Bible with Chromolithograph

[English Bible]. The Complete Domestic Bible […] Beautifully Illustrated.
St. Louis: N. D. Thomson & Co., 1874.

Chromolithography, which revolutionized mid-nineteenth-century book illustration, was a printing process in which the separate colors that constitute an image were printed in sequence with individual lithographic plates. Although time-consuming and expensive, chromolithography proved to be a highly versatile and popular illustration method. In the exhibited chromolithographic illustration of the Ten Commandments, eight colors were printed in near-perfect register: red, blue, green, turquoise, beige, gray, black, and gold.

This Bible is typical of the illustrated Bibles that were marketed to affluent American families during the latter half of the nineteenth century. Bound in heavily gilt and sculpted boards, the Bible includes several chromolithographic plates, numerous monochromatic wood engravings after Doré and other artists, and a copiously illustrated dictionary of biblical terms. This Bible was given to Southern Methodist University in 1915 by Annie Pearce-Barre (1835–1915), a Methodist pioneer of Shackelford County, Texas. Her family’s birth and marriage dates have been inscribed on chromolithographic leaves provided with the volume, and five tintype portraits of family members remain inserted into album leaves at the end of the Bible.

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Nineteenth Century
Bible with Chromolithograph