Secret Paintings in 19th Century Books at the University of Iowa

September 5, 2013 in Art, Painting

A few days ago Colleen Theisen who helps with outreach and instruction at the Special Collections & University Archives at the University of Iowa shared an amazing gif she made that demonstrates something called fore-edge painting on the edge of a 1837 book called Autumn by Robert Mudie. Fore-edge painting, which is believed to date back as early as the 1650s, is a way of hiding a painting on the edge of a book so that it can only be seen when the pages are fanned out. There are even books that have double fore-edge paintings, where a different image can be seen by flipping the book over and fanning the pages in the opposite direction.

Above and below are photos of SpringSummerAutumn and Winter which were donated to the University of Iowa by Charlotte Smith. How much fun are these? Keep an eye on the University of Iowa’s special collections Tumblr as they unearth more artificats from the archives.

via Colossal

And don’t forget, if you’re looking for a piece of original art to hang on your walls, check out artFido HERE!

 

Secret Fore Edge Paintings Revealed in Early 19th Century Books at the University of Iowa seasons painting illustration fore edge painting books

Autumn by Robert Mudie / Special Collections & University Archives at the University of Iowa

Secret Fore Edge Paintings Revealed in Early 19th Century Books at the University of Iowa seasons painting illustration fore edge painting books
Autumn by Robert Mudie / Special Collections & University Archives at the University of Iowa

Secret Fore Edge Paintings Revealed in Early 19th Century Books at the University of Iowa seasons painting illustration fore edge painting books
Winter by Robert Mudie / Special Collections & University Archives at the University of Iowa

Secret Fore Edge Paintings Revealed in Early 19th Century Books at the University of Iowa seasons painting illustration fore edge painting books
Winter by Robert Mudie / Special Collections & University Archives at the University of Iowa

Secret Fore Edge Paintings Revealed in Early 19th Century Books at the University of Iowa seasons painting illustration fore edge painting books
Spring by Robert Mudie / Special Collections & University Archives at the University of Iowa

Secret Fore Edge Paintings Revealed in Early 19th Century Books at the University of Iowa seasons painting illustration fore edge painting books
Spring by Robert Mudie / Special Collections & University Archives at the University of Iowa

Secret Fore Edge Paintings Revealed in Early 19th Century Books at the University of Iowa seasons painting illustration fore edge painting books
Summer by Robert Mudie / Special Collections & University Archives at the University of Iowa

Secret Fore Edge Paintings Revealed in Early 19th Century Books at the University of Iowa seasons painting illustration fore edge painting books
Summer by Robert Mudie / Special Collections & University Archives at the University of Iowa

 


artFido Popular Art Button For Blog

Currently trending on artFido:

The Most Perfectly Timed Photos That Will Make You Smile

One of our most visited Friday Funnies posts of all time gave you a collection of perfectly timed ph

Unbelievable Body Paintings That Transform People Into Animals And Organs

Gesine Marwedel is a brilliant body painting artist based in Germany who creates both beautiful and

Man’s Wife Refused to Take Maternity Photos, so he Did His Own!

One Reddit user with a strange sense of humor hired a photographer to create a bizarre maternity pho

Rare and Mesmerizing Photographs of Iran’s Mosques

Mohammad Domiri, a talented architectural photographer from northern Iran, takes stunning photos of

Life Changing Cooking Hacks Everyone Needs To Know [Photo Series]

We haven’t done a life hacks blog for a little while, and given how popular they have been for

Astronaut Takes the Saddest Photo Ever of Explosions & Rockets Flying Over Gaza & Israel

Astronauts aboard the International Space Station have shared some incredible space photos with the