Picture Book for Children published by Industrie-Comptoir in Weimar/Germany, 1790 - 1830. In 1790 Friedrich Justin Bertuch started his biggest book-project ever. Issued in 12 volumes it containes short articles written at a child's level of understanding to 'spread the knowledge of the epochs out before children'. Bertuch assembled the books according to his educational philosophy: the emphasis should be on illustrations that were 'beautifully and correctly drawn', 'selected and engraved from the best originals', in order to give children accurate information, while the text should be kept concise. He also felt that it is possible to use even strange and rare phenomena to capture the child's attention and imagination. Therefore, the encyclopedia was illustrated throughout with vivid and detailed copperplate engravings, that were scientifically accurate and sophisticated in their composition and execution. It was originally published in German and French, the 'Bilderbuch zum Nutzen und Vergnügen der Jugend' besides in Latin and Hungarian. Friedrichs son Carl Bertuch (* 1777) supported his fathers work and published in co-operation with him some fragments of the 'Picture Book for Children'. The whole project secluded in 12 volumes with 1185 pages showing over 6000 illustrations and it became the first encyclopedic book about nature and earth worldwide.
March 3rd, 2014
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