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Coloring Books

Coloring Books

(p.248) Afterword Coloring Books
The Key of Green
Bruce R. Smith
University of Chicago Press

Although specimens survive from the 1850s, 1860s, and 1870s, coloring books really came into their own in the 1880s. It may be only since the 1850s that we have had coloring books, but coloring books has been going on since the invention of printing. An illumination from a professionally limned copy of the Bible appears as plate 13. Searches of the catalogs of the Folger Shakespeare Library, the Huntington Library, the British Library, the Bodleian Library, and other archives turn up scores of atlases and books on heraldry in which hand coloring has provided information that black ink on white paper could never convey. This chapter suggests some things that can be done with green, from Simon Bardon's signature in what looks to be a seventeenth-century italic hand on the title page of the Folger Library's copy of John Reynolds's The Triumphs of Gods Revenge against the Crying and Execrable Sinne of (Wilful and Premeditated) Murther (1663), to Isaac Oliver's painting.

Keywords:   coloring books, printing, black ink, white paper, green, Simon Bardon, painting, Isaac Oliver, John Reynolds

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