You'll Never Look At Books The Same After Seeing These Incredible Hidden Messages

January 13, 2014

It's an amazing concept called "fore-edge painting," which is an illustration that is hidden on the edge of the pages of a book. In order to view the painting, the leaves of the book must be fanned, exposing the edges of the pages and thereby the painting.

old books hidden art
Special Collections & University Archives at the University of Iowa

old books hidden art
Special Collections & University Archives at the University of Iowa

The first known example of a disappearing fore-edge painting dates back to 1649.

old books hidden art
Special Collections & University Archives at the University of Iowa

old books hidden art
Special Collections & University Archives at the University of Iowa

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.

old books hidden art
Special Collections & University Archives at the University of Iowa

old books hidden art
Special Collections & University Archives at the University of Iowa

And we saved the best for last.

old books hidden art

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