Picture books from 1810 to 1950 > Reality

Picture books that offer a more or less faithful representation of reality fall within the scope of this theme. These books deal with occupations, animals, the colonial past, the Royal Family, war, travelling, foreign peoples and more.

Gezondheid is de grootste schat

Working for a living
What did men and women do for a living during the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century? These picture books illustrate a wide range of trades. Donkey driver and undertaker, female fishmonger and cockler, peat stamper and cart driver, fishnet maker and matchstick girl, camp follower and butcher: all are introduced in pictures and text. View picture books in the category: Working for a living >>

Cornelia's dierenboek

Animals at the farm, at home and in the wild
‘Hoe genoeglyk rolt het leven des gerusten Lantmans heen’ (How pleasantly ever onwards a peaceful Countryman’s life does roll) wrote Hubert Corneliszoon Poot in 1720. These books illustrate life in and around the farm. The countryside is pictured as an idyllic place where the sun always shines, animals are loveable and farmers and their wives are friendly. There is no bio-industry in sight; instead there are pigs gambolling freely and proud cocks and hens. The lives of domestic and wild animals has been recorded here as well, more or less faithfully. View picture books in the category: Animals at the farm, at home and in the wild >>

Indisch prentenboek

Our East Indies
Relive the colonial past in the Dutch East Indies with pictures of ayah, water-buffalo, coolies and soursop. All as seen through Dutch-tinted glasses, as is clearly evidenced in, for example, the picture book about the Atjeh war. View picture books in the category: Our East Indies >>

Van prinsesje tot koningin

The royal family
In the past, picture books about the Royal Family were extremely popular. As a child, the future Queen Wilhelmina was considered a rewarding subject for illustrators and writers. Many picture books were also devoted to William the Silent and the kings William I, William II and William III, and intended for the special benefit of the nineteenth century youth, who were instructed in the virtues of patriotism from their earliest years. View picture books in the category: The Royal Family >>

Dappere kerels

For education and enjoyment
In days gone by, children spent a lot of time at their lessons, but they were fortunate enough to have textbooks with pictures. What were the subjects of these books? A few examples: telling the time, national costumes, nature, modes of transport, hygiene, herring fishing, house-building and inventions. View picture books in the category: For education and enjoyment >>

Het heldenlied van Jan en Piet

What does a book like Flapje Wildsnuit have to do with war? Nothing, as far as the contents go, but a lot considering the circumstances under which it was written - in a hostage camp. In this category you will find different kinds of picture books, all of them linked to war in one way or another, including clandestine editions from the Second World War, the proceeds of which helped finance the resistance; picture books illustrating war and liberation; and a few National Socialist (Nazi) picture books. In a couple of cases, the horrors of war are depicted with animals in the leading parts. There are some picture books of a later date that poke fun at the Dutch soldier. View picture books in the category: War >>

De wereld in haar zondagspak

Across the border
Picture book heroes travel to the moon, to the land of Cockaigne or to the other side of the world as if there were nothing to it. Alongside these amusing, highly imaginative books, are more realistic stories about other countries and peoples. In some cases, the descriptions and images are downright racist and would not be allowed nowadays. All the same, they have been included in this collection to show how the ‘the stranger' was described and depicted in the past. These books too are part of a common cultural past. View picture books in the category: Across the border >>

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Examples from this collection Picture books from 1810 to 1950

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