Portrait bookplate – one of the oldest types of book characters – appeared after the stamp. The first engraved bookplate is considered the emblem of the knight Bernhardt von Rohrbach, made in 1460 by the German engraver Bartel Schön. The portrait ex-libris was not long in coming; the earliest surviving portrait ex-libris was made in 1498 for the Basel Bishop of Limberger. It is not necessary to doubt the time of appearance of this bookplate, it shows the date of its creation, no date was indicated on any of its predecessors.
The origin of portraiture dates back to ancient times. The oldest known attempt to portray a human face has 27 millennia, it was discovered in the cave of Villoner near the French city of Angouleme in the department of Charente. The word “portrait” originates from the outdated French word portraire – to write off someone’s image. The first who proposed to use the term “portrait” exclusively for “depicting a (concrete) human being” was the French art historian and official court historian of King Louis XIV Andre Felibien. Continue reading
But circulation is only one of the properties of engraving. Engraving is a special kind of fine art and it has its own language, its aesthetics, its capabilities, which are distinct from other types of art. And to a very large extent this originality of the engraving is determined by its technological side.
In engraving, there are a huge number of species, subspecies, varieties of technology. They are born in certain epochs, often die off after several decades, transformed are reborn at another time. And all this diversity is designed to expand the expressive capabilities of engraving, to enrich its language. After all, engraving, in principle, has a much more limited range of means than, say, painting: a line and a tonal Continue reading
Engraving is the youngest of the visual arts. If the origin of painting, sculpture, drawing, architecture is lost in prehistoric epochs, then the appearance of engraving is more or less accurately known to us: this is the turn of the XIV and XV centuries. In the East, in China, engraving arose much earlier, in the VIII century, but there it remained a local phenomenon that did not go beyond the borders of this country.
The origin of the art of engraving in Europe
Despite the fact that the main varieties of engraving have their own technological prototypes that existed in earlier times (for woodcuts these are stamps and seals, for incisors engravings this is the craft of goldsmiths, for etching – workshops of gunsmiths), engravings in the true sense of the word , as an imprint on paper of an image cut out on a special board, appears only in the XIV century. Continue reading