Picture books from 1810 to 1950 > Literature and music

In this theme, three muses come together: literature (from children’s verses to literary classics like Robinson Crusoe and Don Quixote); art (including beautiful Art Nouveau editions); and music (picture books with musical notation).


Daar was eens...: vertelselrijmkens

Always ill: Kortjakje
For centuries, nursery and children’s rhymes have been transmitted orally from mother or nurse to child. The original meaning sometimes got lost in the process. It was not until 1871 that a collection of such texts was published by Johannes van Vloten, who had amassed them over the course of twenty years. Many more books with illustrated nursery rhymes were to follow. View picture books in the category: Always ill: Kortjakje >>


Cheerful images and rhymes
Poems for children are most often called rhymes or verses. Sometimes such a slightly belittling designation is in order, but just as often poems for children are real literary gems. The poems we selected for this site deal with a variety of subjects: anniversaries, births, children’s games, virtues and mischief. The authors are well-known writers like Antoinette van Dijk, Agatha Snellen and David Tomkins. View picture books in the category: Cheerful images and rhymes >>

De reis door Rusland

A joy to behold
Editions of particular artistic interest, whose quality surpasses that of the average picture book, are included in this category. The artists who made them were influenced by contemporary artistic trends; in other words, they did not follow the conventions for how children’s picture books should look. They featured special characters, colours and forms, and breathed new life into the world of children’s books. On view is work by Russian and Dutch artists, wherein the influence of Art Nouveau, Jugendstil and Nieuwe Kunst (a variation on Jugenstil) is clearly noticeable. View picture books in the category: A joy to behold >>

Wat de kleintjes gaarne zingen

Decorated musical tales
Picture books with musical notation accompanying the illustrations, shown in this category, are beautiful too. Most of these books may be designated as artistic editions. View picture books in the category: Decorated musical tales >>

Gullivers reizen

Classic heroes
Gulliver, Robinson Crusoe, the Adventures of Baron Munchhausen, Don Quixote, Till Eulenspiegel: who isn’t familiar with these names? Most of the stories about these heroes were not published in the form of picture books but, rather, as readers. All the same, this category includes four Robinsons, two Gullivers and two Eulenspiegels. Another ‘must’ is De kinderen van ’t woud , a Dutch translation of the English classic ‘The Babes in the Wood’. View picture books in the category: Classic heroes >>

Gullivers reizen

Humour for laughs
Fortunately, alongside all the earnestness in the previous categories, the theme of Literature, Art and Music also includes picture books intended to make you laugh. The humour in these books – sometimes quite mad, sometimes subtle – can be found in both the text and the drawings. The oldest book in this category dates back to 1857, while the most recent is by Godfried Bomans. View picture books in the category: Humour for laughs >>

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Examples from this collection Picture books from 1810 to 1950

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