Peruvian 'Dahlia' Mirror with Hand Painted Glass Frame
Reverse painting on glass (or Verre eglomise as it is normally known in Europe) is an ancient technique that derives from late antiquity. Examples of work have been found in Assyrian and Phoenician civilisations. Transmitted by the Early Christian tradition, it has undergone various revivals in the history of glass - in Italy during the 14/16th Centuries, in Holland and Spain during the 17th and 18th Centuries and in France, England and the United States in the 18th Century.
The European term for the technique owes its name to Jean-Baptiste Glomy (d.1786), a French picture framer who used the process in glass mounts.
The method almost always involves the use of gold or silver leaf that is glued to the surface of the glass with either gelatine or albumen (egg white). A design is then scratched through the gold when viewed from the front. It is the reverse of painting on board or canvas, with verre-eglomise it is the detail which is applied first.
There are now very few centres in the world where this highly skilled work is carried on commercially. In Peru the 'mysteries of the craft are still being handed down through the generations where this ancient skill is now undergoing a revival.
W 70.5cm x H 100cm