header print

Who Knew? Ancient Art Hidden in Old Books!

 
The kind of paintings you are about to see are called fore-edge paintings. This is a special technique that uses the edge of book pages, and can only be seen in full when the pages are pushed flat in the form of a fan, as you can see  below. When the book is in its normal, closed position, you cannot see the paintings, or indeed, know they are there. 
 
book art

This type of special, secret book paintings were first used during the middle ages, but saw an increase in popularity during the 17th to 19th centuries. Most of these paintings were never signed, so it is hard to pinpoint the artist, but recently, the Boston Public Library scanned and put many of these paintings online for everyone to enjoy. See the incredible secret artwork, and view some of the gifs and videos to see how a simple book transforms into a painting. 
 

 

1. Summer, 1837 by Robert Mudie
art hidden in old books
 
book art
 
2. The Holy Bible Split fore-edge painting
art hidden in old books
 
3. Letters of Lady Rachel Russell, 1801 by J. Mawman
art hidden in old books
 
 
4. Analysis of the Game of Chess, 1790 by François-André Danican Philidor
art hidden in old books
 
 
5. Characteristics of women, moral, political, and historical, v.2 1833 by Anna Jameson Painting of Anne Hathaway’s Cottage
art hidden in old books
 
6. Speeches of Henry Lord Brougham, v.1 1838 by Henry Lord Brougham A view of Philadelphia showing the Delaware
art hidden in old books
 
7. Jeanne d’Arc Author Unknown The People Of Orleans Greet Joan Of Arc
art hidden in old books
 
8. The rod and the gun, 1841 by James Wilson
art hidden in old books
 
9. Poems by the late William Cowper, Esq., v.2 1820 by William Cowper
art hidden in old books
 
10. The speeches of the right honorable William Pitt, v.2 1808 by William Pitt George Washington and Benjamin Franklin
art hidden in old books
 
11. The causes, appearances, and effects of the seasonal decay and decomposition of nature, 1837 by Robert Mudie
art hidden in old books
 
art in books
 
12. The poetical works of Thomas Moore, 1865 by Thomas Moore View Of Enniscorthy, England
art hidden in old books
 
13. The lord of the isles, 1815 by Walter Scott Carrick Castle In Argyll, Scotland
art hidden in old books
 
14. The world before the flood, 1819 by James Montgomery
art hidden in old books
 
15. The rambler, v.1 1825 by Samuel Johnson Old Wych Street, London
art hidden in old books
 
16. Jerusalem delivered (Torquato Tasso), v.1 1797
art hidden in old books
 
17. The Holy Bible, 1811 St Paul’s Cathedral
art hidden in old books
 
18. The lay of the last minstrel, 1823 by Sir Walter Bart Scott View of Kelso, Scotland
art hidden in old books
 
19. Latin and Italian poems of Milton, 1808 by John Milton The Inn at Edmonton
art hidden in old books
 
20. Marmion, 1811 by Sir Walter Scott Lindesfarne Abbey
art hidden in old books
 
21. The Poetical Works of Alexander Pope, 1863 by Alexander Pope
art hidden in old books
 
22. Poems by William Cowper, Esq., v.1 1808 by William Cowper
art hidden in old books
 
23. The red true story book by Andrew Lang and H. J. Ford The Capture Of Joan Of Arc
art hidden in old books
 
24. Spring, 1837 by Robert Mudie
art hidden in old books
 
art in books
 
25. Poems on several occasions, 1813 by Lord Edward Thurlow A View of Dublin
art hidden in old books
 

Submitted by user: Ted P.

Sign Up Free
Did you mean:
Related Topics: art, old, history, books, painting
Sign Up Free
Did you mean: