ANCIENT & EUROPEAN HISTORY
Reverse painting on glass has been a form of art expression since ancient times. Though there
is no conclusive knowledge about the actual origins, some art historians, supported by crude artifacts, purport that the art
of painting on the back of glass dates back to the
4 A.D, in Egypt.
During Middle Ages in the 13th century, the art technique appeared in Italy. Shortly thereafter,
the French and English also learn of this art-form. By the 16th century Renaissance, to meet the growing demand, reverse
glass paintings were widely produced by artists on the Isle of Murano Italy, which is near Venice.
These paintings were primarily small and were used to decorate church alters and religious effects.
Gradually artists began to paint larger landscapes, portraits, and more.
In America, reverse painting enjoyed its greatest popularity during the Federalist Period of 1800s.
It was primarily practiced by old-country artisans in the original colonial cities . Reverse paintings were used
to decorate clocks, mirrors and other items of the time. This art fashion reigned from about 1815 to 1850. Then,
with the exception of a brief time before WW I when it enjoyed a comeback, reverse glass painting became all but
However, in the 1970s, collecting "anything" became popular and reverse paintings were no exception.
This led to an active collectors' markets AND
to the demand for reproductions as well.
Since the older reverse glass paintings were rarely signed, it is difficult for the novice to
know the real production from the re-production. Thus, buyers, who are new to this market, should exercise caution in
purchasing art which is touted as antique.
Of course, Glass Art Studios makes no representation that their paintings are antiques, but only
that they are antique in technique and effect. However, we are certain that a good number of our works will age
to become heirlooms over time.