The Simple Things - - THINK -

Apart from bibles and prayer books, some of the ear­li­est books to ap­pear in paint­ings were there to con­fer the idea of sta­tus and knowl­edge. Over time, how­ever, books crept into scenes of do­mes­tic­ity and the ev­ery­day. The many yel­low spines shown in Félix Vallotton’s paint­ing sug­gest they are from the French pub­lisher Ger­vais Char­p­en­tier. His com­pact pub­lish­ing for­mat, in­tro­duced in the 19th cen­tury, re­duced the cost of books and put the ac­cu­mu­la­tion of an ex­ten­sive li­brary within reach of the mid­dle classes. © Musée dé­parte­men­tal du Prieuré, Saint-Ger­main-en-Laye, Musée d’Or­say, Paris, and Thames & Hud­son

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