Baskerville's Illustrated Bible of 1772
[English Bible]. The Holy Bible, Containing the Old Testament and the New.
Birmingham: John Baskerville, 1769–1772. (AFJ8524)
John Baskerville (1706–1775), the most meticulous and innovative of eighteenth-century English typographers, became the printer to the University of Cambridge in 1758. Working with typefaces of his own design on especially fine paper, Baskerville set high standards of craftsmanship that only a handful of subsequent presses could approach.
Baskerville’s first illustrated edition of the Bible, sold in installments by subscription, included an engraved frontispiece and nine full-page illustrations designed by the Englishman Francis Hayman (1708–1776) and the noted French artists Jean-Michel Moreau the Younger (1741–1814), Charles André Vanloo (1705–1765), and Jean Jouvenet (1644–1717). The bucolic illustration of Jacob and Rachel (Genesis 29) exhibited here is typical of eighteenth-century English tastes.