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Fore-edge Painting 


Fore-edge Painting
A form of horizontal montage. Pictures hidden in the edges of the pages of a book.

Fore-edge painting   

With the cut edge of a book splayed out at an angle, a picture is painted that can only be seen when the pages are thus splayed. The closed book with its gold, coloured or plain edges gives no hint of the picture hidden within. But as soon as the pages are splayed at an angle, the numerous individual pages, each with its own ‘line of writing’, cumulatively reveal the picture.

The information on the cut edge of each page could not be deciphered on its own. The picture only emerges from the totality of all the pages seen at once. In a double fore-edge painting the direction in which the pages are splayed determines which of two different pictures are generated by the horizontal montage.