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© Colin Roy
© Colin Roy
© Colin Roy
Fred Merz © Michelangelo Foundation
© Colin Roy

Martin Frost

Martin Frost Fore-edge painter
Contact
English
Hours:
By appointment only
Phone:
+44 1903209607
© Colin Roy

Master of a vanishing art

  • • Martin learned the art of fore-edge painting from fellow artist Don Noble
  • • He was named 2017 Maker of the Year by the Heritage Crafts Association
  • • He used to be a theatre and opera designer

Martin Frost trained as a theatre designer and used to paint sets for Glyndebourne opera house. Whilst there, an artist colleague introduced him to fore-edge painting – the skill of painting a watercolour on the fanned page edges of a book. Frost’s work was quickly in demand from antiquarian book dealers looking to enhance the saleability of their books. It was the start of a long career in which he has now created more than 2,500 fore-edge paintings for dealers, collectors and individuals who are entranced by his ‘vanishing’ paintings. Over the years he has expanded his business to include bookbinding, gilding and miniature portraits, but he remains one of only two professional fore-edge painters in the UK.

Read the full interview

Works

  • © Martin Frost
  • © Martin Frost
  • © Martin Frost
Photo: © Martin Frost
The Seasons, 1811

Martin decorated the fore-edge of this 1811 edition of James Thomson’s The Seasons with two watercolour landscapes, one summer harvest scene and one snowy winter scene. The painting can only be seen when the pages are fanned, then disappear under the gilded edge of the book when it is closed.

Length 20 cm
Width 12 cm

Martin Frost Fore-edge painter
Photo: © Martin Frost
Book of Common Prayer, 1820

Martin decorated the fore-edge of this 1820 edition of the Book of Common Prayer with a watercolour landscape, showing a city in the background. The painting can only be seen when the pages are fanned, then disappear under the gilded edge of the book when it is closed.

Length 10 cm
Width 7 cm

Martin Frost Fore-edge painter
Photo: © Martin Frost
Falconry and Coursing

Martin decorated the fore-edge of this book with a watercolour scene of three men preparing to hunt with falcons. The painting can only be seen when the book is fanned, then disappear under the gilded edge of the book when it is closed.

Length 22 cm
Width 14 cm

Martin Frost Fore-edge painter

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