Qing Dynasty Chinese Export Mirror Painting

  • This Chinese export reverse mirror painting dates to the Qing Dynasty
  • Becoming popular during the mid-18th century, the technique required the utmost skill and precision
  • Almost always made for export, they were highly sought-after objects of the luxury trade
  • Get complete item description here
Price available upon request Item No. 31-1098

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A mirror takes the place of a canvas in this Chinese export reverse glass painting dating to the Qing Dynasty. Chinese painters and calligraphers began the practice of painting in oil on glass in the mid-18th century, and the technique required the utmost skill and precision. First, the outline of the design was traced into the back of a mirror. The mirror was then scraped away to reveal the clear glass, which could then be painted. Artists painstakingly applied painted layers to the glass in reverse, with the top layer painted first and the background last. Due to the complexity of the process and the high level of artistic skill that it required, highly detailed examples such as this are only rarely found.

Reverse glass paintings were almost always made for export, as Europeans clamored for all things Chinese during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The present scene is a typical, though elaborate, example of the subjects that were frequently seen in these works, which often depicted bucolic landscapes populated with Chinese figures enjoying leisurely pursuits. An amazing survival of the luxury trade, this painting is completed by its complementary chinoiserie frame.

31 1/2" high x 21 1/2" wide
Qing Dynasty Chinese Export Mirror Painting
Period: 1700-1815
Origin: China
Type: Paintings
Depth: 1.0 Inches
Width: 21.5 Inches
Height: 31.5 Inches

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