An exquisite and large early-mid 18th century reverse glass painting depicting a battle scene
Augsburg, circa 1730-1740
Height 35 cm
Width 46 cm
Condition: perfect; the frame with gilding losses
Provenance: from the collection of A. L. Keyser, appointed Consul for Seville in 1916
The present artwork is an example of the reverse glass painting being produced in 18th century Augsburg, which ranked “among the most important centres for the commercial arts” and was “the best-known and most prolific center in Europe for reverse painting.”
Reverse glass painting, also referred to as Hinterglas Malerei, has its origins in antiquity, but truly flourished between the mid-16th and mid-19th centuries, blossoming fist in the Venetia-Tyrol region in the 1550s. Improvements in the production of flat glass and the circulation of prints and engravings led to increases in the number, quality, and variety of designs available. Glass for this purpose was typically made by the so-called blown cylinder or broad glass method, in which molten glass was collected at the end of a blowpipe and blown into an elongated bubble; the ends were cut off and a slit was made down the body of the resulting cylinder, which was then heated again until it could be unrolled into a flat sheet.