Ex libris - A little of cultural history

"This is the most democratical, the most interesting segment of the modern arts and crafts, the most current part of the reproductive art between the bibliophiles, patorns of art, gartnerers of the middle class in the states of the west."- writed Rezső Soó, the world-famous biological professor, who is one of the first hungarian members of the ex-libris art.

"The coinage of ex-libris has a street practice: the delineation has to denote the owner, the owner's range of interest, or the event what it is made for."

Practically we can say that books came into being in the same time as the intention of the book owners, namely they wanted to mark the scripts or printed matters, books, what they took possession of. Already in the early times there were examples for signes, notes, monograms, crests, what owners wrote or took onto the book's pages or covers. Later in addition to the manual notes, turned up the relief print, afterwards ensued the spreading of the engraving wath made with various tecnologies. In the same time came on the scene the clame to raise to the level the engravings in aesthetic and artistic sense. To sum it up, this the process of the developement of the ex-libris.

They usually mention a faience plate as the oldest ownership certificate, which they put on a coil of papyrus in the library of III. Amenophis. According to the tradition they supplied the clay panels of the famous library in Ninive of Assur-Ban-Apli with a kind of attribute. However in Japan they keep a record of an attribute from the 10.century B.C.. From the earliest times remained an engraving which we can name as an ex-libris by our concept of tuday. This is a woodcut from Albrecht Dürer, who made it in 1516. As we know, the Dürer family came from Ajtós, one of the villages of Békés. After that they lived in Nürnberg. So we can say that our country has a contact with the birth of the ex-libris.

But the real spreading of the ex-libris was at the end of the 19. century in Western Europe. At this time the most current ex-librises were which made by litography, but at the end of the century appeared the phototechnology as well and made the copying much easier. That's why it became popular soon.

Ex libris - A little of cultural history page 2 ››