Reverse Glass Portrait With Blue Drape

c. 1900
$480 USD
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Dimensions
W: 13.25" D: 0.75" H: 19.0"
Materials
Northern Elmwood
Glass
Paint
Purchase Quantity
Collection #
Q060A
Estimated Shipping
$38

With sparkling color and an unsophisticated treatment of perspective, this reverse glass portrait of a young woman sitting beneath a decorative drape is a great expression of early 20th century Chinese export folk art. Thought to have developed during the Italian Renaissance, reverse glass painting spread throughout Europe and remained popular for centuries. During the Qing Dynasty, Chinese emperors became fascinated with Western art forms and encouraged court artists to practice this unusual technique. The practice became particularly popular in Canton where artists created glass paintings, like this one, for European export. Using fine brushes, the artist worked backward to create this portrait on glass, first painting the minute details of the facial features and patterns, then filling in the larger blocks of color seen in the woman’s blouse and skirt.

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Suzanne Lovell | Suzanne Lovell, Inc.

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