Monday, May 04, 2009

Fore-edge painting at the Boston Public Library

This website highlights a special collection of more than 200 high-resolution images of fore-edge paintings housed in the Rare Books Department of the Boston Public Library. Fore-edge painting refers to the process of applying an image to the fanned page block of a book, and if the pages are gilded or marbled, the image disappears when the book is relaxed. There are several useful online videos which demonstrate the process.

The books and images on the site can be explored in a variety of ways, either by wandering through the main Gallery, or browsing the works by Subject, Book title, or Painting title.

A Featured Works section provides additional information about selected books, including detail shots and a video of the book as it is fanned to display the hidden artwork. Anywhere on the site, you may click on an image to view a larger version. Where the "Zoom" tab is presented, clicking it will allow you zoom in and view the painting in exquisite detail. A series of Articles, written by leading experts in the field, provide historical and curatorial insight into fore-edge painting. A full-text Search feature is also provided.

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