Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Illustration of Books. Before the invention of printing the illuminations (q.v.) in MSS. served the two-fold purpose of elucidating and ornamenting the text. The earliest printed books in which the text was illustrated by a series of wood engravings are said to have been the Fables of Ulrich Bohner (Bamberg, 1461) and a work entitled Meditationes (Eome, 1467). Metal-engravings were first employed in II Monte Santo di Dio (Florence, 1477). Illustrations in chiaroscuro, in which various shades of the same colour are produced by means of different wood-blocks, occur frequently in books published early in the 16th century, and are often executed with very great skill. In the early years of the 19th century lithography (q.v.) to a great extent took the place of steel-engraving in the illustration of books, but during the first half of this century steel-engraving and etching received a fresh stimulus; and many beautiful illustrations for books of an ornamental kind were produced by Turner, Stothard, and other great artists. This progress was checked through the introduction of various processes suggested by the invention of photography, and it now seems probable that eventually steel-engraving will be entirely superseded by photogravure (q.v.). Wood-engraving, on the other hand, has held its ground since its reintroduction by Bewick, who was followed by Sir John Gilbert, Birket Foster, Cruikshank, H. K. Browne, Leech, Tenniel, and others. Various processes have, however, been invented, in which in place of wood-engraving it is sought to introduce the use of relief blocks. These fall into two classes, according as the drawings reproduced are line drawings in pen-and-ink or black-and-white on the one hand, or half-tone photographs or wash drawings, on the other. The first successful attempt to produce relief blocks from photographs and wash drawings was made by Meisenbaoh, of Munich, in 1882. Various mechanical processes are also employed for the production of relief blocks; amongst these Dawson's typo-etching process is perhaps the best known. The chief recommendation of these chemical and mechanical processes as compared with wood engraving is, that usually they can be executed at a lower price, but this is not by any means invariably the case. [Engraving, Photography.]