An illustration is a displayed visualisation such as a drawing, painting or photograph that is used to display sensual information (such as a story, poem or newspaper article) with a visual portrayal.
The earliest forms of illustration were prehistoric cave paintings. Before the invention of the printing press, books, such as Medieval Illuminated Manuscripts, were hand illustrated. Illustration has been used in China and Japan since the 8th century, traditionally by creating woodcuts to accompany writing. During the 15th century books illustrated with woodcut illustrations became available. The American Golden Age of Illustrations lasted from the 1880s until shortly after World War 1.
Today there is a growing interest in collecting and admiring original artwork that was used as illustrations in books, magazines, posters etc. In the visual art world illustrators have sometimes been considered less important in comparison with fine artists and graphic designers but illustration is now becoming a valued, popular and profitable art form.
Here are some great examples of illustrations from members of the BrisStyle team: