Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Secret Fore-Edge Paintings Revealed on 19th Century Books!!

I came across an article posted on the This Is Colossal website titled Secret Fore-Edge Paintings Revealed in Early 19th Century Books at the University of Iowa and I was amazed that such amazing artwork even existed!

In the article, I learned the following information:
A few days ago Colleen Theisen who helps with outreach and instruction at the Special Collections & University Archives at the University of Iowa shared an amazing gif she made that demonstrates something called fore-edge painting on the edge of a 1837 book called Autumn by Robert Mudie. Fore-edge painting, which is believed to date back as early as the 1650s, is a way of hiding a painting on the edge of a book so that it can only be seen when the pages are fanned out. There are even books that have double fore-edge paintings, where a different image can be seen by flipping the book over and fanning the pages in the opposite direction.
Checkout the link above to see images of Fore-Edge Paintings!! The paintings are amazing!

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