The Function of the Two Title Prints of the Series of Bible Prints of Romeyn de Hooghe
The Reformation brought about an iconoclastic movement as a result of which cult images in the churches were removed and destroyed. Studying the Bible and preaching the word of God were the ways in which the new protestant faith was proclaimed. Nevertheless images, notably prints, continued to play a role throughout Europe, though exclusively at a didactic level. In the Netherlands, unlike the rest of Europe – mainly under the influence of prominent theologians of those days such as Gisbertus Voetius (1589–1676) – there were at first many objections to the use of visual arts. This changed in the course of time. At the beginning of the eighteenth century, a flourishing period arose for Dutch Bible illustrations. The famous Dutch printmaker Romeyn de Hooghe produced two series of the Bible prints, one devoted to the Old and one to the New Testament. These two series of prints were each preceded by title prints. These title prints and the explanatory texts accompanying them reveal a great deal about the use of prints in studying the Bible.