Illustration and Ornamentation in the Iberian Book World, 1450–1800


In the early modern Iberian book world, as in the European book world more broadly, most works issuing from the presses contained some form of ornamentation. The nineteen contributions presented here cast light on these visual elements—on the production and ownership of printers’ materials, and on the frequency with which these materials were exchanged and shared. A third of all items printed in the early modern Iberian world carried no imprint at all; for these items, woodblocks and engravings can assist scholars seeking to identify their place of origin or their date of publication. As importantly, decoration and illustration in early print can also reveal much about the history of the graphic arts and evolving forms of cultural representation.

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Alexander S. Wilkinson, Ph.D. (2002, University of St Andrews), is a Professor of Early Modern History at University College Dublin. He has published widely on the history of the European book, and directed the bibliographical project Iberian Books (Brill, 2010 & 2015).
Notes on Contributors
List of Figures and Tables

Alexander S. Wilkinson

Research Infrastructure

1. From Bibliography to Data Analytics, Convolutional Neural Networks and Image Recognition: The Journey of the Iberian Books Project
Alexander S. Wilkinson
2. An Introduction to the Database Printers’ Devices of the University of Barcelona
Neus Verger Arce

Printers’ Materials

3. Illustrating and Publishing on the Hand-Press in Spain from the Fifteenth to the Eighteenth Century: The Ownership of Icono-Typographic Resources
Manuel-José Pedraza-Gracia
4. Woodcuts and Engravings in Late Medieval and Early Modern Spanish Sources: a Starting-Point
Helena Carvajal González
5. The Woodblocks and Initial Capitals used by Juan de Cánova in Salamanca (1553–1569)
Isabel Cristina Díez Ménguez
6. Engraved and Inhabited Initials used in Sixteenth-Century Mexican Printing
Guadalupe Rodríguez Domínguez

Describing Type and Identifying Printers

7. The Typefaces of Three Fifteenth-Century Castilian Printers: A Comparative Study
Benito Rial-Costas
8. Typography and illustration in fifteenth-century Salamanca: the Porras press
María Eugenia López Varea
9. Chipped Old Blocks and Battered Old Type: Piracy in Golden-Age Spain
Don W. Cruickshank


10. Visual Culture in the Hagiographies and Sacred Biographies of Early Modern Portugal
Paula Almeida Mendes
11. Book Illustration in the Late Fifteenth and Early Sixteenth Centuries: the First Editions of the Siete Sabios de Roma
Nuria Aranda García
12. Ornamentation in the Spanish editions of the Crónica Troyana, 1490-1587
María Sanz Julián
13. A Sixteenth Century Board Game by João de Barros
Celeste Pedro
14. Writ Large: Printing, Painting and Conversion in Sixteenth-Century America
Thomas Cummins
15. Illustration and Ornamentation in the Works of Luke Wadding, Seventeenth-Century Historian and Theologian
Benjamin Hazard
16. Illustrating a Family. The Printing Press and Political Issues in the Ritratti della Prosapia et Heroi Moncadi nella Sicilia
Domenico Ciccarello
17. A Vision of Political Discourse in Goa c.1659, and Two Episodes in the Circulation of Illustrated Manuscripts
Jeremy Roe & Ângela Barreto-Xavier
18. Illustrating Golden Age Spanish Drama
Alejandra Ulla Lorenzo
19. Spanish Book Illustration and the Hijos de la Academia
Kelly Donahue-Wallace
Historians of print, art history, bibliographers, rare books librarians, and anyone with broad interests in early modern Iberian culture and literature.
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