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Fore-Edge Paintings

Protagonist of Pit and the Pendulum

Painting on the fore-edge of "The Works of Edgar Allan Poe." Image of the protagonist of Pit and the Pendulum is based on illustration by Arthur Rackham. The figure appears gaunt and terrified, clad only in his "wrapper of coarse serge." Standing at…
Nude Woman Reclining on a Bed

Cropped image of an erotic painting on the fore-edge of "The women of England: their social duties, and domestic habits," by Sarah Stickney Ellis. Painting shows a nude woman reclining on a bed with another nude woman holding a mirror.
Erotic painting of a man and woman, and two horses in country scene

Erotic painting of a man and a woman watching two horses on the fore-edge of a book of poems including "The grave" by Blair; "The elegy," by Gray; " "Prison thoughts," by Dodd; "On death," by Porteus; and "The night thoughts, & c.," by E. Young.
View of Edinburgh Scotland

Painting on the fore-edge of "The poetical works of Sir Walter Scott" of a view of Edinburgh.
View of a Bridge

One side of a double painting on the fore-edge of "Six sermons on the church and her ministry" by John Stonard. When the leaves are fanned one way a view of a bridge is displayed, when fanned the other way, a view of a city is displayed.
View of a City

One side of a double painting on the fore-edge of "Six sermons on the church and her ministry" by John Stonard. When the leaves are fanned one way a view of a city is displayed, when fanned the other way, a view of a bridge is displayed.
American Indian on Horseback

Vertical painting on the fore-edge of "The poetical works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow" of an American Indian with a lance on horseback.
Portrait of Charles Dickens as a Young Man with Vignettes from Novels

One side of a double painting on the fore-edge of "Our mutual friend" by Charles Dickens. A portrait of the author as a young man with vignettes from The Pickwick Papers and Oliver Twist is displayed on one half of the pages, and a portrait of the…
Portrait of Charles Dickens as an Older Man with Vignettes from Novels

One side of a double painting on the fore-edge of "Our mutual friend" by Charles Dickens. When the leaves are fanned one way, a portrait of the author as an older man with vignettes from David Copperfield and A Christmas Carol is displayed, when…
Man with Crossbow

Painting on the fore-edge of "Portrait intime de Balzac" by Edmond Werdet of a man aiming a crossbow, another looking on, and a third restraining a hunting dog.
English Country Scene

Painting on the fore-edge of "The golden treasury of the best songs and lyrical poems in the English language" by Francis Turner Palgrave of a country scene with workers on ladders in trees, a country house, and the tower of a castle in the…
John Gilpin Riding His Horse Through Edmonton

Painting on the fore-edge of "The poetical works of William Cowper." Image is based on "The Diverting History of John Gilpin," a comic ballad by Cowper, about a man who lost control of his horse.
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Title

Fore-Edge Paintings

Description

A fore-edge painting is a miniature watercolor executed on the fanned edge or edges of a book; when the book is closed the art disappears, now hidden by the edge gilding. This genre of painting dates from the 1500s, flourished in the 1800s, and is still practiced today. Anonymous and undated paintings include landscapes, scenes and characters from literature, and portraits of authors.

Source

Seidman Rare Book Collection

Rights

Subject

Fore-edge painting
Painting

Publisher

Grand Valley State University. University Libraries. Special Collections & University Archives

Identifier

GV-02

Format

image/jpg

Type

Image

Language

eng

Date

2017-07-17