Weekday Whimsy: Fore-Edge Painting

Photo 11-20-2013, 6 16 55 PM

Hey guys! In a renewed attempt to follow some sort of blogging schedule, I’ve come up with Weekday Whimsy! 

I’ll be sharing the most creative, offbeat, funny, and downright weird things I’ve saved from the good ol’ Internet. Hopefully you’ll find some inspiration, learn something new, have a laugh on a bad day, or something along those lines from this series.

As the name suggests, my goal is to post a WW every weekday but the fact that it’s Wednesday shows my commitment skills have much to be desired. I’m really going to try, though!

First up is the art of Fore-Edge Painting! It is the skilled technique of painting on book edges.

This art arose in during the European Middle Ages but became more widespread during the mid-17th to late 19th centuries. Fore-edge paintings were initially comprised only of symbols or family crests but expanded it’s repertoire in the 18th century to include scenes, detailed landscapes, and even erotic images. (nudge nudge nudge.. lol).

Fore-edge paintings can only be seen when the pages are fanned because of the gilding (gold leaf) treatment applied after the painting is completed.

Unfortunately many fore-edge painters did not sign their work, making determining authorship (paintership?…ownership?…excuse my terminology…) difficult.

The detail in these paintings are INCREDIBLE! I think I’ll go on the treasure hunt at my school’s library when classes are done. So so so so cool!

I hope you enjoyed my first Weekday Whimsy post!

Here’s where I got my info and images: (one/two), and if you’re still curious to see more fore-edge paintings, visit the Boston Public Library website (they’ve got the largest collection and it’s all online for our viewing pleasure)!



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