Orbis Sensualium Pictus

Orbis Sensualiam Pictus title page, an image of Johann Amos Comenius is on the left side, on the right is the title page for the book

Interior page of Orbis Sensualiam Pictus

By Johann Amos Comenius, London, 1659 (1658)

Orbis Sensualium Pictus

(The Pictured World)

Written by Johann Amos Comenius

London, J. Kirton, 1659 (1658)

3.5" x 5.5"

From the Collection of an Anonymous Donor

Orbis Sensualium Pictus by Johann Amos Comenius interior, drawing on the top of the page is of the five senses, latin writing in black text is underneath

Interior page of Orbis Sensualiam Pictus

By Johann Amos Comenius, London, 1659 (1658)

Among the very first illustrated books published expressly for children, this stout volume first compiled in 1658 by renowned Moravian educator Johann Amos Comenius is the precursor to modern day junior picture encyclopedias. The original Nuremberg edition appeared in Latin and German. The first Latin-English edition followed one year later.

Comenius had advanced ideas about education that John Locke and others would later amplify. He recognized the impact of illustration on children’s understanding and believed that learning should build outward from the familiar. Although spiritual matters received due attention in Comenius’s “pictured world,” his most famous book gave pride of place to worldly matters—geography, weather, plants, animals, and machinery, among others.


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Orbis Sensualium Pictus by Johann Amos Comenius interior, small drawings of insects and animals on the left side of the page and Latin text in black on the right side

Interior page of Orbis Sensualiam Pictus

By Johann Amos Comenius, London, 1659 (1658)

Orbis Sensualium Pictus by Johann Amos Comenius interior, small drawings of insects and animals on the left side of the page and Latin text in black on the right side

Interior page of Orbis Sensualiam Pictus

By Johann Amos Comenius, London, 1659 (1658)


Photos accessed from "The First Childrens Picture Book." The British Library. September 15, 2015. Accessed November 01, 2018. https://www.bl.uk/collection-items/orbis-sensualium-pictus-animal-tales-space.