Previously we talked about book-edge decoration and showed off some beautiful examples, but we only just touched on the subject of fore-edge painting. Fore-edge painting involves “secret” or “hidden” artwork that is only visible when the books’ pages are fanned. For example:

Neat, huh?

Basically, the painting — usually of a scene, like a castle or a landscape — isn’t visible when the book is closed. The painting is actually painted onto the margin or the very edge of the book’s paper. The earliest known examples of these “hidden” fore-edge paintings date back to the 17th century.  For obvious reasons, early examples are much sought after by collectors!

Some more examples:

Though we’ve yet to experiment with fore-edge painting, Paperblanks has produced books with other forms of edge decoration. To find out more about these books go here.

About Paperblanks: We have been producing superb writing journals for nearly twenty years. We are book people, and we believe that the written word matters and that our blank books have a critical role to play in the art and continued practice of writing itself. For more about Paperblanks, go to our website at


Leave a Reply to Zandra Cancel reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here