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The Illustrations of the Balzer and Rybička Families in Books Published Outside of Prague

Abstract

The article provides information on two families of engravers that were involved in book illustrations in Bohemia over a hundred years beginning in the 1760s. Jan Jiří Balzer and his brothers (František, Matyáš and Řehoř) and sons (Jan Karel and Antonín Karel) significantly contributed to the development of engraving craft and graphic art in Bohemia. His international business activities in the area of graphic arts are known. After the death of Jan Balzer, the engraving and printing workshop was managed by his wife Kateřina and the mentioned brother Řehoř. At the beginning of the 19th century, Balzer’s daughter married an engraver in Balzer’s workshop, Karel Rybička. Their son Josef, thus a grandson of Jan Balzer, subsequently became a significant steel engraver. Both families, of Balzer and Rybička, were engaged in book illustration. This work discusses their illustrations, realised fully by or in cooperation with publishing houses in various towns of the Austrian monarchy other than Prague as well as outside the monarchy. The graphs in the article show the frequency of these illustration activities in dependence on time for the families of both Balzer and Rybička (whose father could have been involved in the steel-engraving illustrations as well).

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Illustrations of the Calendar Part of Book Calendars in the 19th Century

Abstract

Illustrations of the calendar part are the basic illustration in book calendars. They were placed on the twelve pages of the calendar part above the list of the days of the month. In some cases, especially in calendars from the beginning of the 19th century and Jewish calendars, these were even the only illustrations. The themes of these illustrations are considerably varied regardless of the focus of the calendars. Most frequently, they show the work done in specific months, popular pastime activities, but also signs of the zodiac, vedute, as well as scenes from the Bible and from Czech history.

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Jindřichův Hradec and the Landfras Family of Printers

Abstract

The beginning of the article briefly outlines the history of Jindřichův Hradec from its foundation through its development in the 15th century and especially in the 16th century, until the 19th century, when the Landfras printing works functioned in the town. Afterwards, the article focuses on the Landfras family of printers and its work in Jindřichův Hradec. It deals with the founder of the printing works, Josef Jan Landfras (1869–1840), as well as with his family background and his public activities. Most attention is devoted to his successor, Alois Landfras (1797–1875), who became one of the most remarkable figures in the history of Jindřichův Hradec, because he was very actively involved in social events in the town. From 1841, he was a member of the town council; ten years later, he was elected mayor and remained in the position for ten years. His private and family life is marginally mentioned as well. The last member of the family active in the 19th century was Vilém Antonín Landfras (1830–1902), who was also a member of the town council. Thanks to him, the weekly Ohlas od Nežárky [Echoes from the River Nežárka] began to be published in the town in 1871. The article further mentions his important role in the organisation of the social entertainment of burghers and his family life. The end of the paper is devoted to his son, Vilém Bohumil Landfras (1865–1931), whose work falls into the first third of the 20th century.

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Knižní Kultura 19. Století
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Magazine Illustrations – Text Accompaniment as Well as Competition

Abstract

The article deals with the role of illustrations in pictorial magazines in the second half of the 19th century (Světozor, Zlatá Praha, Květy etc.) and with changes in the image–text relationship. It focuses both on documentary and reportage drawings, which formed a significant part of magazine pictures, and on a magazine presentation of reproductions of works of art and the character of their accompanying commentaries. A closer inspection reveals that, despite the apparent dominance of the visual part, magazines still saw their crucial role in the textual part – which concerned not only the published articles but also the presentation of reproductions. The variation in the interaction between the image and the text is one of the most interesting methods of communication between illustrated magazines and their readers. On specific examples, the article illustrates how magazines worked with their pictorial part in connection with the reproduction techniques available and what meaning and content the reproductions could acquire in relation to the text.

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Mariazell in Printed Media of the 18th and 19th Centuries

Abstract

In the wide range of printed books on religious topics, a specific role was played by printed pilgrimage items, whose main aim was to increase the prestige and fame of pilgrimage sites and to strengthen the promotion of worshipped cults among believers. This was also the case of the pilgrimage site of Mariazell in Styria, Austria, where believers from virtually all parts of the Habsburg Monarchy, thus also pilgrims from the Czech lands, travelled in the 18th and 19th centuries. Especially broadside-ballad production and pilgrimage books significantly developed the tradition of religious pilgrimages. Pilgrimage songs, which were published in pilgrimage books intended for pilgrims heading to Mariazell, found a response in broadside-ballad production and in many cases also became part of the song repertoire of pilgrim cults in the Czech lands.

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The Operation of the Prague Publishing House and Printing Works of František Šimáček (1834–1885)

Abstract

The aim of the article is to outline the activities of the Czech journalist, publisher and important representative of Czech national-economic thought in the 19th century, František Šimáček. Particular attention is focused on the operation of Šimáček’s business. Through his own company, Šimáček implemented his national-economic ideas as the essence of Czech national emancipation. In his publishing programme, he emphasised the quality of the books prepared for publication (with abundant illustrations and decorative publisher’s binding) in order to gain recognition for Czech books even in the highest social classes. As an employer and journalist, he acted as a classical liberal influenced by the pioneering ideas of Vojta Náprstek, whom he often met privately as well. He became a remarkable figure of Czech national life not only in Prague. He deliberately supported it through the distribution of the printed word, both as a radical journalist, which brought him police execution and large financial losses, and as a publisher or the owner of the printing works that offered not only the production of the publishing house but also a wide range of printed materials especially for Czech savings banks.

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Personal Libraries in the National Museum – a Valuable Source of Information on the History of Book Culture in the 19th Century and the Early 20th Century

Abstract

Book collections from the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century preserved in the NM are among the richest and most interesting book collections of the Czech Republic. Research into personal book collections of the NM within the NAKI project (2012–2015), including besides the historical book collection also books from the 19th and 20th centuries, has provided valuable information on the history of the entire book culture. The PROVENIO database is an important source of information and knowledge in terms of book owners and ownership provenance, library history, bibliophilia and the reception by readers, as well as the history of book binding, book publishing houses and book trade of the given period.

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The Prague Burgher Library of J. D. Arbeiter in the Cultural and Social Context of the Time

Abstract

The library preserved in the collections of the Hussite Museum in Tábor is a reflection of the life of the Prague burgher and pharmacist Jan Dobromil Arbeiter (1794–1870). In the context of three quarters of the 19th century, it testifies to the emergence of the National Revival, the renewed interest in the Czech language and the related development of Czech theatre. J. D. Arbeiter was an important Prague burgher and patriot actively involved in social and political events. His versatile interests and the support of patriotism led him to the foundation and expansion of his personal library. He was a member of many associations, including Stálci, established by Amerling. Its members regularly purchased Czech books and thus supported the development of Czech, in particular scientific, literature. Arbeiter was also a generous patron. Among other things, he supported the education of poor students. He played an important role in the establishment of the Realgymnasium grammar school in Tábor, to which he donated his library. He had developed it for his entire life; originally, it comprised an impressive number of 3,000 volumes. The library of J. D. Arbeiter is not only an example of one of a few extant burgher libraries of the 19th century. Thanks to the breadth of Arbeiter’s interests, it also provides a selective overview of Czech book production at the time.

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The Production of the Landfras Printing Works and Publishing House in the 19th Century

Abstract

The activities of the Landfras printing works and the associated publishing house are an important part of the history of book culture in the Czech lands in the 19th century and form a significant chapter in the history of book printing and publishing in this period. The focus of the production of the printing works and the publishing house reflected the new needs of literate broad social classes in the 19th century, showing increased interest in the printed word. The company used the modern methods and technologies available, which reduced the price of the final book or other printed materials. For publication, it selected titles whose sales were guaranteed or at least expected. The result was the repeated printing of a number of titles of religious, educational and entertainment literature, which had already been popular in previous centuries, and the development of contemporary titles for the general public from both urban and rural areas. For centuries, great popularity was mainly enjoyed by the titles of religious folk literature (Himmelschlüssel prayer books by the theologian Martin von Cochem and other prayer and devotional books), in which Baroque Catholic piety was reflected until the late 19th century. To the original Himmelschlüssel and other traditional titles, the printing works added titles of its regular authors and their translations of contemporary prayer and religious literature. It complemented the titles of secular entertainment literature (reprints of original works, e.g. Kronika o Štilfridovi [The Chronicle of Štilfríd] or Kronika sedmi mudrců [The Chronicle of the Seven Wise Men]) with translations and original works by Jan Hýbl and Václav Rodomil Kramerius, and it also printed moralising stories by local priests. Educational literature, such as guides for homesteaders, cooks and the like sold also well. A separate activity section comprises the publication and printing of textbooks mostly for local schools. Until the end of the 19th century, they were abundantly complemented by printed broadsides, affordable to every household. A significant chapter of the 19th century was the development of periodicals, which was mirrored in the second half of that century also in newly emerging regional titles, especially in the weekly Ohlas od Nežárky [Echoes from the River Nežárka], which began to be published in 1871.

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