have sets of other plates bound in, usually with six or eight discrete images per plate.

Single pages with multiple copper-engraved scenes—instead of woodcuts interspersed through the text—offered a convenient way of accommodating the desire to represent as many stories as possible with the demands of technology. Suites of such pictures could be published separately as picture Bibles or (as with the Keur volumes) inserted or bound into large (text-only) Bibles. One such picture Bible that provided a popular source for subsequent Bible illustration in a variety of formats was a massive work, Biblia Ectypa, published by Christoph Weigel of Augsburg in 1695. In all there are about 850 scenes (individual copper engravings, each with their own plate), in a vertical (portrait) format (12 × 7.5 cm), mostly printed four to a folio page. A short caption in Latin (above) and a biblical quotation in German (below) are engraved within each frame. The volume’s extended title announces the work’s purpose as imagining all the Bible’s events for the edifying contemplation of worshipful souls and for the greater glory of God. It also sold well for Weigel. It is a selection of copied Biblia Ectypa images that appears in some of Keur’s volumes. As usual, narratives are favored—Genesis, Exodus, Joshua–Kings, and Jonah, along with the Gospels and Acts.

On a completely different scale, also from Augsburg near the end of the century, were a tiny pair of “thumb” Bibles called Old and New Testament “Intermediaries” (Mittler) with about 130 little images in each Testament—designed and engraved by two sisters, Johanna Christina and Maria Magdalena Küsel, daughters of the engraver Melchior Küsel and granddaughters of Matthaeus Merian, whose designs they carefully reduced in size (3.3 × 3.5 cm). Thumb Bibles were usually aimed at children, though these, with their intricate pictures, may also have had adults in mind. This was a time where personal piety was emphasized and where the image was an aid to meditation upon divine truths, including the frailty of humankind and (in a Lutheran society) the need for salvation by faith alone—hence a goodly number of scenes of death and divine retribution (Courtauld Gallery, 2013).

Illustration, Bible

Christoph Weigel’s Biblia Ectypa, Augsburg, 1695. Left: The Tabernacle (Exod 26). Right: Jesus walks on water (Matt 14).

Courtesy David M. Gunn

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Printmaking, as the names in this article suggest, was largely the province of men, but women were sometimes involved, often through the family: some daughters learned from their engraver fathers, some women artists provided designs, and some women ran the businesses as wives and as widows (see Alexander, 1997).

While large folio Bibles provided the space for lavish illustration and the opportunity to sell in a high-end market, there were obvious advantages to the smaller portable Bible. The disadvantage was tiny type size (usually set in columns); an alternative was to split the Bible into several volumes and compromise on the point size. Either way the Bible could accommodate illustrations, usually stretching across the page in “landscape” fashion. A typical (1690) Vulgate edition from Nicolas Pezzana in Venice measures about 20 × 14 cm and is about 6 cm thick, with woodcuts (5.7 × 8 cm) about the same size as those of Salomon in De Tournes’s Bibles. One of the problems with these more portable and affordable illustrated Bibles was that it was not feasible for the publisher to be commissioning new sets of pictures for every edition. One answer was simply to keep using or reproducing the same blocks. Such reuse could be extensive. Pezzana, for example, was still using in a 1732 Vulgate the same pictures that Giunta had used in a Vulgate printed in Venice in 1627, more than a century earlier.

The Eighteenth Century: De Hooghe, the Luykens, and Picart in the Netherlands.

The production of large and lavishly illustrated volumes continued. Indeed, the early eighteenth century saw some of the finest examples, with creative designs and extraordinary technical achievement in designing, engraving, and printing. Some of the best came from the Netherlands and were folio picture Bibles, the copperplate images printed on one side of a sheet only, and explanatory or expositional text interleaved with the illustrations. Among the most accomplished of the artists involved in designing and engraving them were Romeijn de Hooghe (Hooge), Jan Goeree, Arnold Houbraken, Bernard Picart, Jan Luyken (Luiken), and his son Casper. Perhaps even more capable of creating fine detail than de Hooghe, Jan Luyken is probably the most distinctively expressive of all. His lean figures recall those of Salomon but have their own distinctive style (and quirky turbans) and are part of an extraordinarily imaginative world of human action and emotion, of tragedy and comedy alike. Luyken was also a poet; and as a young adult he had a deep religious experience that led him to pietism and mysticism.

In 1700 Pieter Mortier brought out a picture Bible, in both Dutch and French editions, often called his “large Bible” (as distinct from his “small [picture] Bible”), with more than 400 scenes set two to a page, two thirds Old Testament and Apocrypha, one third New Testament. A majority were designed by the contemporary artist Otto Elliger (a mediocre one, in Poortman’s judgment [1986, Vol. 2, p. 105]), but others by Goeree, Picart, and Jan Luyken (Historie des Ouden en Nieuwen Testaments, Amsterdam).

In competition within a few years was Jacob Lindenberg’s “all the greatest histories/stories” (Alle de Voornaamste Historien des Ouden en Nieuwen Testaments, Amsterdam, 1703), with illustrations by Romeijn de Hooghe, and within a few more years another edition with different text and title, “the great world scene” pictured through “art-print interpretations” (’t Groot Waerelds Tafereel, Amsterdam, ca. 1706), following sacred and worldly events from Creation to the end of John’s Revelation. By 1715 the latter edition was in its eighth imprint and selling steadily. Dedicating the first edition to the directors of the Dutch East India Company, the publisher observes that heathen peoples who see God’s miracles in this Bible will experience an even greater emotional response than simply hearing of them (Van der Coelen, 1996, p. 163). De Hooghe’s etching, in late Baroque style, shows the influence of Rembrandt, and he in turn had a significant influence on the art of the print in the eighteenth century. He maintained a large studio. His human figures, often very small and dramatically posed, present a range of body types and facial expressions.

Jan and Casper Luyken’s biblical illustrations appear in several publications from this period. Jan earlier produced 24 pictures for a New Testament series (1680), octavo format, which was still being copied for Bibles in the nineteenth century (Poortman, 1986, Vol. 2, p. 129); in 1712, the year of his death, a second such series of 42 prints for octavo Bibles appeared, again widely used. It was also Jan Luyken who scaled down hundreds of prints for Mortier’s “small Bible” of 1703. Father and son together contributed most of about 230 full-page images—with poetic descriptions in Latin and German—for a folio picture Bible published in Nuremberg by Christoph Weigel (Historiae Celebriores, 1708; reprinted 1712, 1714, and later). But perhaps most astonishing in their combination of large-scale landscape or architectural settings and finely detailed human and animal activity were the huge, double folio etchings (ca. 32 × 43 cm)—with brief descriptions in Dutch and French—designed and engraved by Jan Luyken for Pieter Mortier in Amsterdam (Icones Biblicae, 1708; also available separately for binding-in; reprinted 1729 and 1747). Casper began another extensive print series of scriptural histories and parables shown in images but died unexpectedly in 1708. His father finished the etchings and wrote the accompanying poems. But shortly before the book appeared, he too died (De Schriftuurlijke Geschiedenissen en Gelijkenissen, Amsterdam, 1712) (see Poortman, 1986, Vol. 2, p. 126).

Twenty years after Weigel’s Historiae Celebriores with its Luyken pictures, a competing work on the market was Pieter de Hondt’s “scenes of the principal histories” (Taferelen der Voornaamste Geschiedenissen, The Hague, 1728). Another sumptous production, it featured more than 200 scenes (treating the Gospels as a harmony) interleaved with commentary by the well-known Protestant preacher and writer Jacques Saurin. At the foot of each plate, the subject was spelled out in Hebrew or Greek (as appropriate), Latin, English, French, German, and Dutch. Many of the scenes, mostly in the Old Testament, were designed by Gerard Hoet in a somewhat stilted, academic style, but others by Arnold Houbraken and especially Bernard Picart stand out; while consonant with the general style, they escape its confines and convey both drama and an engaging cast of characters (for example, Picart’s Jesus and Nicodemus or Jesus calling Matthew). Picart, as was his practice, also designed pictures after artists such as Raphael (miraculous catch of fish) and Ludovico Carracci (burial of Christ). Some of the more spectacular pictures are double-page foldouts.

Illustration, Bible

Jan Luyken illustration in Icones Biblicae, Amsterdam, 1729. The plague of frogs (Exod 8). Detail from a large double-page plate.

Courtesy David M. Gunn

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The series was originally published in Amsterdam, in 1720, by Picart himself (Figures de la Bible). Like de Hooghe, he had many students and employees who took on a lot of the tasks, and he became highly influential. His ability to convey nuances of light and shade is remarkable.

Born in France, son of a successful Parisian engraver, a Catholic, his move to the Dutch Republic in 1709 followed indirectly from Louis XIV’s revocation in 1685 of the Edict of Nantes and the persecution of French Protestants. Picart’s sympathies lay with his more free-thinking friends and religious toleration; in Amsterdam he became a Protestant. He is mostly known today for the influential seven folio volumes, richly illustrated, on religion around the world, Cérémonies et coutumes religieuses de tous les peuples du monde, published in Amsterdam between 1723 and 1737 by Jean Frederic Bernard, whose Huguenot family had fled France in 1685. It was in the Protestant Netherlands, not Catholic Paris, that Picart saw a demand for biblical illustrations.

The Eighteenth Century: Scheuchzer’s “Copperplate Bible.”

A quite different kind of publication was concerned with the Bible and science: the massive “Copperplate Bible” (Kupfer-Bible) of the Swiss doctor and naturalist Johann Jacob Scheuchzer of Zurich. Four folio volumes (eight “books”) of some 2,000 pages and about 750 full-page plates on “hallowed natural science” were published in Latin (Physica Sacra) and German (Kupfer-Bibel … Physica Sacra oder Geheiligte Natur-Wissenschafft) editions (Augsburg and Ulm, 1731–1735) as well as in translations from the Latin into French (Amsterdam, 1731–1735) and later into Dutch (Amsterdam, 1735–1738). Scheuchzer’s aim was to show how nature was evidence of God’s handiwork, that the Bible and nature, as known to the best authorities, were in accord. He wrote in an ecumenical vein and wished to rebut both conservative critics who saw the new science as an attack on scripture and philosophers critical of the Bible such as Spinoza. Integral to his argument were the visual illustrations, prepared under the direction of Johann Jean Andreas Pfeffel of Augsburg. The main designs were drawn by Johann Melchior Füssli of Zurich, and their elaborate frames and ornaments, often cleverly incorporating elements of the picture subject, by Johann Daniel Preissler of Nuremberg. Eighteen engravers worked on the project, including one woman, Catharina Sperlingin (née Hecklin), Pfeffel’s teenage son, Scheuchzer’s own son, and another boy in his early teens.

While some narrative scenes are depicted to show some ancient artifact or a miracle requiring explanation, the work is primarily about the natural world of the Bible; hence Leviticus, usually only sparsely illustrated, is the source for numerous plates of birds, animals, insects, fish, and so on, on account of the dietary laws. The artistry may not always match that of the Netherlands picture Bibles; nonetheless, this is a truly amazing accomplishment.

The Eighteenth Century: England in the First Half of the Century.

In the seventeenth century, England had not been in the forefront of book illustration, least of all the production of illustrated Bibles, but by the middle of the eighteenth century London was becoming a center of printmaking (Alexander, 1997) and the illustrated family Bible well on its way to becoming a standard feature of British print culture. It took some developments in the production of books with Bible illustrations before that happened. In part the constraint on issuing illustrated Bibles lay in the fact that the rights to the Authorized (King James) Version lay with the Crown and were exercised only by the university presses (Oxford and Cambridge) and the royal printer, John Baskett, in London; they were conservative in their view of what constituted a proper Bible. It was only with the increasing use of biblical pictures in books that were not strictly Bibles, the binding of picture series into regular Bibles, and the combining of the text with ancillary material and calling it a “family Bible” that the shift was accomplished (Bentley, 1993).

A notable early foray into the grand picture-Bible market was Richard Blome’s biblical History, translated from Fontaine’s Histoire (see above) replete with large engravings (ca. 33 × 20 cm). The pictures are based on Merian’s and, reflecting the financing of the volume, incorporate a scroll detailing the title and (usually high) station of a patron or patroness who, “for the advancement of this work contributed this plate, to whose patronage it is humbly dedicated by Richard Blome.” Plate 103 (“Solomon made King,” 1 Kgs 1) is dedicated, without mention of patronage, to William III, but the second edition’s preface affirms the late queen’s “graciously patronizing and receiving” of the first volumes. These appeared in 1688 (New Testament) and 1690 (Old Testament); the two were combined in a red-lined second, enlarged edition in 1701 (240 illustrations plus five maps); a third edition, 1705, added the Apocrypha and 20 more illustrations; its popularity was such that a fourth edition appeared in 1712. The Merian pictures are redrawn (many signed G. Freman) to fit a vertical format. Occasionally there are other modifications. Susanna, for example, who in Merian’s version sits largely naked at the pool’s edge, now wears a modest chemise. Yet Merian’s naked Bathsheba remains naked. Perhaps the point is to emphasize the caption, “The Chastity of Susanne,” and leave in contrast Bathsheba, widely considered by the interpreters to be blameworthy.

While Blome used Merian’s pictures, those in a different kind of “history,” namely Laurence Howel’s A Compleat History of the Holy Bible (printed by Elizabeth Nutt in London, 1716; 5th ed., 1729), are same-size copies of Weigel’s Biblia Ectypa. The book is a narrative account of the Bible incorporating explanations of the “difficult” bits, a genre popular throughout the century in more and less expansive versions. The Compleat History ran to three octavo volumes and came with “above 150” engravings by John Sturt bound in. Sturt’s Biblia Ectypa illustrations were bound into small-format Bibles and other volumes—for example, with a different selection, J. Hamond’s one-volume Historical Narration of the Whole Bible, printed for Richard Ware in London (at the Bible and Sun in Amen Corner, near Paternoster-row) in 1727. Howel’s Compleat History came out again in 1737, with minor changes to the text, but curiously (such was the nature of eighteenth-century publishing) now in the name of Laurence Clarke (printed in London for the author), in quarto format, and with similar illustrations mostly matched to the larger size (ca. 18.5 × 14 cm), so still basically versions of Weigel’s Biblia Ectypa. Many plates bear dedications to the nobility and to a good many bishops who no doubt subscribed to the publication. Some years earlier, Sturt’s “cuts” appeared in a unique work by Samuel Wesley (the father of the famous Wesley brothers), The History of the Old and New Testament Attempted in Verse and “adorn’d with Three Hundred and Thirty Sculptures” (London, 1704).

Some Bible histories grew into large and erudite works, with references to many authorities including rabbinic sources (“the Jewish doctors”) and, frequently, Josephus. Perhaps the best known was Thomas Stackhouse’s New History of the Holy Bible from the Beginning of the World to the Establishment of Christianity (London, 1737; it appeared first in numbers; folio). A second, revised and enlarged edition (1742–1744) was followed by reprints in various formats for more than a century. The Old Testament illustrations consist of maps, charts of ancient measures, and depictions of the tabernacle, the Hebrew ritual apparatus, Solomon’s Temple (in the tradition of Lyra), and a few narrative scenes, including a version of Weigel’s 1695 Jonah cast from the whale (itself derived from Merian’s 1627 Jonah). The New Testament illustrations include maps, portraits of the Evangelists and principal figures in Acts, and scenes from the Passion story. A tripartite panel heads each major section in the second edition; here, too, the scenes are borrowed from Weigel’s Biblia Ectypa.

The quality of most of the illustrations in these English publications is less than that of their Netherlandish and German models. One set that does distinguish itself is, as the title plate modestly puts it, “Gloriously Engraved by J. Cole” from designs of the “best Masters”: The Historical Part of the Holy Bible … Exactly and Compleatly Describ’ed in above Two Hundred Historys, printed (ca. 1724) and sold in London by Richard Ware. It was “fitted to Bind up with all Sorts of House Bibles,” as, for example, a small quarto Bible published in 1724 by the royal printer, John Baskett. The picture format is two pictures per plate, two plates per page. The small figures are individually portrayed and often set within a finely delineated landscape or architecture that enhances rather than diminishes the scene’s human subjects (for example, Gideon and the angel, the birth of Samson foretold by an angel, Hannah in grief prays for a child, and the death of Eli).

The Eighteenth Century: England in the Second Half of the Century.

The standard British family Bible (folio) consisted of the full biblical text in the Authorized (King James) Version, together with commentary in various forms including explanatory notes and moral or theological discussion, often maps, charts, and perhaps indexes, and (usually) full-page illustrations, mostly following the traditional pattern of favoring the narrative books, with Genesis and the Gospels taking pride of place. Though these Bibles were often published in London, they appeared in a range of other places including as far afield as Newcastle upon Tyne.

A Practical Family Bible (new edition, revised by the Rev. Joseph Wise, 1774), to take one example out of many, describes itself as containing several thousand notes collected by Francis Willoughby, D.D. (from the sermons of some 60 divines, names listed) and, moreover, in a familiar formula, “embellished with a set of beautiful engravings … from original drawings, and the best copies of capital paintings.” The large folio volume contains about 40 full-page illustrations, of which a few more appear in the Old Testament (plus Apocrypha) than in the New. Almost all contain within the engraving a dedication by Willoughby to a bishop and/or the clergy of a county and the congregations under their care, covering most of England. Most of the pictures, many skillfully engraved by Charles Grignion, are delicately framed in rococo style and provide a title and biblical reference. Six others, larger and lacking the frame, are the distinctive designs of Henry Fuseli (Fusseli, Füssli), who also designed several of the “rococo” pictures and engraved at least one of his own plates. Fuseli, who went on to become a member of the Royal Academy, was Johann Heinrich Füssli, originally from Zurich, and a great nephew of Johann Melchior Füssli, Scheuchzer’s main designer. Among other artists in Willoughby’s Bible, often with their names inscribed, are Picart (four plates) and Charles Le Brun (three), together with Rubens, Domenichino, Nicolas Poussin, Salvator Rosa, Carlo Maratti, and the French rococo painter François Le Moyne, whose designs appear often in family Bibles like this one. Domenichino’s “David dancing before the Ark” is possibly the most reproduced design of them all. At least two of the designs (modified to fit the vertical format) derive from Mortier’s picture Bible of 1700—Nebuchnezzar driven from men (Elliger) and Jonah preaching to the Ninevites (Picart).

In hot competition, just a few years later, came The Complete British Family Bible, with notes and annotations, practical reflections and useful admonitions, all the difficult and obscure passages explained, seeming contradictions reconciled, and the objections of Deists and Infidels answered by Paul Wright, D.D.—embellished, too, with illustrations, only these were “the most elegant set of copper-plates ever published in a work of this kind.” It was printed in London for Alex. Hogg at No. 16, Paternoster-row, in 1781. Where the Practical Family Bible had merely 40 illustrations, the Complete British Family Bible had almost 70. The rococo style was left behind, and the picture frames now had a more fashionable clean-cut neoclassical look. The pictures themselves, however, are not so different. They draw on past artists, including Raphael, Paris Bordone, Rubens, Domenichino, Anthony van Dyk, Rembrandt, Maratti, and Le Brun. Again Picart is well represented, including a reduced version of his fiery furnace (Dan 3) from de Hondt’s 1728 picture Bible. Elliger’s Nebuchadnezzar appears again (reversed), as do a few other versions of pictures in Willoughby, including Tobit burying the dead, attributed here to a young English artist, William Hamilton, whose pictures appear often in such works well into the next century. Hamilton is credited here with several designs, at least one of which (Cain slaying Abel) is derived from Weigel’s Biblia Ectypa of 1695. A design by Francis Hayman, a founder of the Royal Academy, is another with ties to the Biblia Ectypa. As with the included dedications, the illustrations could convey more than one message. Running across the top of the plate showing “Jeremiah set at liberty” (Jer 39.14) is the sentence “Engraved for The Revd. Dr. Wright’s Complete British Family Bible; A WORK Universally acknowledged to be the Best Exposition & Commentary on the Holy Scriptures ever published.”

The urge to publish the best—and biggest—illustrated Bible came to full expression in England at the turn of the century with the appearance of Thomas Macklin’s Bible. It appeared first in parts, starting in 1791, and more than 700 people, including the king, George III, signed the subscription list. When published complete in 1800, it had become a seven-volume affair (elephant folio) with about 10 engraved plates (ca. 34 × 25 cm) per volume along with large chapter head pieces and tail pieces. Macklin wished to showcase the “English school” and the Royal Academy, and the Bible offers an interesting sample of the times: artists included Fuseli, William Hamilton, John Opie, Joshua Reynolds, and Benjamin West, with the largest number of plates (16) coming from the French-British painter Philip James (Philippe Jacques) de Loutherbourg. Among favorite pictures copied later into Bibles and devotional books is Opie’s Samuel Presented to Eli, in which a young mother dressed in a simple, late eighteenth-century dress kneels alongside the seated figure of Eli, gray-robed and full-bearded, gently holding one hand of the cherubic nude boy while the old man gently holds the other. Another is West’s dramatic Witch of Endor with a white-robed and completely cowled Samuel dominating the scene’s center, the woman gesturing upward at the apparition with one hand and downward with the other to the figure of Saul fallen in the foreground.

Illustration, Bible

John Opie illustration in Macklin’s Bible, London, 1800. Hannah presents Samuel to Eli. Detail from a large full-page plate.

Courtesy David M. Gunn

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As Macklin was launching his celebrated volume, John Cooke of No. 17, Paternoster-row, who had been a journeyman of Alexander Hogg’s, was bringing out (probably also first in numbered parts) The Christian’s New and Compleat Family Bible, or, Universal Library of Divine Knowledge, with annotations by the Rev. Thomas Bankes and “Embellished and enriched with upwards of Three Hundred and Fifty beautiful Engravings.” The issuing of works in weekly numbers was big business directed particularly at working-class and lower-middle-class people seeking to improve their education. Paternoster-row was a hub of business, and both Hogg and Cooke were adept at the trade. Thomas Bankes was a useful name because, at about the same time, Cooke was also publishing (again probably in numbered parts) Bankes’s A Modern, Authentic and Complete System of Universal Geography (or some such title, since edition titles vary and lack dates), which made available results of Captain James Cook’s epic journeys of exploration. As for the embellishments, they are no less than relatively fine renderings of Weigel’s century-old Biblia Ectypa designs, printed, as in the original, four to a (very large) page. It would appear, moreover, that, in the end, Cooke may have made more money than Macklin.

As in the Netherlands, the British buyer of fine editions of the Bible and related books was also interested in the works of Josephus. Cooke obliged and produced, some time in the 1780s, an edition of George Henry Maynard’s translation. He reused the illustrations—a new set, mostly signed, by members of the Royal Academy (Conrad Martin Metz, Thomas Stothard, and Richard Corbould)—from a Bible history he had recently published. All that was required was a change from decorative frames that said “Engraved for Kimpton’s History of the Bible” to a single frame declaring it was “Engraved for MAYNARD’s Josephus.” The illustrations did not stay long in Britain. In 1792 a version of the same Maynard’s Josephus was for sale in New York by the printer and bookseller William Durell (no mention of Cooke). The same illustrations, unsigned, were now (relatively poorly) “engraved by American Artists,” and the frame now announced: “Engraved for the AMERICAN EDITION of MAYNARD’S Josephus.” Within a few years another version was being printed and sold in Philadelphia.

The Nineteenth Century: Family Bibles, Brown’s Self-Interpreting Bible, and Blake.

For those of moderate means in search of a family Bible, the early nineteenth century afforded plenty of choices. A likely candidate might be A New Family Bible with “practical improvements” (moral admonition) extracted by the Rev. E. Blomfield from the exposition of the Rev. Matthew Henry and, of course, embellished with 50 beautiful engravings (Bungay [in Suffolk]: T. Kinnersley, 1819; quarto). Thumbing through the first volume (Genesis–Job), a reader would find a series of pictures matched nicely to the page size and simply but fashionably framed. Most are derived from Weigel’s Biblia Ectypa of 1695.

Another possible choice would be an edition of John Brown’s “self-interpreting Bible” (first published in Edinburgh by Gavin Alston, 1778). Brown, for many years a minister in Hadington, East Lothian, in Scotland, was a preacher and commentator with an ability to reach a wide variety of people in all stations of life, and his Bible, with its built-in cross-references and notes, was a huge success. He died in 1787, but the Bible and his Dictionary of the Bible (Edinburgh, 1769) long outlived him. An 1812 edition of The Self-Interpreting Bible, published in London (R. Evans, Spitalfields; folio), offered an eclectic selection of illustrations, ranging from mediocre versions of Rubens, Domenichino, and Hoet to the more recent favorites, Hamilton and West, among others less familiar. Several are based on designs by Clément-Pierre Marillier, a French artist who exquisitely illustrated, with more than 300 engravings (by Rémi Delvaux), a French Bible published in 12 volumes through some difficult times (Paris: Defer de Maisonneuve, 1789–1803; medium octavo). Marillier appears in other folio editions of Brown’s Bible published between 1813 and 1834 by Kinnersley in Bungay and Thomas Kelly in London (Paternoster-row), as do Picart and other illustrators from Mortier’s 1700 picture Bible. A handsome Welsh Bible printed in London (Henry Fisher, 1823) has a finer set than some others, with a range of old and new designs, the old including Rubens, Poussin, and Veronese, the more recent including favorites by West (Witch of Endor) and Henry Singleton (Boaz and Ruth); as usual, designs by Picart and others from the picture Bibles of Mortier (1700) and de Hondt (1728) are to be found.

Almost entirely at odds with the kinds of pictures being displayed in these Bibles—with Fuseli the exception—were those of William Blake. His 22 engravings for Illustrations of the Book of Job (1825), for example, are celebrated for their powerful combining of Blake’s own challenging text and equally challenging images such that the viewer is pulled into a work that demands interpretation but offers no ready answers. Blake’s illustrations thus stand apart because he himself stood apart from the religious orthodoxy that pervades Bible illustration in his time and generally.

The Nineteenth Century: Harper’s Illuminated Bible and Cassell’s Illustrated Family Bible.

Illustrated Bibles produced in Britain were becoming more affordable, in part because of an expanding North American market (Gutjahr, 1999), but also through the use of stereotyping, whereby the original composed pages were recast as a set of solid plates, thus freeing up the type and facilitating reprints. While few illustrated Bibles were produced in the United States in the early years of the nineteenth century, the situation changed rapidly. By 1846 it could be argued that the United States had become the trendsetter.

In 1843 the New York publishing company Harper & Brothers announced a new Bible, lavishly illustrated, to appear initially in fascicle format, issued in 54 numbers at 25 cents per number. In 1846 complete Bibles were sold, and reprints followed in 1859 and 1866. The large quarto Bible came “embellished with sixteen hundred historical engravings by J. A. Adams,” of which “more than fourteen hundred” were “from original designs by J. G. Chapman.” Adams, a New York engraver and printer, persuaded the company to use the new process of electrotyping to preserve the detail of the woodcuts in the printing process. Chapman’s designs were mostly small vignettes illustrating a passage; floriated letters began many chapters; and 185 larger pictures, most with elaborate borders, filled out many pages, especially in the narrative books. The artists of the larger pictures, possibly French and English (so the prospectus), were never listed and are largely unknown. Harper paid for some of these pictures, though liberal “borrowing” by U.S. publishers at the time was also commonplace. For instance, the picture of sleeping Samson—his arm and head in Delilah’s lap, and an older woman snipping his hair—appeared in an 1835 Paris edition of Nicolas Fontaine’s long-lived Histoire (see above).

In Britain a publisher finally responded. John Cassell’s (profusely) Illustrated Family Bible contains some 900 wood engravings, set in the text, representing the work of as many as 100 people. The engravers are mostly English, but the main artists are both French and English. It was first issued in inexpensive weekly parts over a four-year period starting in 1859, then in monthly parts, and, eventually, for those who could afford it, in a complete edition, regular or “Superior.” From time to time, to keep it widely affordable, there were further issues in monthly parts. The same strategy was used in the United States, starting in 1861 but with a hiatus because of the Civil War. The 1870s saw cheaper editions appear as well as chromolithographs or Doré engravings added to deluxe editions, and the Bible was still being sold in one version or another at the century’s end. A German edition, with Luther’s translation and commentary by Otto Delitsch, was published in Leipzig by A. H. Payne (Illustrirte Pracht-Bibel, 1862). Payne also brought out an edition for Jews, placing a new German translation alongside the Masoretic text, with commentary by Julius Fürst at the bottom of the page and many of the same pictures (Illustrirte Pracht Bibel für Israeliten, 1874). Editions appeared also in Sweden, Holland, Italy, Spain, and Portugal, and a pirated version was published by the W. J. Holland Company in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Figures, clothing, artifacts, landscapes, and social practice (domestic, agricultural, etc.) in this Bible and others increasingly reflected what was being reported, and published, by travelers regarding “everyday life” in the Ottoman Empire or even as far East as India. Illustrations also made the most of the celebrated findings of archaeologists first in Egypt and then Mesopotamia. The collections and exhibitions in the Louvre and the British Museum were visited by many people. In the Cassell Bible, for example, Eglon, king of Moab, to whom Ehud is presenting his gifts, looks much like an Assyrian king from one of the reliefs unearthed in Austin Layard’s Nineveh excavations and on display at the British Museum.

The Nineteenth Century: Schnorr von Carolsfeld and Doré.

Many publications were patterned after the Cassell Bible. Two that were quite different but also very influential, not in their layout but because of the popularity of the pictures themselves, contained illustrations by Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld and Gustave Doré.

Schnorr von Carolsfeld, a Lutheran, was influenced by the Nazarene movement as a young man and spent some years in Rome before returning to Germany, first to Munich where he painted frescoes for Ludwig I of Bavaria and later to Dresden as a professor in the academy and soon after director of the Royal Dresden Gallery. His biblical illustrations, more than 200 woodcuts, which were to be frequently reproduced well into the twentieth century, were published in Leipzig in 30 parts between 1852 and 1860 (Die Bibel in Bildern, Georg Wigands). An edition in English (The Bible in Pictures) was published in London by Blackie & Sons in 1861. His style harked back to the Renaissance and artists such as Dürer, given to sculptural lines but also clear detail, and a striking contrast to the shifting moods and the dramatic play of light and shade in the romantic depictions of his late nineteenth-century rival in the field of popular biblical illustration, Gustave Doré.

Doré became perhaps the most celebrated illustrator of nineteenth-century Europe. He had already illustrated numerous works, including a folio edition of Cervantes’s Don Quixote, with close to 400 plates (Paris, 1863), when La Sainte Bible with his 228 full-page illustrations appeared (Tours: Alfred Mame et Fils, 1866). The Bible was in large folio (43 × 33 cm), in two volumes, with a new translation of the Vulgate set in two columns divided by H. Giacomelli’s decorations. In London and New York, Cassell, Petter and Galpin published the plates (plus 10 more) interleaved with an Authorized Version. The market approach, once again, was selling by installments. Cassell later reproduced 100 of his pictures in a cheap edition called The Bible Gallery. Illustrated by Gustave Doré, which sold widely in Great Britain and the United States and was quickly followed in the United States by The Doré Bible Gallery (Philadelphia: Henry Altemus) and other versions. In Germany the illustrations were published in Stuttgart in a large Luther Bible. By the end of the century Doré’s illustrations had been extensively borrowed and reproduced throughout Europe and America, in family Bibles, Bible histories, devotional literature, and children’s Bible story books. They are found well into the twentieth century, especially in children’s literature, and though having fallen out of favor midcentury have enjoyed a recent resurgence of popularity due perhaps to their availability on the Internet.

The Nineteenth Century: Illustrations Printed in Color and Tissot’s Bible.

In 1483 Koberger was offering his customers the option of hand-colored pictures in three tints or a larger deluxe range. And so it continued for almost five centuries. But by the mid-eighteenth century Bibles were beginning to appear with color already printed in the plate. A nice example is a Bible published in Philadelphia in 1857, Harding’s Fine Edition, from Jesper Harding & Son, for many years a major publisher of Bibles in the United States. While there are only 11 pictures in all, six of them are in color, including a picture of Boaz and Ruth on the main title page and one of the Adoration of the Shepherds on the New Testament title page. The color is printed over black line work and the range is limited, but a match for Koberger’s deluxe option.

Increasingly color lithographs were included in Bibles, especially from the 1860s on, though often the quality was not high since the costs had to be balanced with the price needed to support high volume sales. In competition now were steel engravings of superb quality. By the end of the century, however, color printing was really coming into its own due to new technology, namely rapid developments in photo-mechanical processes of reproducing images. In a foreword to The Old Testament: Three Hundred and Ninety-Six Original Compositions by J. James (Jacques-Joseph) Tissot, the publishers state that “the resources that the photographic art places at the disposal of the heliograph and chromograph processes … enable us to reproduce M. Tissot’s originals with faithful exactness.” Thus, they continue, the volumes are given “an altogether exceptional artistic character, one indeed, we may say, quite unknown to the present day.”

Tissot had been a successful painter of French and English high society, had fled to London from Paris after the war of 1870, and in the 1880s became a recluse painting religious pictures. Between 1885 and his death in 1902, he painted two extended suites of gouaches, one illustrating the life of Christ and the other the Old Testament, incorporating into his compositions observations made during three trips to Egypt and the Holy Land. His biblical pictures were a sensation when exhibited in Paris and London in 1895 and 1896; they later toured North America and were bought by the Brooklyn Museum in 1900. In 1896–1897, Alfred Mame et Fils in Tours brought out sumptuous editions of La vie de Notre Seigneur Jésus-Christ, with 365 pictures—copperplate, lithograph, and wood engraving, in color and duo-tone—drawn from the four Gospels treated as a harmony. An English edition was published in London (Sampson Low, Marston & Co.). Tissot’s Old Testament illustrations were published posthumously by his friend Maurice de Brunoff (Paris, London, New York, 1904), again in large format and lavish style. The pictures vary in size from smaller ones set in the text, both black and white and color, to full-page color plates. The text itself was an abbreviated King James (Authorized) Version consisting mainly of the narrative books: Genesis–Kings (less much of Leviticus), Nehemiah, Esther, and selections from Chronicles, Job, Psalms, and the Prophets.

Tissot endeavored to convey a sense of biblical events taking place in an everyday life reflecting the Holy Land he himself encountered. For example, he depicts the angel whom Gideon encounters simply as a man sitting under a great oak, extending a sinewy arm toward a large rock on which lies food. The Bible reader knows that the man is an angel and the meal will become a fiery sacrifice, but the picture conveys what Gideon here knows, only that he is talking with a man who is invoking God. The artist’s naturalism has transformed an otherwise conventional scene. The naturalistic style, however, did not enjoy favor for long, and before midcentury Tissot’s illustrations were largely ignored.

One of the striking differences between Tissot’s enterprise and that of Doré is that Tissot’s pictures are set within the flow of the text instead of being inserted in separate plates as was normal for larger family Bibles of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Harper’s and Cassell’s Bibles in many ways reverted to the concept that held for over two centuries with Bibles illustrated using woodcuts. The irony is that neither Doré’s nor Tissot’s Bibles manage to preserve the principle of placing the picture adjacent to the relevant text (de Brunoff, in his Preface, acknowledges the problem). At certain points in both Bibles one has to go hunting for the illustration to a text, or vice versa (though Tissot’s captions include a brief quotation). In Tissot’s case, the embedding of pictures in the text becomes illusory. The reason for the displacement is readily apparent from the history of Bible illustration: certain biblical books or parts of books are illustrators’ favorites, whereas the publisher wants to spread the illustrations evenly. Genesis and the beginning of Exodus, for example, can easily create an illustration logjam, and that is what happens with both Doré and Tissot.

The Twentieth Century: Bibles in Color and Black and White, Chagall and Rouault.

No illustrated Bible from the twentieth century has embedded itself in European or North American culture like Doré’s Bible. Large family Bibles lost their popularity, and for practical purposes most Bibles were designed with convenient size as the prime consideration. Deluxe Bibles sold as gifts or for prizes might contain some glossy color reproductions, usually of “the masters.” Not many are memorable.

The Oxford Illustrated Old Testament (London: Oxford University Press) offered a varied and imaginative selection of 22 contemporary British artists, among them the delightfully whimsical children’s book illustrator Edward Ardizzone. Among other publications that stand out are some Catholic Bibles. One is a large-format Jerusalem Bible with 32 full-page color plates by Salvador Dali (New York: Doubleday & Co., 1970). Forty of Dali’s illustrations are also included in a Spanish Bible (Sagrada Biblia) published in Barcelona and Rio de Janeiro (Noguer, 1973). A four-volume edition of the original, French, Jerusalem Bible (La Bible de Jerusalem) has color illustrations by an array of artists active in France during the twentieth century, including Bernard Buffet and Pablo Picasso (Paris, Bièvres: de Tartas, 1974; small quarto).

A very different and very striking set of black-and-white (charcoal, pen, and wash) full-page pictures are an integral part of a four-volume French Bible, superbly designed for the Club Bibliophile de France (Paris: Draeger Frères, 1949–1950; quarto). The illustrator was Edy Legrand (Edouard Warschawsky—his father was a Russian Jew who married a French woman), who lived a good part of his life in Morocco and was a prolific artist and book illustrator. Like Doré, he illustrated, also profusely, an edition of Don Quixote, along with an edition of Shakespeare’s Hamlet and a good many other works.

In the United States, another outstanding illustrator in black and white (“relief engravings,” on a wood-like material called Resingrave) is Barry Moser. His pictures, varying in size, are set within the text of an elegantly designed Bible, the Pennyroyal Caxton Bible (London: Viking Studio, 1999; trade edition, quarto). Moser provides about 230 images, a quantity that resonates with the history of well-illustrated Bibles (cf. Bernard Salomon in 1554), and his pictures include some that are full page and some located (appropriately) within the text. Like those of Edy Legrand, but in a very different, often stark style, these pictures can be moving and startling and sometimes lighthearted.

Color, however is what enlivens the text of The Saint John’s Bible, in a seven-volume set from Liturgical Press (Collegeville, Minn., 2012; trade edition). These volumes are a printed version of an extraordinary enterprise whereby a huge Bible (“two feet tall by three feet wide when open”), with 160 illuminations, has been created by hand under the artistic direction of the illuminator Donald Jackson, commissioned by Saint John’s University, a Benedictine institution in Collegeville, Minnesota. An essentially collaborative project involving many people, it was completed in 2011. It is also an exceptional work of art.

Color also, whether in tints or vivid splashes, is often invoked when talking about the Bible illustrations of the modernist Russian-French artist Marc Chagall. Growing up in Belarus in a Hasidic Jewish community, he moved as a young budding artist and illustrator between Russia and France, though he learned to engrave in Berlin. When the Paris art dealer Ambroise Vollard commissioned him to illustrate the Bible, Chagall decided, like Tissot, to travel to Palestine to experience the Holy Land for himself, and, as for Tissot, the visit was hugely influential; among other effects, it deepened his interest in the history of the Jews. The etchings for Bible occupied him intensely from 1931 to 1939 (when Vollard died) and, again, after the war (when he lived in New York) from 1952 to 1956. The series consists of 105 etchings, published in Paris by Tériade in a limited edition portfolio (47 × 36 cm), and a smaller number that are hand-colored. He illustrates many of the scenes chosen by others through the history of Old Testament illustration, with a concentration on Genesis. His pictures, however, are highly distinctive in approach and immediately recognizable by their style. The series portrays the Bible in a way that is at once a celebration of Jewish life and culture and, running the gamut of emotions, a profound insight into the human condition at large (see, for example, Abraham mourning for the death of Sarah).

Shortly afterward, Tériade published a further series, Drawings for the Bible, in a special number of his art journal, Verve, in 1960, and another limited edition series of 24 large color lithographs (ca. 48 × 35 cm), The Story of Exodus, was published in 1966 (Paris and New York: Leon Amiel, 1966).

Equally distinctive are the illustrations of another twentieth-century artist, Georges Rouault. Like Chagall, Rouault grew up in a poor family, but French Catholic, not Russian Jewish, and just as Chagall’s work is expressive of his Jewish roots, Rouault’s is immersed in a deeply Catholic spirituality. Where Chagall was especially drawn to Genesis, Rouault is drawn to the Gospels, the figure (and face) of Christ, and to the Crucifixion. Perhaps his best known work on biblical subjects was published, also by Ambroise Vollard, in Passion (Paris, 1929). “Passion” is a poem by André Suarès, and Rouault’s patron Vollard published it in a limited edition with 17 color plates from works Rouault had completed between about 1934 and 1936 and 82 black-and-white woodcuts. It seems that originally there were no titles, though after the war they acquired them. The pictures were arranged opposite the text or, with the woodcuts, in clusters. Rouault’s Christ, depicted in the artist’s characteristically bold but sparse contour lines, is found not only in original Gospel settings but also transposed into the modern world as in “Christ in the neighborhood” where a small white figure can be picked out among other figures under the dominating outline of factory chimneys. Before Passion, Rouault had worked on a different series called Miserere et Guerre (published in 1948), a response to the suffering engendered by the Great War.

The end of the century saw a shift toward a plethora of bountifully illustrated “boutique Bibles,” tailored to niche readerships defined by age, gender, religious persuasion, or special occasion (see Beal, 2011), not to mention other picture Bibles—comic books. That is a whole other story.


Among the many threads that might be followed (or untangled) or questions that might be raised from this attempt to depict some of the features of Bible illustration through five centuries, several points stand out.

The first is that the illustrated Bible is largely a narrative Bible and that not all biblical narratives are equal. To the extent that it is not a narrative Bible, credit lies with Nicolas of Lyra and his Postilla illustrations, which have had a life all of their own.

The second is that illustrating Bibles has been, for the most part, a matter of collaboration. The publication of an illustrated Bible, picture Bible, or print series required many skilled people from artist/designer and engraver to publisher/bookseller. Bible illustration has also been a matter of sharing (or stealing) resources, with a constant transfer of designs, wood blocks, and plates between parties. Recycling has been for much of the time the name of the game. Given the demand for certain biblical scenes, along with extensive copying and modifying, the idea of artistic originality becomes complicated. Merian’s series is famous, but many of his compositions are derivative. What exactly does originality mean when talking about Merian?

Making meaning from Bible illustrations is not always straightforward. Does a modified, clothed Susanna signify a publisher’s prudery, or is there some other explanation? Moreover, the exigencies of the trade have been such that some discrepancy between scene and text, or some oddity of placement, may not always mean much more than that a mistake happened at one or another stage of production.

Certain paintings were reproduced over and over again. Why was that? They do not always suit the medium, yet there they are. Was the artist’s reputation the key to reproduction and advertisement?

The struggle between Protestants and Catholics is the backdrop to much of the illustration reviewed here. But the striking thing about most of the illustrations is that, by and large, there are few differences to be observed between those from Catholic or Protestant artists or publishers that can be attributed to religious controversy. Walter Melion (2009) has shown that to be true of the sixteenth century in northern Europe, and it seems to be broadly the case beyond that century. Where religious contention certainly made a difference was to those who produced the illustrations. Catholic Spain’s capture of Antwerp in 1585 and Louis XIV’s revocation of the Edict of Nantes a century later both disrupted important printmaking communities and led to the establishment of new centers.

Finally, it is clear that a major factor, perhaps the major factor, in the shifting story of printed Bible illustration has been the impact of new technology.




  • Alexander, David. “Printmakers.” In Dictionary of Women Artists, edited by Delia Gaze, Vol. 1, pp. 61–66. London and Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn, 1997.
  • Beal, Timothy. The Rise and Fall of the Bible: The Unexpected History of an Accidental Book. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011.
  • Bentley, G. E., Jr. “Illustrated Bibles.” In The Oxford Companion to the Bible, edited by Bruce M. Metzger and Michael D. Coogan, pp. 298–300. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993.
  • Camp, Claudia V. “Illustrations of the Sotah in Popular Printed Works in the Seventeenth–Nineteenth Centuries.” In A Critical Engagement: Essays on the Hebrew Bible in Honour of J. Cheryl Exum, edited by David J. A. Clines and Ellen van Wolde, pp. 90–115. Sheffield, U.K.: Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2011.
  • Coelen, Peter van der, and Christian Tümpel. Patriarchs, Angels and Prophets: The Old Testament in Netherlandish Printmaking from Lucas van Leyden to Rembrandt. Amsterdam: Museum het Rembrandthuis, Rembrandt Information Center, 1996.
  • Courtauld Gallery. “Illuminating Objects: German Miniature Picture Bibles.”
  • Eyffinger, Arthur. “Introduction.” In The Hebrew Republic, by Petrus Cunaeus; translated by Peter Wyetzner, pp. ix–ixx. Jerusalem and New York: Shalem, 2006.
  • Herrin, Amanda K. “Recycling and Reforming Origins: The Double Creation in Claes Jansz. Visscher’s Theatrum Biblicum (1643).” In Illustrated Religious Texts in the North of Europe, 1500–1800, edited by Feike Dietz, Adam Morton, Lien Roggen, Els Stronks, and Mark Van Vaeck, pp. 183–204. Farnham, U.K.: Ashgate, 2014.
  • Melion, Walter S. “Bible Illustration in Sixteenth-Century Low Countries.” In Scripture for the Eyes: Bible Illustrations in Netherlandish Prints of the Sixteenth Century, edited by James Clifton and Walter S. Melion, pp. 15–83. New York: Museum of Biblical Art, 2009.
  • Michalski, Sergiusz. The Reformation and the Visual Arts: The Protestant Image Question in Western and Eastern Europe. London and New York: Routledge, 1993.
  • Poortman, Wilco C. Bijbel en Prent. 2 vols. The Hague: Boekencentrum, 1983–1986.
  • Rosier, Bart A. The Bible in Print: Netherlandish Bible Illustration in the Sixteenth Century. 2 vols. Translated by Chris F. Weterings. Leiden, The Netherlands: Foleor, 1997.
  • Strachan, James. Early Bible Illustrations. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1957.

Further Reading

  • Black, M. H. “The Printed Bible.” In The Cambridge History of the Bible: The West from the Reformation to the Present Day, edited by S. L. Greenslade, pp. 408–475. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1963.
  • Bohrer, Frederick N. Orientalism and Visual Culture: Imagining Mesopotamia in Nineteenth-Century Europe. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2003.
  • Chapon, François, and Isabelle Rouault. Rouault Oeuvre Gravé. Monte Carlo: André Sauret, 1978.
  • Clifton, James, and Walter S. Melion. Scripture for the Eyes: Bible Illustrations in Netherlandish Prints of the Sixteenth Century. New York: Museum of Biblical Art, 2009.
  • de Hamel, Christopher. The Book: A History of the Bible. London and New York: Phaidon, 2001.
  • Dekoninck, Ralph. “Imagines Peregrinantes: The International Genesis and Fate of Two Biblical Picture Books (Hiël and Nadal) Conceived in Antwerp at the End of the Sixteenth Century.” In The Low Countries as a Crossroads of Religious Beliefs, edited by Arie-Jan Gelderblom, Jan L. de Jong, and Marc Van Vaeck, pp. 49–64. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2004.
  • Dietz, Feike, Adam Morton, Lien Roggen, Els Stronks, and Mark Van Vaeck, eds. Illustrated Religious Texts in the North of Europe, 1500–1800. Farnham, U.K.: Ashgate, 2014.
  • Engammare, Max. “Les Figures de la Bible. Le destin oublié d’un genre littéraire en image (XVIe–XVIIe siècle).” Mélanges de l’École française de Rome, Italie et Méditerranée 106, no. 2 (1994): 549–591.
  • Ferrell, Lori Anne. The Bible and the People. New Haven, Conn., and London: Yale University Press, 2008.
  • Füssel, Stephan. The Bible in Pictures. Illustrations from the Workshop of Lucas Cranach (1534). Cologne: Taschen, 2009.
  • Füssel, Stephan, ed. The Book of Books. The Luther Bible of 1534. Cologne: Taschen, 2003.
  • Gold, Leonard Singer, ed. A Sign and a Witness: 2,000 Years of Hebrew Books and Illuminated Manuscripts. New York and Oxford: New York Public Library and Oxford University Press, 1988.
  • Gutjahr, Paul C. An American Bible: A History of the Good Book in the United States, 1777–1880. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1999.
  • Holloway, Steven W. Orientalism, Assyriology and the Bible. Sheffield, U.K.: Sheffield Phoenix, 2006.
  • McDannell, Colleen. Material Christianity: Religion and Popular Culture in America. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1998.
  • Meinhold, Peter, ed. Matthaeus Merian: Die Bilder zur Bibel. Hamburg, Germany: Hoffmann & Campe, 1965.
  • Melion, Walter S., Celeste Brusati, and Karl A. E. Enenkel. “Introduction: Scriptural Authority in Word and Image.” In The Authority of the Word: Reflecting on Image and Text in Northern Europe, 1500–1700, edited by Celeste Brusati, Karl A. E. Enenkel, and Walter S. Melion, pp. 1–46. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2011.
  • Morgan, David. Protestants and Pictures: Religion, Visual Culture, and the Age of American Mass Production. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999.
  • Muffs, Yochanan, and Gert Schiff. J. James Tissot: Biblical Paintings. New York: Jewish Museum, 1982.
  • Rose, Millicent. “Introduction.” In The Doré Bible Illustrations: 241 Plates by Gustave Doré, pp. v–ix. New York: Dover, 1974.
  • Rosenau, Helen. Vision of the Temple: The Image of the Temple of Jerusalem in Judaism and Christianity. London: Oresko, 1979.
  • Rosensaft, Jean Bloch. Chagall and the Bible. New York: Jewish Museum, Universe Books, 1987.
  • Schmidt, Philipp. Die Illustration der Lutherbibel 1522–1700. Basel, Switzerland: Friedrich Reinhardt, 1977.
  • Schramm, Albert. Luther und die Bibel. Vol. 1: Die Illustration der Lutherbibel. Leipzig: Karl W. Hiersemann, 1923.
  • Strachan, James. Pictures from a Mediaeval Bible. London: Darwen Finlayson, 1959.
  • Stronks, Els. Negotiating Differences: Word, Image and Religion in the Dutch Republic. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2011.
  • Veldman, Ilja M. “Protestantism and the Arts: Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century Netherlands.” In Seeing beyond the Word: Visual Arts and the Calvinist Tradition, edited by Paul Corby Finney, pp. 397–425. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1999.
  • Zafran, Eric, ed. Fantasy and Faith: The Art of Gustave Doré. New York: Dahesh Museum of Art 2007.

Internet Resources

  • Biblia Sacra: Bibles Printed in the Netherlands and Belgium. A collaboration of universities and libraries in the Netherlands and Belgium.
  • “Jan and Casper Luyken, Book Illustrators.” Amsterdam Museum.
  • Münchener Digitalisierungszentrum (MDZ)—Digitale Bibliothek. Bavarian State Library.
  • “Permanent Collection: Mark Chagall: The Bible Series.” Haggerty Museum of Art at Marquette University.
  • Pitts Theology Library–Digital Image Archive. Candler School of Theology, Emory University.
  • Wolfenbüttel Digital Library / Wolfenbütteler Digitale Bibliothek. Herzog August Bibliothek.

David M. Gunn