Clare has been involved fore edge
painting for the book trade since the early 1990s and has
created probably close to 1000 works. During this time she
has reproduced the work of numerous great masters, some of
her favourites being Michelangelo, Raphael, Breugal,
Titian and many of the Pre-Raphaelites who are a common
source of inspiration. She also enjoys painting erotic
fore edges which are always very popular.
Her academic training as a painter and
sculptor began at Reigate College, Surrey in the 1980s and she
subsequently painted mostly portraits and murals. One of her
portraits was exhibited in the National Portrait Gallery's, BP
portrait awards 1999. Clare was introduced to Fore edge
painting by the renowned antiquarian book dealer Adrian
Harrington of Kensington, London. Having seen some of her
miniature paintings he was impressed by the detail and offered
her work producing fore edge paintings.
Clare is now based in Derby,
Derbyshire, UK and mainly produces work for direct sale,
selling to collectors and dealers worldwide, through outlets
such as eBay. She has also produced several commissioned works
for people looking for something novel.
Fore edge paintings are
a little known type of book decoration which reached the
height of it's popularity in Victorian Britain.
paintings are watercolour decorations, painted on the pages
edges (the foredge) of a book.
achieved by fanning the page block of a book, which is then
clamped, whilst an image is applied to the stepped surface of
the page edges. The page edges are often themselves gilded or
marbled and this results in the painted foredge disappearing
when the book is closed. When refanned, the painting magically
paintings came into existence in the mid 17th century, but
was little practiced until the end of the 18th century.
Although the actual originator of fore edge painting is
unknown, the art reached it's peak with the Edwards of Halifax.
Today foredge book painting is practiced by only a few select
artists. Clare is one of them.
Brief History of
origination of fore edge paintings are unknown. There are
a few theories concerning the development of this art. In the
early days of bookbinding manuscripts often had the title
painted on the fore edge so that they could be easily
identified when stacked.
early 17th century, English bookbinders began a form of edge
decoration where foredges were painted with highly decorative
motifs, including flowers, butterflies, family mottoes,
coats-of-arms, or religious images. These decorations were
applied to the finest bindings only and were generally painted
directly onto the fore edge rather than the ‘fanned' edge.
'Concealed' pictures start to appear later, in the mid 17th
century , on bibles and common prayer books. By the latter part
of the 17th century, very fine works were being
concealment of paintings on the fore edge may have been a
natural progression of the trend for bookbinders to decorate
the whole book. Another theory suggests that fore edge painting
developed from the need for the concealment of secret messages,
mementoes between lovers and erotic art for
This art reached it's
pinnacle in the late 18th century with the popularisation
of fore edge decoration by the bookbinders and booksellers
the Edwards of Halifax.
Edwards bindings were elegant, unique and achieved great
success resulting in the opening of a book store in Pall
practice of fore edge painting became widespread, and continued
through the 19th and into the 20th century when it declined and
art of painting fore edges continues to this day and is
being revived by a few select artists.
These are some
examples of Clares fore edge paintings which
demonstrate not only her skill as a painter in miniatures, but
also her love of the Pre-Raphaelite style.
be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
suggest that you pay a visit to Clares website http://www.foreedgeclare.co.uk here
you will find more in depth information and a list of Clares
books currently for sale.
EVERY MONTH I SEND OUT THE
BOOKBINDERS DIGEST. WHICH AIMS TO BRING YOU INTERESTING ITEMS
CONCERNING THE WORLD OF BOOKBINDING AND RELATED CRAFTS. IF YOU
WOULD CARE TO SUBSCRIBE PLEASE JUST MAIL ME PUTTING "EDEN" IN
THE SUBJECT LINE.