Quotidian 1 (December 2009)J.G.L. Thijssen: ‘Ze missen het sappige en het fleurige’

To refer to this article use this url: http://www.quotidian.nl/vol01/nr01/a06


From the beginning of the 19th century a new kind of children prints was published in the Netherlands. It was an initiative of the ‘Maatschappij tot Nut van ’t Algemeen’, here translated as ‘Society for Common Benifit’ (SCB).

Traditional children prints with useless and even immoral images, made from primitively cut woodblocks, were very popular in the Netherlands, among children and adults as well. They were used at school by teachers as rewards for excellent behavior or performance. Because of changing educational ideas at the end of the Enlightenment the SCB tried to expel these traditional prints from schools. Three series of SCB-prints appeared between 1800 and 1860.

Ethnologists defend the assumption that children and adults did not like these new children prints with virtuous and studious images, made from neatly cut woodblocks. An analysis of the remarkable history of the second series of SCB-prints offers circumstantial evidence for a revision of that assumption.