Sheyla

By Sheyla

LifeBuzz Staff

Book Makers In The 1800’s Were Geniuses. Take A Look At The Hidden Art In These Books And You’ll Agree.

If you were lucky enough to ever go through a book that was passed down from previous generations, chances are you saw an art form called fore-edge painting. The technique dates back as far as the 10th century. Generally the painting has a connection to the book itself, such as a scene, but it wasn’t uncommon for the artist to paint what he or she desired. Some established families had their coat-of-arms applied.

There are variations to fore-edge painting. The photos below show fanned fore-edge, which the reader has to literally fan the book for the landscape to appear. This craftsmanship became popular around 1650. Typically the actual edge of the pages when closed were painted in gold while fanning showed just the intricate panorama.

Autumn by Robert Mudie from 1837 is part of the Special Collections & University Archives from the University of Iowa.

Autumn by Robert Mudie from 1837 is part of the Special Collections & University Archives from the University of Iowa.

When closed the edge of the pages were painted in gold.

When closed the edge of the pages were painted in gold.

This type of fore-edge painting is seen by ‘fanning’ the book.

This type of fore-edge painting is seen by ‘fanning’ the book.

It was common for the artist not to be credited in the book.

It was common for the artist not to be credited in the book.

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