Friday, January 28, 2011

Fore-edge painting on books

Just wanted to share this -

Beginning in the 16th century "fore-edge painting" on books was introduced. In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, fore-edge painting reached its height in England. This is how a fore-edge painting works. When the book is closed, you do not see the image because the gilding hides the painting. But, when you fan the pages to show the painting at its best and hold them between your fingers or in a display press, the colorful picture appears as if by magic. Info found at the Boston Public Library. Here are a couple of You-tube videos to demonstrate -


You have to admit, that is pretty wonderful!

11 comments:

Wax Beach Artist said...

That is really cool! My mind is reeling thinking of how they did it. The paper must have been pressed together by some type of press and set on it's end...otherwise they had some teeny, tiny paintbrushes and good eyesight. Thanks for sharing this. I hope I am lucky enough one day to see one of these beauties in person.

La Dolce Vita said...

now I will be checking all my old books!!!

Carol Q said...

wow - I've never seen anything like that before. stunningly clever. boggles my mind trying to think about the minute detail involved.

Lizbethem said...

Wow this is spectacular! Talk about hidden beauty!

Stephanie Mealor Corder said...

Thank you so much for sharing this- it's mind boggling......I think the most amazing thing to me, is that it was done by hand- none of our fancy-schmancy modern technology to bulk produce and remove the individuality! I LOVE it!

Sharon said...

WOW! I have learned something new today. Fun research time!! Thanx,

Diana Trout {Nan.DT@verizon.net} said...

Hi Ingrid, and thanks for the YouTube links. This is just a fascinating subject, isn't it. Great blog, btw!

Pat said...

Wonderful. I was fortunate enough to have classes with Shereen LaPlantz once, and she had a book with foredge painting, but I've never seen one with more than one edge painted. Very tedius! Beautiful - thanks for sharing.

Fibra Artysta said...

That's really fascinating!

Hands to Work, Hearts to God said...

It's amazing what some people pour their heart and time into! Patsy from
HeARTworks

Lisa said...

that is SOO cool! I'm wondering if any books are made like that anymore... thanks for sharing!

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