Friday, May 8, 2009

Fore-edge Painting

Today I learned about fore-edge painting, which combines two of my favorite things: books, and disappearing. Fore-edge paintings are intricate, detail-heavy paintings done on the fanned inner edges of the pages of a book. When the book is fanned correctly, the entire painting is visible, but when the book is closed the painting disappears entirely.

One of the main practictioners of this art form is Martin Frost, whose website has some great examples of this style. Also check out this movie that shows the painting slowly appearing as the pages move:

This is the kind of thing that makes me wonder how it got started and who came up with the idea, and what the first fore-edge painting was. Wikipedia was not very helpful on this topic. Step it up, Wikipedia. Also, I think it would be cool if spies used fore-edge paintings to transmit secret codes and charts and stuff. But I guess it would be kind of cumbersome to lug around big gilt hardcover books. But they could figure it out - they're spies.

(image from Martin Frost's website)
Via LaughingSquid


foredgefrost said...

If you want to know more about what is 'happening' in the novel world of FORE EDGE PAINTING visit my website:
Posted by Martin(foredge)Frost

Irene said...

That is pretty damn cool. Much more intricate than me just writing my name on the side of my history textbook in high school.