Books in art help tell the story July 2, 2014 – Posted in: Art, bookbinding, Books and Art, Content, Painting

Francois Boucher’s ‘Madame de Pompadour’, 1756 detail‘Madame de Pompadour’ by Francois Boucher, 1756,

As many of you who regularly check in with Book Patrol know, the representation of the book in art is one of the cornerstones of our foundation.

Over at the British Library’s Collection Care blog Christina Duffy looks at the value of books depicted in art as it relates to the history of bookbinding. Fueled by her week of studying European Bookbinding (1450-1820) at the London Rare Books School Duffy shows us how the “keen eye of the artist has captured precise details when depicting books throughout history, showing sewing structures, stitch types, supports, covers and even how they were stored.”

Francois Boucher’s ‘Madame de Pompadour’, 1756‘Madame de Pompadour’ detail

While Duffy’s focus is mostly on how the art of the past can be beneficial in the study of how books where made it is clear that this type of study can also be used in the study of the cultural, social and economic conditions of days gone by.


Guercino’s ‘Portrait of Lawyer Francesco Righetti’Guercino’s ‘Portrait of Lawyer Francesco Righetti’

st jeromeMarinus van Reymerswale’s ‘St Jerome in his Study’, 16th century.

st jerome detaildetail ‘St Jerome in his Study’

 alexandre-antigna-la-fille-du-bouquiniste (1855),‘La fille du bouquiniste’  by Alexandre Antigna, (1855)

Books depicted in art – Collection Care blog.
Books and Art at Book Patrol
Book Patrol’s Books and Art Pinterest board

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