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Fore-Edge Paintings

A fore-edge painting is a technique of painting on the edges of the pages of a book. The artwork can only be seen when the pages are fanned, as seen in the animation on the linked page.   When the book is closed, you don’t see the image because it is hidden by the gilding (i.e., the gold leaf applied to the edges of the page).

According to Encyclopedia Britannica, fore-edge paintings first arose during the European Middle Ages but came to prominence during the mid-17th century to the late 19th century. Anne C. Bromer for the Boston Public Library writes, “Most fore-edge painters working for binding firms did not sign their work, which explains why it is difficult to pinpoint and date the hidden paintings.”

Thanks to the generous gifts from Anne and David Bromer and Albert H. Wiggin, the Boston Public Library holds one of the finest collections of fore-edge paintings in the United States. Most of the collection has been put online for the world to enjoy and features more than 200 high-resolution images; complete with additional videos, articles and information.

The University of Iowa and Colossal recently featured a few fore-edge paintings with animated gifs that can also be seen at this link.



31 Halloween Pumpkin Carving Ideas


Get your carving tools out, because Southern Living has 31 ways—from spooky to elegant to jolly—to make your house Halloween ready.      Why should your jack-o’-lantern always be deprived of a body? Stack two pumpkins to give your display more presence. Carve the body to look like a shirt, and give Jack a spiky hairdo.



Bell Co. Public Library District
Middlesborough Branch--126 S. 20th St., Middlesboro KY 40965-3677   606-248-4812
Pineville Branch--214 Walnut St., Pineville KY 40977-1490  606-337-3422