The Illustrations of the Balzer and Rybička Families in Books Published Outside of Prague

Pages 90–95
DOI 10.2478/amnpsc-2018-0012
Keywords Balzer family – Rybička family – book illustrations – 18th and 19th centuries
Type of Article Peer-reviewed
Citation ŠTEFAN, Jan. The Illustrations of the Balzer and Rybička Families in Books Published Outside of Prague. Acta Musei Nationalis Pragae – Historia litterarum. Prague: National Museum, 2018, 63(3-4), 90–95. DOI: ISSN 2570-6861 (Print), 2570-687X (Online). Also available from:
Acta Musei Nationalis Pragae – Historia litterarum | 2018/63/3-4

The article provides information on two families of engravers that were involved in book illustrations in Bohemia over a hundred years beginning in the 1760s. Jan Jiří Balzer and his brothers (František, Matyáš and Řehoř) and sons (Jan Karel and Antonín Karel) significantly contributed to the development of engraving craft and graphic art in Bohemia. His international business activities in the area of graphic arts are known. After the death of Jan Balzer, the engraving and printing workshop was managed by his wife Kateřina and the mentioned brother Řehoř. At the beginning of the 19th century, Balzer’s daughter married an engraver in Balzer’s workshop, Karel Rybička. Their son Josef, thus a grandson of Jan Balzer, subsequently became a significant steel engraver. Both families, of Balzer and Rybička, were engaged in book illustration. This work discusses their illustrations, realised fully by or in cooperation with publishing houses in various towns of the Austrian monarchy other than Prague as well as outside the monarchy. The graphs in the article show the frequency of these illustration activities in dependence on time for the families of both Balzer and Rybička (whose father could have been involved in the steel-engraving illustrations as well).

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