Qing Dynasty Reverse Glass Work - Seated Figure with Blue Creature

  • This painting features a woman seated in a garden with a hybrid blue creature
  • This unique work is a stunning display of artistry and a demonstration of cross-cultural exchange
  • Spurred by the Jesuit missionaries and fueled by trade, reverse glass works became prized exports
  • Get complete item description here
Item No. 31-6152

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Qing Dynasty Reverse Glass Work
Chinese | Circa 1800
 Seated Figure with Blue Creature
Oil on glass

This dynamic painting features a seated woman in a garden setting, accompanied by a blue creature reminiscent of perhaps a lion or a dragon--or a hybrid of both. In Chinese reverse glass works, glass takes the place of canvas. This unique art form is a stunning display of meticulous artistry and also a material demonstration of incredible historical cross-cultural exchange. Artists painstakingly applied painted layers to the glass in reverse, with the top layer painted first and the background last. These paintings are viewed in reflected light, revealing an impressive gloss, luminosity and depth of color unattainable with other painting techniques. Due to the complexity of the process and the high level of artistic skill required, highly detailed examples such as this are exceptionally rare.

The art of reverse glass painting came to China from Europe in the seventeenth century. Spurred by the Jesuit missionary project and fueled by general international trade, reverse glass works became highly desirable export items. These paintings were not only the prized possession of wealthy European families in the 18th and 19th centuries, but also of the Imperial Court. Today, historical reverse glass paintings reside at the Forbidden City emperor’s palace in Beijing. This exquisite painting, complemented by an ornate chinoiserie frame, is a stunning achievement in artistry and also an amazing relic of international luxury trade in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Glass: 8 1/4" high x 9 1/4" wide
Frame: 9 5/8" high x 10 3/4" wide
Qing Dynasty Reverse Glass Work - Seated Figure with Blue Creature
Period: 19th Century
Origin: China
Type: Other
Depth: 1.38 Inches
Width: 10.75 Inches
Height: 9.63 Inches
Canvas Width: 9.25 Inches
Canvas Height: 8.25 Inches
Qing Dynasty Reverse Glass Work - Seated Figure with Blue Creature
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