What is a vanishing Fore-edge Painting?

 

Unlike the spine and covers of a bookbinding, the page edges are not usually decorated, however… 

A vanishing fore-edge painting is where the leaves of a book are fanned and an image applied to the stepped surface.

If the page edges are gilded or marbled, the painting miraculously disappears when the book is relaxed. When the book is fanned again it magically re-appears! 

 

In addition the leaves can be fanned backwards or twisted, allowing yet more paintings to be applied.

In the case of thicker books they can be split and divided, offering the chance of adding still more decoration. 

      SINGLE fore-edge painting

ALL EDGE PAINTINGS where the book is twisted to reveal the top and bottom page edges

TWO-WAY DOUBLE fore-edge paintings where the pages are fanned in both directions

SPLIT DOUBLE where a thicker book is divided  

2020 copyright Martin Frost (foredgefrost)