If you were lucky enough to ever go through a book that was passed down from previous generations, chances are you saw an art form called fore-edge painting. The technique dates back as far as the 10th century. Generally the painting has a connection to the book itself, such as a scene, but it wasn’t uncommon for the artist to paint what he or she desired. Some established families had their coat-of-arms applied. There are variations to fore-edge painting. The photos below show fanned fore-edge, which the reader has to literally fan the book for the landscape to appear. This craftsmanship became popular around 1650. Typically the actual edge of the pages when closed were painted in gold while fanning showed just the intricate panorama.